The 1966 Election; why did Labour win?
· As the economy improved and with England preparing for a World Cup finals at home
· Wilson called an election for 31st March
· new Conservative leader, Edward Heath was still new to the job and appeared stiff and ill at ease and Wilson found him easy to outshine in the Commons.
· Wilson was personally popular among the public, whereas Heath was disliked by a lot of Conservative supporters.
· In the campaigning, Wilson took centre stage and shone.;he was in his element.
· Labour did remarkably well, winning 48% of the vote and gained seats outside of their traditional northern, industrial areas
· complete vindication for Wilson and with a majority of 97 in Parliament he could now go about forming the cabinet he really wanted and implementing the policies he really believed in
· His second government was to become best known for the social reforms it introduced.
· ushering in a new, modern phase of British social history and social relations, and modernising British society
· Certainly, much more than any of the economic struggles, the changes to what became called ‘the civilised society’ were to effect ordinary people.
· largely laid down by Roy Jenkins, Home Secretary between 1965 and 196
· His successor, James Callaghan followed the programme Jenkins had begun.
· without the support of the government, none of these would have become law
· Jenkins enabled them to become law by supporting these bills.
· Jenkins fermented and era of progressive thinking and attitudes in which reform became more than acceptable; it became expected. As Jenkins himself noted;
· many who that Britain had become too permissive, and that these reforms would lead to socially irresponsible behaviour.
The Abortion Act 1967
· In1950s as many as 100 000 illegal abortions took place every year; huge medical risks to these
· This act permitted the termination of a pregnancy if there was serious risk to the mental or physical wellbeing of the mother
· allowed a termination of there was a good chance that the baby would be born with serious abnormalities
· hailed by feminists, as it gave women ‘the right to choose’, but hugely criticised by others as state sanctioned murder.
· attempted to limit the amount of unwanted pregnancies with the Family Planning Act 1967 which gave access to contraception to single women.
Divorce Reform Act 1969
· greater freedom to divorce if both members of a couple agreed to it
· it ended years of abuse, suffering and unhappiness/encouraged the break-up of the family
The Sexual Offences Act 1967
· permitted male homosexual acts in…