Monday, March 27, 2017

Watch a film of the 1967 Manchester Gorton by-election


Konni Zilliacus, the Labour MP for Manchester Gorton died In July 1967. Granada TV was there to film the resultant by-election.

Click on the still of Terry Lacey above to watch it on the British Film Institute website.

Kenneth Marks, the Labour candidate, held the seat with a much reduced majority. He was to represent Gorton until 1983, when he retired from the Commons and Gerald Kaufman moved over from Manchester Ardwick. (Much of his old seat was included in the redrawn Gorton.)

The Conservative candidate was Winston Churchill, grandson of the wartime prime minister.
He later sat for Stretford between 1970 and 1983, and then for Davyhulme until 1997.

Note his vision here of Britain finding a new world role through its leadership of a united Europe.

Attracted, no doubt by the Churchill name, Margaret Thatcher gave him preferment in the early years of her leadership, but he proved too much of a loose canon and was to remain a peripheral figure.

The Liberal candidate - that's his picture above - was Terry Lacey. One of the Young Liberal vanguard, he was later to join the Labour Party.

Also standing were the Communist Victor Eddisford and the author John Creasey.

The latter had once been a Liberal candidate and I have blogged about his political career.

The BFI blurb for the programme says:
Taut editing and innovative use of sound speaks of 1960s TV documentary luminary Denis Mitchell’s involvement in the film – he is credited as executive producer.
Look too for some atmospheric shots of industrial dereliction.

And the views offered by the voters are not so different from those we hear 50 years on.

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