Keeping the British Liberal Party flag flying high

There was a presidential election in the United States of America on 4 November 1980. President Robert Dole and Vice President Charles Percy ran for re-election on the Republican ticket. The Social Democrat National Convention chose Norma Jean Baker, Senator from California, as candidate for President, and James Earl Carter, Governor of California, as Vice Presidential candidate. (1) The Democratic Party candidates were John Connally, former Governor of Texas, for President, and Ronald Reagan, Representative from the 39th District of California for Vice President. Reagan was opposed to the Republican Party as being too liberal.

(1) She is better known as Marilyn Monroe in otl.
 
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Connolly and Regan make a good pair, though both are getting a tad bit old. Baker and Carter are likewise a good match… though I think your “California” button got stuck when writing that post.
 
I have amended my previous post to show that Connally was a former Governor of California.

In Iran the Islamic Revolution happened as in OTL, with the Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi fled the country in January 1979, and Ayatollah Khomeini became Supreme Leader of a theocratic Islamic state. In November 1979, Iranian militants stormed the American embassy in Tehran and took diplomats from the US and other countries hostage. Though some were later released. In the US military operation to rescue the hostages in April 1980, all the helicopters landed safely in the desert in Iran, and reached Tehran. But in fighting outside the US embassy with the Islamic Guard, nine American soldiers were killed, and fourteen injured. So the hostages were not freed. The Democrats and Social Democrats blamed the Dole Administration for the failure of the rescue mission.

The number of electoral votes won by each candidate in the presidential election were as follows [same party in 1980 presidential election]:
Norma Jean Baker/ James (Jimmy) Carter (Social Democrat) : 314 [178]
Robert Dole/ Charles Percy (Republican): 130 [279]
John Connally/Ronald Reagan (Democrat): 94 [81]
-------------------------
Total: 538 [538]
------------------------
So Norma Jean Baker became President and Jimmy Carter Vice President of the United States of America,
 
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In the presidential election the following states were won by Baker/ Carter: California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland. Massachusetts, Minnesota, Michigan, New Mexico. New York. Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia. That is twenty-three states.

Dole/Percy won the following nineteen states : Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Wyoming,

These eight states were won by Connally/Reagan: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas.
 
Here are the percentage votes won by the candidate in the presidential election (same party in 1976):
Norma Jean Baker/Jimmy Carter (Social Democrat): 40.5 (38.1)
Robert Dole/Charles Percy (Republican): 37.3 (41.3)
John Connally/Ronald Reagan (Democrat): 20.6 (19.8)
David Bergland/Ed Koch (Libertarian): 1.2 (0.5)
Others: 0.4 (0.3).

The number of seats for each party in the House of Representatives and the Senate after the elections on 4 November 1980 were as follows (after November
1978 elections):
House of Representatives:
Republican: 169 (191)
Social Democrat: 165 (152)
Democrat: 101 (92)
-----------------------
Total; 435 (435)
------------------------
Gerald Ford continued in office as Speaker.

Senate:
Social Democrat: 37 (35)
Democrat: 34 (34)
Republican: 29 (31)
------------------------
Total: 100 (100)
------------------------
Frank Church (Social Democrat - Idaho) was now Majority Leader of the Senate in place of Norma Jean Baker.

President-elect Baker made the following appointments to her cabinet:
Secretary of State: Andrew Young Jr (1)
Secretary of the Treasury: Juanite Morris Kreps (2)
Attorney-General: Philip Heymann (3)
Secretary of Defense: David Lawrence Aaron (4)
Secretary of Health and Welfare: Julia Porcelli. She was Social Democrat Representative from the 22nd District of New York since 1958. She had ran the Catholic Workers' Women's House of Hospitality and the children's camps, as well as working in the office of the Catholic Worker. (5)

(1) See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Young.

(2) See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juanita_M._Kreps.

(3) See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Heymann.

(4) See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_L._Aaron.

(5) See post # 2,374, page 119.
 
