Sunday, November 29, 2015

Jeremy Thorpe and Des Wilson go shopping

A scene from the Hove by-election of 1973.

Des Wilson was already well known as a campaigner, particularly as the founding director of Shelter, and joined the Liberal Party in order to fight this election. He later became a significant figure in the party and in the Liberal Democrats in that party's early years.

The Liberals had not fought Hove in 1970 (though they did achieve 16 per cent there in the 1966 general election), when the Conservatives had won 69 per cent of the vote in a straight contest with Labour.

In what was seen as a brave by-election campaign in an unwinnable seat, Des Wilson came second with 37 per cent of the vote. He was less than 5000 votes behind the winning Tory.

Today Hove is a Labour/Tory marginal. Labour won it in 1997, held it until 2010 and then won it back in 2015.
Featured on Liberal Democrat Voice
I guess the retired colonels and their ladies have died out, hitting the Conservative vote.

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