Amazing betting odds on the CON leadership in Oct 1974 from the BBC re-run of GE1974 results programme. Maggie 50/1 pic.twitter.com/epdoKJmV5y
— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) October 11, 2014
Did you get on? I certainly didn’t
The BBC Parliament Channel has been re-running the October 1974 General Election results programme as part of its intermittent series of playing back old elections. I love them and you learn so much simply from seeing how things were seen then.
A common feature of these programmes as they draw to their close is speculation about what will happen to the losing party leaders. Inevitably defeat focusses the mind and it was clear in October 1974 that Edward Heath’s tenure as CON leader wasn’t going to last.
For me the most striking feature of the October 1974 programme was that captured in the screen-shot above. The betting prices on who’d be Heath’s replacement. Maggie was at 50/1.
The interesting thing is not the long price on Maggie but that she figured in the betting at all. Just about nobody was tipping her and I certainly was not attracted to a bet. As I recall my money was on Willie Whitelaw.
Mrs. Thatcher was elected leader on February 11th 1975. She remained until 28 November 1990 aftet winning three successive general elections.