General Election 1983

The 1983 election was called for 9th June, a year earlier than was necessary. The Conservative government under Margaret Thatcher had had three years of deep unpopularity, but victory in the Falklands War (April-June 1982) saw a turn-around in their approval. Labour was deeply divided having swung to the left and seen the right wing of the party split to form the SDP. This and an 'improving' economy gave Ms.Thatcher the opportunity to go to the polls expecting victory.

The Ecology Party had consolidated their position since 1979 and managed to put up 109 (108)1 candidates.

A manifesto was produced entitled "Politics for Life". It was a 40 page booklet with the first half outlining the principles behind green politics, and the second half giving detailed policy proposals. The conclusion was titled "Politics as if People Mattered"

The total votes cast for ECO was 54,899 (53,848) 1, an absolute increase over 1979 but with over twice as many constituencies being contested the actual share of the vote fell to 1.04% across constituencies contested. Nonetheless Tony Jones, member of the Eco Election Coordinating Committee, managed to find reasons to be optimistic in an article in the July-August 1983 issue of GreenLine (page 9).

Constituency Ecology Candidate Votes Share
Aberdeen North Ms. ME Harty 367 0.90%
Altrincham and Sale Mrs CMH Marsh 629 1.31%
Angus East Mrs PM Ross 239 0.55%
Ashford Dr. CA Porter 569 1.19%
Bath DP Grimes 441 0.92%
Batley and Spen CR Lord 493 0.91%
Battersea Mrs SG Willington 377 0.86%
Bexhill and Battle Miss APM Rix 538 1.19%
Birkenhead Miss HI Clarke 337 0.72%
Birmingham Edgbaston Dr. J Hurdley 516 1.41%
Bournemouth East TD Dykes 273 0.58%
Bradford South R Adsett 308 0.62%
Bridlington SJO Tooke 803 1.48%
Bristol East Mrs GA Dorey 311 0.64%
Bristol South G Collard 352 0.71%
Bristol West JFK Scott 872 1.69%
Bromsgrove JC Churchman 716 1.44%
Canterbury DR Conder 962 1.87%
Cardiff West GP Jones 352 0.86%
Carmarthen B Kingzett 374 0.72%
Carshalton and Wallington RW Steel 784 1.58%
Ceredigion & Pembroke North Miss MA Smith 431 0.92%
Cheltenham DG Swindley 479 0.83%
Chichester J Sherlock 838 1.51%
Chingford JE Morgan 479 1.17%
Chipping Barnet EA Parry 552 1.34%
Chorley AS Holgate 451 0.78%
Corby Miss RJ Stanning 505 1.03%
Cornwall South East J Chadwick 337 0.66%
Crosby PM Hussey 415 0.64%
Croydon North West TAJ Rowe 286 0.73%
Derby South E Wall 297 0.64%
Devon North RN Joanes 669 1.31%
Dover MJ Potter 404 0.77%
Dulwich RCL Baker 237 0.62%
Dundee West PSH Marks 302 0.65%
Dunfermline West SJ Dobson 321 0.89%
Edinburgh Pentlands AT Nicol-Smith 687 1.58%
Edinburgh South Mrs LM Hendry 450 1.00%
Enfield North Miss TM Persighetti 320 0.65%
Epping Forest RW Boenke 452 0.93%
Exeter PR Frings 779 1.36%
Fife Central DA Allison 297 0.75%
Fife North East TGP Flinn 242 0.65%
Finchley Mrs SJ Wilkinson 279 0.73%
Fulham Miss JM Grimes 277 0.70%
Gainsborough and Horncastle GW Dixon 279 0.55%
Glasgow Hillhead A Whitelaw 239 0.58%
Gloucester JH Waters 479 0.85%
Gravesham MD Sewell 495 0.90%
Hackney North & Stoke Newington DJ Fitzpatrick 492 1.35%
