Why did the Labour government suffer an unexpected election defeat in 1970?
In 1970, Harold Wilson's Labour Government lost the general election to Ted Heath's Conservatives. The Labour government had suffered economic problems (inherited from the previous Conservative government) throughout their time in office. Along with this; voters views of Wilson, problems with policy and awkward relations with the Trade Unions all contributed to the election defeat of 1970.
Economically in the 1960's, Labour and Harold Wilson had struggled. They inherited a large trade deficit and this became most apparent in 1966 once Labour had increased their majority. The problem was that to help ease the issue, Wilson would have to devalue the pound so that the UK's exports would be cheaper and therefore more competitive in price. However this was something that Wilson vowed he would not do. He believed that devaluing the pound would damage Britain's prestige in the world. This stubbornness from Wilson resulted in the devaluing of the Pound being delayed until November 1967. This mounted a lot of pressure on money markets and lost Wilson a lot of popularity. By finally giving in and devaluing the...