1982 – Glasgow Hillhead By-Election
Glasgow Hillhead is one of the few Tory safe seats in Glasgow but this by-election comes at a tumultuous time for the Conservatives and Labour who have both fallen behind the SDP-Liberal Alliance in the polls. The vacant seat attracted the nation’s attention after Roy Jenkins, the de-facto leader of the SDP, decided to try and regain a place in Parliament through Hillhead. Can the Tories hold on to the seat, can the SDP get Jenkins back into Parliament or will Labour come through the middle and get a much needed boost?
Parties and Candidates:
- Conservative – Gerry Malone
- SDP – Roy Jenkins
- Labour – David Wiseman
- SNP – George Leslie
The 1982 Glasgow Hillhead By-Election marked former Labour Minister Roy Jenkins’ return to Parliament as de-facto leader of the newly formed SDP. The SDP, a centrist breakaway from the Labour Party, were performing well in the polls and at the time of the by-election, many considered Jenkins to be the Prime Minister in waiting. This changed just weeks later after the Falklands War and the revival of fortunes for the Conservatives. This campaign was an important moment in Scottish politics and in the history of the SDP.
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