How party leaders fought their early general election campaigns

Written by David Singleton on 11 May 2017 in Diary

Old election leaflets have been unearthed by the University of Bristol.

Theresa May won her Maidenhead constituency in 2001 after highlighting her "common sense approach" to voters.

Jeremy Corbyn was first elected as MP for Islington North in 1983 having pledged to "put people first".

And a youthful Tim Farron flagged up his love of football and his Christian credentials when he ran for the North West Durham constituency in 1992, having just graduated from Newcastle University.

His election literature stated: "A dedicated community activist, Tim joined the Liberal Party when he was 16. Tim is also a member of ‘Greenpeace’, ‘Shelter’ and ‘Charter 88’.

"In his spare time (he doesn’t have much!) Tim is a football fanatic, a member of the Christian Union and a keen writer."

The early election leaflets have been unearthed by the University of Bristol from its archive of election material, believed to be the biggest of its kind in the UK.

The Special Collections holds an extensive archive of over 30,000 election addresses for every British general election since 1892 – and the university wants to keep expanding it.

Hannah Lowery, archivist in Special Collections, said: "With the public’s assistance, we hope to collect a broad range of election addresses, manifestos and other publicity for the upcoming general election.

"We cover all 650 seats in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales so need help from far and wide. If you feel able to help, please do donate any election material you come across rather than throwing it away."

The university is calling for election addresses, manifestos, and related publicity from any constituency and party to be sent to: Special Collections, Arts and Social Sciences Library, University of Bristol, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol, BS8 1TJ.


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