Halesowen and Stourbridge DJ Rudd 582 1.00%
Hammersmith Mrs DM Sutherland 325 0.99%
Harborough B Fewster 802 1.46%
Hereford Ms. VC Murray 463 0.95%
Hornchurch KM Crowson 219 0.48%
Hornsey and Wood Green PSI Lang 854 1.62%
Horsham PH Spurrier 925 1.54%
Huntingdon TMB Eiloart 444 0.81%
Hyndburn F Smith 266 0.58%
Keighley MJ Penney 302 0.60%
Kensington JE Porritt 649 2.09%
Kingston upon Thames Miss A Presant-Collins 290 0.71%
Leeds North West A Laurence 673 1.39%
Leicester South CJ Davies 495 0.93%
Leicestershire North West Mrs DG Freer 637 1.15%
Leominster Miss FM Norman 668 1.30%
Lewes RPC Mutter 1221 2.44%
Lewisham East AJ Hassard 270 0.63%
Loughborough DG Whitebread 591 1.08%
Milton Keynes (NE) AH Francis 494 0.84%
Newark Mrs PA Hewis 463 0.95%
Newcastle upon Tyne Central DN Jacques 478 1.07%
Northavon KR Radmall 499 0.87%
Norwich South AD Carter 468 0.96%
Ogmore Dr. NB Thomas 1161 2.94%
Oxford West and Abingdon Ms. SG Starmer 544 1.09%
Paisley North Dr. Nicolette Carlaw 439 1.27%
Paisley South DG Mellor 271 0.72%
Pembroke DL Hoffman 478 0.90%
Peterborough NA Callaghan 511 0.88%
Plymouth Sutton SR Shaw 470 1.03%
Pontypridd AK Jones 449 1.01%
Putney Mrs FR Baillie-Grohman 190 0.40%
Reading East G Darnton 519 1.09%
Reigate DR Newell 1029 2.03%
Rushcliffe Mrs M Pook 518 0.96%
Rutland and Melton Ms. HA Goddard 532 0.97%
Shipley S Shepherd 521 1.00%
Slough IE Flindall 325 0.63%
South Hams Ms. WJ Morgan 518 0.93%
St. Ives HS Hoptrough 439 0.93%
Stockport MJ Shipley 369 0.84%
Surbiton J MacLellan 551 1.65%
Swansea West GE Oubridge 265 0.62%
The City of London & Westminster South RE Shorter 419 1.19%
Tooting Miss EM Shaw 255 0.55%
Twickenham JJ Clarke 424 0.85%
Walthamstow SW Lambert 424 1.28%
Wanstead and Woodford Mrs C Warth 476 1.21%
Warrington South NS Chantrell 403 0.74%
Warwick and Leamington NJ Charlton 685 1.31%
Westbury PW Ekins 609 1.01%
Westminster North TH Cooper 527 1.19%
Westmorland and Lonsdale RA Gibson 805 1.66%
Wiltshire North E Barnham 678 1.16%
Wimbledon A Jones 717 1.54%
Worcestershire South GHM Woodford 866 1.60%

In terms of votes the best result was RPC Mutter in Lewes with 1221. Dr.Thomas and D.R. Newell in Reigate were the only others to get over 1000 votes.

Looking at vote share Thomas in Ogmore got 2.94%, while Mutter gained 2.44% and Newell 2.03%. The only other candidate to poll over 2% share was Jonathon Porritt in Kensington, the fifth smallest constituency in England with only 31,055 electors on the register. It was the smallest constituency contested by Ecology.

It was certainly a disappointment for many in Eco that no progress had been made since 1979.  


Notes: 1. The figure of 109 and 54,899 votes comes from the Green Line article. The figure of 108 and 53,848 votes is from election results reported by UK-Elect. Most likely one Eco candidate either failed to get the correct party label on the ballot paper, or the UK-Elect figures have misallocated one candidate. The results table uses the UK-Elect data as the most complete set we have found.

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