1979–1987: A New Conservative Philosophy
The 1979 general election put Mrs Thatcher into power, a position she still held 8 years later when this book was in the latter stages of being written. The public’s initial reaction towards Mrs Thatcher as Prime Minister was mixed, with 41 per cent expressing satisfaction with her and 40 per cent expressing dissatisfaction. On the other hand, despite his defeat in the election, almost two in three (63 per cent) of the public felt that Mr Callaghan was proving a good leader of the Labour party. The cost of living was thought to be the most urgent problem facing the country in June, mentioned by 45 per cent, followed by unemployment (19 per cent). Sir Geoffrey Howe’s first Budget was seen as a lack-lustre one compared with Mr Healey’s in 1978, summarised in Gallup’s article in The Daily Telegraph of 22 June as ‘one of the least popular Budgets proposed by one of the least popular Chancellors in the last 27 years’. British electors returned to the polling booths in July as the first elections took place across the European Economic Community. As a measure of antipathy towards Europe, only one in three of the British public bothered to vote, compared with three in four in the preceding general election. Similarly, just one in two had been aware of the publicity campaign about the European elections.
KeywordsNuclear Weapon Urgent Problem European Economic Community Labour Party Good Leader
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