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There was a general election in Ireland on Saturday 13 October 1979. The number of seats won by each party in the Dail Eireann were as follows (September 1975 ) general election:
Fianna Fail: 76 (82)
Labour: 69 (56)
Fine Gael: 31 (21)
Socialist Labour: 1 (n/a)
Independents: 2 (2)
-----------------------
Total: 179 (161)
-----------------------
A Labour/ Fine Gael coalition government took office, with Brendan Corish (Labour) as Taoiseach, and Garrett Fitzgerald (Fine Gael) as Tanaiste.
 
There was a general election for the Northern Ireland House of Commons on Thursday 9 October 1980. The number of seats won by each party were as follows ( September 1976 election):
Ulster Unionist: 20 [24]
Progressive: 18 [15]
Northern Ireland Labour (NILP); 11 [9]
Nationalist: 3 [4]
---------------------
Total: 52 [52]
------------------
Basil Glass (Progressive) continued in office as Prime Minister at the head of a Progressive/NILP government.
 
Edward MacLysaght was President of the Council of Ireland from October 1959 to October 1965, Michael McLaverty October 1965 to October 1971, and Mervyn Wall October 1971 to October 1977. With Wall having served his term as President, it was time for the members of the Council to choose a new President. [1]

The seven candidates nominated, in alphabetical order, were as follows: Brian Friel, Seamus Heaney, Michael D. Higgins, Augustine Martin, John A. Murphy, Mary Robinson, and Maire Mhac an tSaoi.

[1] For the Council see posts # 2355 and 2356 on page 118.
 
Here are the Wikipedia entries for the candidates for President of the Council of Ireland: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Friel
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seamus_Heaney

The President was chosen by consensus , rather than by voting. So that ruled out anyone controversial. Higgins was ruled out for political reasons, Robinson because she was thought to be too young. Friel, Higgins, Martin and Murphy were safe choices. Mhac an tSaoi would be the radical, innovative choice. Also there was a feeling that it was time for a woman. The Council chose Brian Friel as its President.
 
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A general election to the Scottish Parliament was held in October 1966. The number of seats won by each party were as follows (October 1962 general election):
Conservative: 40 (35)
Liberal: 39 (46)
Socialist Labour: 38 (37)
SNP: 4 (3)
----------------------
Total: 121 (121)
----------------------
A Liberal/Socialist Labour coalition government continued in office, with John Bannerman as First Minister. Bannerman died on 10 May 1969. He was succeeded as leader of the Scottish Liberal Party and First Minister by James Davidson.

The result of the general election to the Scottish Parliament in October 1970 was as follows:
Conservative: 55
Socialist Labour: 34
Liberal: 25
SNP: 7
--------------
Total: 121
-------------
The SNP held the balance of power between a Socialist Labour/Liberal coalition and a Conservative government. They voted to put the former in office because it had the larger number of MSPs. Norman Buchan (Socialist Labour) became First Minister.

The result of the October 1974 election to the Scottish Parliament was as follows:
Conservative : 59
Socialist Labour: 36
Liberal : 14
SNP: 12
----- --------
Total: 121
-------------
This time the SNP voted to put the Conservative Party in government. Hamish Gray became First Minister.

The result of the October 1978 general election to the Scottish Parliament was as follows:
Labour: 38
Conservative: 35
Liberal: 29
SNP: 19
-------------
Total: 121
-------------
Most of the changes in seats were Liberal gains from Conservative. A Labour/ Liberal coalition government took office with Jimmy Reid (Labour) as First Minister.
 
A general election to the Scottish Parliament was held in October 1966. The number of seats won by each party were as follows (October 1962 general election):
Conservative: 40 (35)
Liberal: 39 (46)
Socialist Labour: 38 (37)
SNP: 4 (3)
----------------------
Total: 121 (121)
----------------------
A Liberal/Socialist Labour coalition government continued in office, with John Bannerman as First Minister. Bannerman died on 10 May 1969. He was succeeded as leader of the Scottish Liberal Party and First Minister by James Davidson.

The result of the general election to the Scottish Parliament in October 1970 was as follows:
Conservative: 55
Socialist Labour: 34
Liberal: 25
SNP: 7
--------------
Total: 121
-------------
The SNP held the balance of power between a Socialist Labour/Liberal coalition and a Conservative government. They voted to put the former in office because it had the larger number of MSPs. Norman Buchan (Socialist Labour) became First Minister.

