|1959 election • MPs|
|1964 election • MPs|
|1966 election • MPs|
|1970 election • MPs|
|February 1974 election • MPs|
The 1966 United Kingdom general election on 31 March 1966 was called by sitting Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson. Wilson's decision to call an election turned on the fact that his government, elected a mere 17 months previously in 1964 had an unworkably small majority of only 4 MPs. Wilson's hope that he would be returned to office with a larger majority had been encouraged by the government's victory in a by-election in Kingston upon Hull North. In the end the hope was vindicated: the Labour government was returned with a much larger majority of 96.
Prior to the general election, in 1965, Labour had actually performed poorly in local elections, and lost at a crucial by-election, cutting their majority to just 2. Labour ran its campaign with the slogan "You know Labour government works".
The Conservative campaign, although more professional than previously, had not really had time to prepare, and with Heath only having just settled in the year before, there had been little time for him to become well known among the British public. As for the Liberals money was an issue, 2 elections in the space of just 2 years had left the party in a tight financial position.
The election night was broadcast live on the BBC, and was presented by Cliff Michelmore, Robin Day, Robert McKenzie and David Butler. The election was replayed on the BBC parliament channel on the 40th anniversary of the event.
|Thursday 10 March||Dissolution of the 43rd parliament and campaigning officially begins|
|Monday 21 March||Last day to file nomination papers; 1,707 candidates enter to contest 630 seats|
|Wednesday 30 March||Campaigning officially ends|
|Thursday 31 March||Polling day|
|Saturday 1 April||The Labour Party wins with an improved majority of 96|
|Monday 18 April||44th parliament assembles|
|Thursday 21 April||State Opening of Parliament|
Research Services : 3% swing to Labour (forecast majority of 101)
National Opinion Polls : 3.5% swing to Labour (forecast majority of 115)
Gallup : 4.5% swing to Labour (forecast majority of 150)
Express (known as Harris): 7.5% swing to Labour (forecast majority of in excess of 255)
|United Kingdom general election 1966|
|Party||Standing||Elected||Gained||Unseated||Net||% of total||%||No.||Net %|
|Republican Labour||1||1||1||0||+ 1||0.16||0.10||26,292|
|Ind. Labour Party||1||0||0||0||0||0.002||441|
|Government's new majority||98|
|Total votes cast||27,264,747|
Headline Swing: 2.70% to Labour
From Conservative to Labour (46 seats): Aberdeen South, Bebington, Bedford, Bedfordshire South, Berwick and East Lothian, Billericay, Birmingham Perry Barr, Bradford West, Brentford and Chiswick, Bristol North East, Bristol North West, Cambridge, Cardiff North, Chislehurst, Conway, Croydon South, Eton and Slough, Exeter, Hampstead, Harrow East, High Peak, Hornchurch, Ilford South, Lancaster, Lewisham North, Lewisham West, Middleton and Prestwich, Monmouth, Norwood, Nottingham South, Oxford, Plymouth Sutton, Portsmouth South, Preston North, Reading, Rugby, Rushcliffe, Sheffield Heeley, Smethwick, Southampton Test, Stretford, The Wrekin, Uxbridge, Walthamstow East, Yarmouth and York
From Conservative to Liberal (4 seats): Aberdeenshire West, Cheadle, Cornwall North, and Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles
From Labour to Liberal (1 seat): Colne Valley
From Liberal to Labour (2 seats): Cardiganshire and Caithness and Sutherland
(From BBC Parliament Replay.) These declarations were covered live by the BBC where the returning officer was heard to say "duly elected".
|Constituency||Winning party 1964||Constituency result 1966 by party||Winning party 1966|
|Wolverhampton North East||Labour||12,965||21,067||Labour hold|
|Wolverhampton South West||Conservative||21,466||14,881||Conservative hold|
|Salford West||Labour||13,257||19,237||Labour hold|
|Salford East||Labour||9,000||18,409||Labour hold|
|Devon North||Liberal||15,631||6,127||16,797||Liberal hold|
|Nelson and Colne||Labour||13,829||18,406||5,117||Labour hold|
|Preston South||Labour||17,931||20,720||Labour hold|
|Brentford and Chiswick||Conservative||14,031||14,638||2,063||Labour gain|
|Aberdeenshire West||Conservative||13,956||6,008||15,151||Liberal gain|
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