Leeds Parliamentary Election Results


Representation of the People Act 1969 – Franchise extended to those over 18 years of age

1970 - 18 June

D. W. Healey (Labour) 28,827
P. Crotty (Conservative) 21,112
J. Bellamy (Communist) 153

North East
Sir K. Joseph (Conservative) 20,720
A. J. Patient (Labour) 15,653

North West
Sir D. Kaberry (Conservative) 29,227
K. J. Woolmer (Labour) 20,795
J. R. W. Worrall (Liberal) 6,048

M. Rees (Labour) 19,536
G. K. Macpherson (Conservative) 9,311
S. Cooksey (Liberal) 3,810

South East
S. Cohen (Labour) 10,930
M. Sexton (Conservative) 5,182
A. Britten (Liberal) 1,135
B. Scott (Communist) 198

T. C. Pannell (Labour) 21,618
A. Leitch (Conservative) 14,749
P. Armitage (Liberal) 5,341

This was the first general election where eighteen year-olds could vote. It provided one of the biggest shock results in recent British politics with virtually all the major opinion polls forecasting a Labour victory. In fact Edward Heath’s Conservatives with 330 seats to Labour’s 288 were swept to power. It was a disaster for the Liberals who gained only 6 seats. The issues that dominated were the failure of the Government to solve the problem of industrial relations and immigration. It has been said that this was is the only British general election where race played a significant part.

The Bishop of Leeds entered the fray when addressing the Union of Catholic Mothers AGM, he suggested that questions should be levelled at candidates on euthanasia, religious education and ‘legislation of the permissive society in general’. In Leeds once again there was no change but each Labour seat saw its majority slashed by over 3,000. The two safe Conservative seats saw increases with Donald Kaberry in Leeds North West in a three-cornered fight registering more votes than the combined opposition and seeing his majority increase by 2,308.There was strong press speculation that Sir Keith Joseph would be appointed to the new government to begin the transformation of Whitehall’s industrial strategy.