Polling day in the 1970 general election

The Conservatives lead by Edward Heath gain a surprise win, defeating Harold Wilson’s Labour government with a majority of 31. The Liberal Party, led by Jeremy Thorpe fighting his first election, polled 7.5% of the vote and returned six MPs. The election was a disaster for the Liberals. Of the 13 Liberal MPs at the time of the election, seven lost their seats, including Richard Wainwright, Michael Winstanley, Eric Lubbock and by-election winner from the previous year Wallace Lawler. Only three seats – Montgomery, Inverness and Orkney and Shetland could remotely be considered safe, while the other three MPs – David Steel, John Pardoe and Jeremy Thorpe all clung on by less than 1,000 votes.