Lessons of the February 1974 general election – and why they matter to Lib Dems

A longer watch for the weekend – Professor Vernon Bogdanor on the February 1974 general election (which thankfully wasn’t held on the 5th of February).

Aside from its historic interest, this is also one of the few general elections at which the third party (Liberal Democrats, Alliance or Liberals) has secured the sort of increase in its share of the popular vote which the Liberal Democrats currently need to get back to where the party was pre-coalition. In February 1974 the Liberal Party’s vote went up from 7.5% to 19.3%.

Here’s the story of that general election in which the Liberal Party was led by Jeremy Thorpe:

To find out more about the February 1974 general election, see There’s something rather familiar about the politics of the early 1970s….

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