BOROUGH OF BARNET BACKS THE TORIES
All four M.P.'s are in again
A resounding victory for the Conservative with an increased majority—and a bitter blow for the Liberals who, after brave talk of snatching the seat, were rudely pushed into third place by Labour. That was the general election result for the Finchley Constituency.
Against the swing of the whole country, Mrs. Margaret Thatcher did the unexpected and increased her majority by over six hundred.
The Liberals, who had earlier been talking in terms of twenty-thousand votes, got only thirteen thousand.
Labour followed the national trend and increased their vote by two thousand.
For Mrs. Thatcher it was a night of triumph. Only two other Conservative members in the country increased their majorities, as she did.
If there was little comfort for the Tories in the rest of the country they were at least jubilant at the Hendon College on Thursday night. All four seats in the borough were retained by the Conservatives.
As the Mayor, Alderman K. G. Pamplin, announced the result his voice was drowned in the cheers of Conservative supporters.
They were even more ecstatic when, minutes later, came the news that they had held on to the marginal seat of Hendon North.
At one time, after repeatedly calling for order, Alderman Pamplin threatened to have some young people in the hall ejected by the police.
With her voice at times lost under the shouts of her supporters and counter noises, Mrs. Thatcher said it had been a wonderful fight.
“We are always up against the difficulty that if we get stuck into the attack we are slanging; if we fight a constructive campaign we are dull” , she said.
The rest of her words were lost as the hall erupted into sound.
Next on her feet was the Labour candidate Mrs. Sieve who was given a comparatively quiet hearing. “Thank you to all my supporters for the very fine way in which this campaign was fought” , she said.
Then came Liberal Councillor Frank Davis. Looking tired and despondent he shouted against the noise: “In the Finchley division the Conservative vote has fallen for the third time in succession.”
And the result, claimed Councillor Davis, was a “sad reflection” on the democratic system of representation because the total number of votes cast against Mrs. Thatcher was higher than she had gained.
“It is no reflection on the Liberals that they are victims of the big party machine” , added Councillor Davis.
At this point supporters of the Conservatives and Labour, standing on chairs, started the slow handclap.
Nothing daunted, Councillor Davis shouted back: “We shall fight again.”
For Mrs. Thatcher the day was not yet over. She worked late into the night sending out “thank-you” letters to her supporters.
The result was declared at about 12.30—a lot earlier than most people expected. Almost three-quarters of the electorate used their vote.