The result of the October 1974 election to the Scottish Parliament was as follows:
Conservative : 59
Socialist Labour: 36
Liberal : 14
SNP: 12
----- --------
Total: 121
-------------
This time the SNP voted to put the Conservative Party in government. Hamish Gray became First Minister.

The result of the October 1978 general election to the Scottish Parliament was as follows:
Labour: 38
Conservative: 35
Liberal: 29
SNP: 19
-------------
Total: 121
-------------
Most of the changes in seats were Liberal gains from Conservative. A Labour/ Liberal coalition government took office with Jimmy Reid (Labour) as First Minister.
Ah Hamish Gray the man whose defeat OTL launched the parliamentary career of one Charles Kennedy..
 
A general election to the Welsh Parliament or Senedd was held in May 1971. The
number of seats won by each party were as follows (May 1967 general election):
Socialist Labour: 31 (26)
Liberal: 16 (23)
Conservative: 10 (9)
Plaid Cymru: 4 (3)
--------------------
Total: 61 (61)
-------------------
A Labour government took power with Cledwyn Hughes as First Minister.

The result of the general election to the Senedd in May 1975 was as follows:
Socialist Labour: 27
Liberal: 17
Conservative: 11
Plaid Cymru: 6
------------------
Total: 61
-----------------
A Socialist Labour/Liberal coalition government took office with Cledwyn Hughes as First Minister and Martin Thomas (Liberal) as Deputy First Minister.

The result of the May 1979 general election was as follows:
Labour: 29
Liberal: 14
Conservative: 11
Plaid Cymru: 7
----------------
Total: 61
----------------
The Labour/Liberal coalition continued in office. But Cledwyn Hughes resigned as First Minister before the election, because he had been selected as Labour candidate for Anglesey in the UK general election in June. He gained the seat from the Liberals in the election. Caerwyn Roderick became First Minister and Martin Thomas continued in office as Deputy First Minister.
 
Barbara Castle reshuffled her cabinet in July 1982. James Callaghan resigned as Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons, and Sir Samuel Silkin resigned as Home Secretary. Castle made the following changes:
Rosa Bancroft from Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary to Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons;
Peter Shore from Defence Secretary to Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary;
Bruce Millan from Scotland Secretary to Defence Secretary;
Judith Hart from Energy Secretary to Scotland Secretary;
Don Concannon promoted from Minister of State Department of Trade and Industry to Energy Secretary;
Reginald Freeson from Minister of Housing and Local Government to Home Secretary;
Michael Meacher from Minister of Health to Minister of Health and Local Government;
Roy Hattersley from Minister of Transport to Minister of Health;
John Golding from Postmaster-General to Minister of Minister of Transport;
Alan Williams from Financial Secretary to the Treasury to Minister of Posts and Communications [formerly Postmaster-General];
Bryan Gould appointed Financial Secretary to the Treasury.
 
Here are the votes for each party in three by-elections in Labour seats in 1982 (1979 general election):
Coatbridge and Airdrie on 24 June caused by the death of James Dempsey:
Ronald King Murray (Labour): 38.2 (42.7)
SNP: 25.6 (26.9)
Conservative: 18.9 (18.6)
Liberal: 17.3 (11.8)
--------------------------------------
Labour majority: 12.6 (15.8)
-------------------------------------
Murray was Labour MP for West Lothian until he was defeated by the SNP in the 1979 general election, and a former Solicitor-General for Scotland.

Peckham on 28 October 1982 caused by the death of Harry Lambourn:
Jim Dowd (Labour): 43.9 (53.3)
Harriet Harman (Liberal): 28.4 (22.6)
Conservative: 23.5 (24.1)
National Front: 3.7 (n/a)
Independent: 0.5 (n/a)
--------------------------------------
Labour majority: 15.5 (29.2)
------------------------------------
Harman was a Liberal in this TL. Her mother was a Liberal MP.

Glasgow Queen's Park on 2 December caused by the death of Frank McElhone:
Helen McElhone (Labour): 41.8 (47.2)
SNP: 21.7 (20.8)
Liberal: 17.4 (15.7)
Conservative: 16.8 (16.9)
Communist: 2.3 (n/a)
-------------------------------------
Labour majority: 20.1 (26.2)
------------------------------------
Helen McElhone was the widow of Frank McElhone.
 
