Harold Wilson becomes Prime Minister

Following a surge in the Liberal vote in the general election held on 28th February, a hung parliament ensued. The incumbent Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath opened negotiations with the Liberal Party. Heath offered Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe a seat in the cabinet and a Speaker’s Conference on electoral reform in exchange for a coalition but stopped short of a firm commitment on reform of the voting system. When Thorpe consulted his parliamentary colleagues, the offer was rejected. Heath resigned and Wilson formed a minority Labour government, which remained in office until October of that year when Wilson called a second general election, resulting in a small Labour majority.