The 1970s to me through my research seemed a difficult era to be in government for the Conservative and Labour parties which was in part due to to the 1973 oil crisis which caused high inflation and a global recession which affected all aspects of living within the 1970’s. The rise in Oil prices since the Arab-Israeli War in October 1973. Petrol was so valuable that motorists put security locks on their petrol tanks.
Labour went on to lose the 1970 election to the Conservatives under Edward Heath.
However the Labour Party was returned to power again under Wilson a few weeks after the Feburary 1974 general election. Heath’s government soon ran into trouble over Northern Island and a dispute with miners in 1973 which led to the three day week.
The three day week:
The three day week was one of several measures introduced in the by the conservative party between 1970 to 1974 to conserve electricity. This involved commercial consumption of electricity would be limited to three consecutive days each week.
Services deemed essential such as restaurants, food shops and newspaper companies were exempt. However people like miners were negatively affected as they were closing down the mines and changing the working conditions which meant whole villages in the North and areas of Wales were left devastated with people being without incomes.
The rising dispute with the miners led to the conservatives campaign in the 1974 general election which emphasised the dispute with the miners and used the slogan “Who governs Britain?” which ultimately led to their demise and labour was reinstated with the most seats.
This led to Harold Wilson returning to the post.