Leeds Parliamentary Election Results


1974 - 28 February

D. W. Healey (Labour) 25,550
R. A. Nelson (Conservative) 15,036
S. Marsh (Liberal) 9,906

North East
Sir K. Joseph (Conservative) 20,822
J. Gunnell (Labour) 13,562
C. Greenfeld (Liberal) 8,839
C. Lord (People) 300

North West
Sir D. Kaberry (Conservative) 21,995
L. C. K. Fenwick (Labour) 15,324
S. Waldenberg (Liberal) 11,853

M. Rees (Labour) 21,365
D. Pedder (Liberal) 9,505
P. D. Harmer (Conservative) 7,810

South East
S. Cohen (Labour) 17,827
M. Sexton (Conservative) 8,373
M. Clay (Liberal) 6,981
W. Innes (Communist) 405

J. Dean (Labour) 19,436
M. Meadowcroft (Liberal) 15,451
D. Hall (Conservative) 11,246

This was the first election since World War II that resulted in a hung Parliament. The main issue of the day had been the miners’ strike and the introduction of a three-day week. Heath went to the country on the theme, ‘Who Governs Britain?’ With the Conservatives securing 297 seats compared to Labour’s 301, Edward Heath remained Prime Minister hoping for Ulster Unionist support. When this failed to materialise he turned to the Liberals in the hope of forming a coalition government. This too failed. He resigned and Harold Wilson became Prime Minister.

In Leeds no seat changed hands but Labour increased its majorities in all its seats except Leeds West where Meadowcroft gained second place for the Liberals with a creditable 33.49% of the vote. The Times had even raised the possibility of a Liberal win here. Sir Keith Joseph in Leeds North East saw his majority increase by 1,604. Denis Healey speaking in Leeds East claimed the Conservatives had employed techniques ‘used in the brainwashing camps of Korea’ in their campaign against the miners and that their policies were a ‘recipe for social and industrial anarchy’. The overall turnout in the city was 74%.