The 1983 General Election in Wales

Wales since 1945

Since the end of the Second World War, the Labour Party has achieved considerable success in Wales. In every General Election between 1945 and 2017, the Labour Party has gained the largest vote share and has won a majority of seats. For much of the period 1945-97, party politics in Wales was a Conservative Party weakness. As Roger Scully has noted, the Conservative Party’s average electoral vote share in Wales during this period was 16.4% lower than the average in England. [1] On the surface, the 1983 General Election appeared to point to a growth of Conservative Party electoral performance in Wales. The continuation of a long history of Labour Party hegemony in Wales looked increasing fragile. The support that had cemented Wales as a Labour heartland, had seemingly began to erode.

 

Background

Economic Instability

The 1970s and early 1980s was a period of significant economic instability in Britain…

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