This film is part of Free

Coventry North West By-election

Who's who in the 1976 Coventry North West by-election. A vital campaign for a former industrial centre now in economic crisis.

News 1976 5 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Media Archive for Central England


In 1976 Coventry had the highest unemployment rate of any city in the Midlands. The once prosperous car factories were in crisis as British Leyland lost millions and Chrysler sank under a wave of never ending industrial strife. Add to this a by-election with a former Jaguar manager hoping to win for Labour and two extreme right wing parties aiming to stir up the protest vote.

Labour retained the seat with a new MP: Geoffrey Robinson, who later went on to be a Paymaster General in the Labour government of the late 1990s.