It was a tumultuous political time. The Conservative British Prime Minister wanted to consolidate their authority and called a snap General Election. The signs had looked good for an increased majority, but in a surprising result, they actually lost their majority and were forced to enter coalition talks with a minor party.
Meanwhile, across the Channel, it was a rare year in which a British General Election coincided with a French Presidential one. This election saw a centrist former Economy Minister win the election, and then go on to turn the movement that had won him the presidency into a full-fledged party of the political centre.
The year, of course, was 1974 with Edward Heath’s snap election losing him his majority and being forced into ultimately unsuccessful talks with the Liberals, while in France Valery Giscard D’Estaing became President and turned his Independent Republicans movement into the Union for French Democracy.
The year went on to have a second general election in the UK, and also saw the first ever resignation of a US President after a scandal about obstruction of justice grew to a point where he was likely to be impeached and removed from office.
All this, of course, bears no resemblance to anything that has happened in 2017.
Originally published at www.nickbarlow.com on June 14, 2017.