Hazell, Joseph C. N. (2018) A Rise in Conservatism? West Yorkshire politics 1979-87 and the aftermath of the Winter of Discontent: A comprehensive study of election results in West Yorkshire from 1982-87. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

A Rise in Conservatism? West Yorkshire politics 1979-87 and the aftermath of the Winter of Discontent explores the local election results from 1982-1987 in West Yorkshire, specifically in Bradford, Calderdale, Doncaster, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield – Barnsley is also explored to act as a comparison to South Yorkshire. The West Yorkshire political landscape surrounding the Conservatives, and the local election is an area that seems to have gone unnoticed.

West Yorkshire politics was certainly dynamic during the 1980s. This is a unique piece of local, oral historical research. The primary aim is to show how the Conservatives had a strong foothold in Yorkshire during the 1980s. This thesis challenges the concept of a North/South divide in relation to the success of Thatcherism and Conservatism.

The Thesis is broken down into three main chapters: The first chapter is a significant analysis of the local election results in West Yorkshire, which enables us to understand Conservative success in the region. In the end, showing how success in the local elections, ultimately, underpins the national success of the Conservatives.

The second and third chapters are the qualitative chapters, which help to give an overall context to the statistics analysed in chapter one. Chapter two explores the aftermath of the Yorkshire winter of discontent, along with the Conservatives policy on council house sales, and begins to analyse the impact of the miners strikes. Finally, chapter four covers the very local aspect of this thesis. It begins to explore the deeply interesting Wakefield General Elections in 1983 and 1987, a topic that has not been previously been researched or written about. This is done by using the testimony of two predominant figures of the General Elections; Norman J Hazell (Conservative Party Parliamentary candidate for Wakefield 1983-1987) and David Hinchcliffe. (Wakefield Labour MP 1987-2005).

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