Basically somewhere for me post wikiboxes with a bit of text without the commitment of a full-blown timeline. The United Kingdom General Election 1979 On 13 December 1978 James Callaghan's Labour government was dealt an embarrassing double defeat in the House of Commons that left the government's sanctions against private sector firms in tatters. By 285 to 279 the House passed a Conservative amendment that refused to support the government's "arbitrary use of economic sanctions" against firms that have "negotiated increases beyond a rigid limit which Parliament has not agreed". By 285 to 283 a second motion was carried that opposed sanctions on companies breaking the 5% pay rise limit. In response, the Prime Minister tabled a motion reading: "That this House expresses its confidence in Her Majesty's Government and in its determination to strengthen the national economy, control inflation, reduce unemployment and secure social justice." By calling a confidence vote in his own government, Callaghan was throwing down the gauntlet to Margaret Thatcher's Conservatives to show they mean business. The confidence vote was given priority among the business for the following day - 14 December 1978. The consensus among those in Westminster was that the government would carry the day. Such was the confidence of Callaghan in his numbers that several Labour MPs, who weren't already in Westminster, were not forced to return. The result of the vote, therefore, came as an almighty shock to everyone. By a majority of just one vote the Government was defeated. Callaghan immediately confirmed that there would be a General Election in the New Year and that he would visit The Queen in the morning to confirm the date. Parliament, it was decided, would prorogue at start of what otherwise would have been the Christmas recess. Parliament would then be dissolved on 3 January for an election on 1 February. The campaign was overshadowed in many respects by a series of strikes, though the two main party leaders succeeded in putting their manifesto forward to the population. Labour promised to curb inflation and prices, develop and implement a framework to improve industrial relations, move towards full employment and enlarge people's freedoms. The Conservatives pledged to bring inflation under control, reduce excessive public spending, restore law and order and create an economic climate in which industry can prosper. The strikes undoubtedly impacted Labour in a negative way, despite Callaghan's personal ratings remaining steady throughout the campaign, and when the final election results came through on 2 February the result was no surprise.