Why were the Conservatives defeated in 1974?

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  • Why were the Conservatives defeated in 1974?
    • Economy
      • Higher prices due to inflation and TU demands, at the same time, industrial problems remained stagnant. The 'British disease'
    • Trade Unions
      • TU threatened which strikes and they usually won e.g. 1971 strike of dockers meant wages increased by 20%
        • Prices doubled!
    • Heath's 'U-turn'
      • 1971-1972 – retreat from free market principles he had outlined. Desire to maintain full employment led him to give state aid to key industries e.g. Rolls Royce Heath
        • seen as too willing to give up on his aims and objectives, that he lacked a clear sense of direction.
    • Social
      • 1971 Unemployment rose above 1 million – first time since 1930’s. The outrage over the removal of free school milk
    • Labour
      • ‘No presidential nonsense this time, not first one hundred days, and no beer and sandwiches in No 10 to solve crises'
        • Wanted to avoid disasters. Voters still associated Heath with 3 day week and conflict with miners
    • Oil Crisis
      • 1973 oil prices went up by 10% which boosted inflation, as prices went up, TU demanded higher wages
        • The wage-price spiral


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