Harriet Harman's mother, Anna, was Liberal MP for Hertford and Stevenage. The Liberal Party were doing well in by-elections after the June 1979 general election. The Berwick-on-Tweed by-election caused by the death of John Frankenburg (Liberal) was held on 15 October 1981. The percentage votes for each party were as follows [1979 general election]:
Desmond Banks (Liberal): 55.8 [48.6]
Conservative: 37.4 [41.9]
Labour: 6.8 [9.5]
-------------------------------------
Liberal majority: 18.4 [6.7]
------------------------------------
Banks was a former Industry and Trade Secretary. He lost his St. Ives seat to the Tories in the 1979 general election.

The percentage votes in the Liverpool Wavertree by-election on 4 February 1982, caused by the death of Cyril Carr (Liberal) was as follows:
Liberal: 45.7 [40.4]
Conservative: 37.0 [38.7]
Labour: 17.3 [20.9]
----------------------------------
Liberal majority: 8.7 [1.7]
--------------------------------

Michael Roberts, the Conservative MP for Cardiff North West since June 1974, died on 10 February 1983. The subsequent by-election took place on 28 April 1983. The percentage votes for each party were as follows:
Conservative: 39.2 [44.3]
Liberal: 32.8 [28.6]
Labour: 24.6 [26.6]
Plaid Cymru: 3.4 [0.5]
-------------------------------------------
Conservative majority: 6.4 [15.7]
-------------------------------------------
After the by-election with its relatively good result for Labour, there was intense media speculation that the Prime Minister would call a general election for June. However the latest opinion polls were showing an average Conservative lead over Labour of 6.5%, compared with 6.9% in 1979, with Conservative at 36%, Liberal at 30.5% Labour 29.5% and others 4%. If repeated in a general election, these figures would mean some Liberal gains at the expense of Labour and the Tories. So Barbara Castle announced in a media statement on 2 May, that there would not be a summer general election.

In the Rhondda by-election on 9 June 1983, caused by the death of Alec Jones (Labour), the Labour majority over Liberal was 47.4%, down from 53.5% in 1979. Plaid Cymru took third place from the Tories.
 
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During the summer of 1983, there was a downward trend in the Conservative lead over Labour in the opinion polls. By the beginning of September it was an average of 2.4%. On Tuesday 6 September, Barbara Castle announced at a media conference outside 10 Downing Street that a general election would be held on Thursday 6 October.

94 MPs were retiring from the House of Commons. Among them were Robert Carr and Reginald Maudling (Conservative), Margaret Herbison and Bob Mellish (Labour) and Jo Grimond and Harold Wilson (Liberal).

In its campaign, the Conservative Party asserted that a Tory government would enable 'bloated industries' to be slimmed down. The coal industry would be made profitable by closing loss making pits. The Labour Party claimed that Tory policies would cause high levels of unemployment. The Liberal Party campaigned as a radical non socialist party. They appealed to people who were anti Tory, but did not want to vote Labour.
 
On election day, 6 October 1983, polling stations were open from 7am to 10pm. The first constituency to declare its result was Torbay, which was held by the Liberals with a majority over Conservative of 10.2%, up from 0.5% in the June 1979 general election. Here are the percentage votes for each party (1979 election):
Liberal: 49.0 (43.0)
Conservative: 38.8 (42,5)
Labour: 12.2 (13.0)
(Ecology: 1.5)
The swing from Conservative to Liberal was 4.85%, But as more results came in, this swing proved to be higher than the average, which settled at around 2.5%.
 
The first Liberal gain from Conservative was Newcastle-upon-Tyne North. The first seat Labour gained from the Tories was Walsall South. There were some Liberal gains from Conservative, a fewer number of Labour gains from Conservative, and few other seats changed hands. When all the constituencies had declared their results by the late afternoon of Friday 7 October, the number of seats won by each party in the House of Commons were as follows (1979 general election):
Labour: 243 (228)
Conservative: 211 (269)
Liberal: 151 (112)
SNP: 14 (12)
Progressive: 8 (3)
Ulster Unionist: 5 (9)
NILP: 4 (5)
Plaid Cymru: 4 (2)
Speaker: 1 (1)
--------------------
Total: 641 (641)
--------------------

