On this day: Harold Wilson’s Labour wins a majority
October 1974 saw a record 45 Jewish MPs elected to parliament. Of those, 35 were “Jewish socialists” while ten were Conservatives. In total, 91 Jewish candidates stood for election, less than at the February vote.
However The JC reported that “at his own request, MP Clement Freud…is no longer included in the list of Jewish parliamentarians.”
A second election was called that year after Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson took power with a hung parliament. At the second election, held on October 10 but with the results announced a day later, he increased his majority to three.
The election gave a boost to female Jewish politicians. The numbers of Labour women doubled (to four) with the arrival of Millie Miller and Helen Middleweek, both members of Labour Friends of Israel.
Ms Middleweek, a former president of the Cambridge Union, won by a margin of 520 votes in Welwyn and Hatfield, having unsuccessfully contested the Wolverhampton South West constituency in February.
She became a life peer in 1996 and is perhaps better known now as Baroness Hayman, elected in 2006 as the House of Lords’ first Lord Speaker.
Baroness Hayman’s election usurped the then-youngest Member of the Commons, Malcolm Rifkind, who was re-elected to his Kensington seat in May 2010 with 17,595 votes and a majority of 8,616.
What the JC said: The fate of the Jewish candidates and the support they received was again related to the general or regional fortunes of the party they represented. Thus the sole Jewish Communist candidate and his 28 comrades forfeited their deposits, as did the sole Jewish independent.
See more from the JC archives here