I was living in London at the time Thatcher first won.  She did not receive a
majority by any means.  What happened was that the Lib-Dems broke off
from Labour and the non-Thatcher vote was split.  To my knowledge she
never won a majority in her 12 years.  As I remember, she won 41% that
first time--Jimmy Carter was assumed to have destroyed Democrats on
that percentage, and she was assumed to have triumphed on that
percentage.  And interestingly she never won Scotland.  Part of Scottish
anger that built up during those years was the rule they never chose, and
that helped lead to the new Parliament.  I went to Edinburgh for the vote on
the Parliament and tax-raising powers, and one of the most interesting
(and comic) aspects of it was that Thatcher went up to Scotland late on
election day to urge them to vote against it, largely on the grounds it would
increase taxes.  Meanwhile, Scots were being interviewed on TV and
asked if they thought thier taxes would rise, and they said "yes."  Then
they asked if they planned to vote for it, and they said "yes."  I kept
thinking at the time that absolutely nothing could have helped the
"yes/yes" vote more than Thatcher running up there to urge Scots not to.
She was pretty generally hated in Scotland.

Date sent:              Sat, 7 Dec 2002 11:36:54 -0500
Send reply to:          "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
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Subject:                Re: OT: Back Towards Eliot, was (and will be again) Re: Thatcher,
                feminism, etc.
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Someone said:

Frances Rushworth wrote:
> As an ordinary middle class woman in London, it was not my
> impression that Mrs Thatcher enjoyed general support.

As a student in New York City, it was not my impression that Mrl Reagan
enjoyed general support at about that time, either.  I do not know if the
circles to which an "ordinary middle class woman in Londan" was exposed
were more or less reprsentative of the relevant electorate than those to
which a student in New York City was exposed, but the election results
suggest she and I both didn't get around enough to serve as reliable

Tom K