Liberal gains from Conservative were: Brentwood and Ongar, Bridgwater, Brigg and Scunthorpe, Bristol West, Conwy, Croydon Central, Darlington, Darwen, Eastbourne, Edinburgh Pentlands, Edinburgh South, Farnham, Gloucestershire South, Gulidford, Halesowen and Stourbridge, Holderness, Horsham and Crawley, Ipswich, Kidderminster, Leeds North West, Margate, Middleton and Prestwich, Newcastle-upon-Tyne North, Norfolk North, Oswestry, Oxford, Plymouth Sutton, Poole, Preston South, Reading North, St. Ives, Shoreham, Southampton Test, Southend East, Stockport North, Stroud, Tonbridge and Malling, Upmimster, Welwyn Garden City, Westbury, Woking, Wokingham, Worcestershire South. Total: 43.

Labour gained the following fifteen seats from Conservative: Aberdeen South, Bebington and Ellesmere Port, Birmingham Selly Oak, Derbyshire South West,
Ealing North, Hemel Hempstead, Leicester East, Leicester South, Lewisham West, Newark, Norwich South, Paddington, Preston North, Walsall South, York.
Labour also gained Basildon , and Dewsbury from Liberal. Conservatives gained Aldridge-Brownhills from Liberal, while Hornchurch was a Liberal gain from Labour.

Plaid Cymru took Anglesey from Labour and Carmathen from Liberal. SNP gains were Galloway from Conservative, and Argyll from Liberal. In Northern Ireland, Progressives gained Belfast North from NILP, and Armagh, Down East, Fermanagh, and Londonderry South from Ulster Unionist.

The percentage votes for each party were as follows:
Conservative: 33.6 (37.2)
Liberal: 30.2 (28.7)
Labour: 29.4 (30.3)
SNP: 3.1 (1,9)
Plaid Cymru: 0.5 (0.5)
Others: 3.2 (1.4).
The Northern Ireland sister parties of the Conservative, Labour and Liberal parties are included in the percentage votes for those parties. The turnout was 79.3% (76.6%).

The general election result was good for Labour. Barbara Castle's gamble in calling an early election had paid off, and the highest number of Labour MPs were elected. The Liberals recovered somewhat after losing seats and votes in the previous three general election. The result was worse for the Tories than they expected. They hoped that they would still be the largest party in the House of Commons.
 
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Here are the number of seats in the House of Commons for each nation in the UK won by each party (June 1979 general election):
England:
Conservative: 200 (253)
Labour: 192 (177)
Liberal: 129 (91)
----------------------
Total: 521 (521)
----------------------
Northern Ireland:
Progressive: 8 (3)
Ulster Unionist: 5 (9)
NILP: 4 (5)
-------------------
Total: 17 (17)
-------------------
Scotland:
Labour: 32 (31)
Liberal: 14 (13)
SNP: 14 (12)
Conservative: 7 (11)
-------------------
Total: 67 (67)
------------------
Wales:
Labour: 19 (20)
Liberal: 8 (8)
Conservative: 4 (5)
Plaid Cymru: 4 (2)
Speaker: 1 (1)
-----------------
Total: 36 (36)
-----------------

Four of the new MPs were Anthony Blair, Jeremy Corbyn, Harriet Harman and Peter Tatchell. Blair was elected Conservative MP for the safe seat of Dorking. Corbyn gained Birmingham Selly Oak for Labour from Conservative by a majority of 38. Harman held Putney for the Liberals. Tatchell was elected Labour MP for the safe seat of Bermondsey. Described by the media as a ' Gay Rights' activist , he was subject to vicious homophobic abuse in his election campaign. He received hate mail and death threats, and was attacked in the street. He was the first openly gay MP. Charles Kennedy was the Liberal candidate for the safe SNP constituency of Western Isles. He increased the Liberal vote from 19.5% to 23.1%, and took second place from Labour.

After negotiations between the Labour and Liberal parties during the weekend of 7 and 8 October 1983, the two parties agreed to form a coalition government. Together with the Progressives and NILP, it would have 406 MPs in the House of Commons, to 234 MPs for all other parties, a majority of 172.
 
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