This film is part of Free

Darlington By-election

Five hours on a coach for the stalwarts of Walsall's Labour Party on an away day to campaign in far off Darlington.

Current affairs 1983 5 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Media Archive for Central England


The strength of any political party can be judged, not only on its leaders, but also on those vital foot soldiers willing to get up at five in the morning to campaign for their party in far flung areas (well, in this case, Darlington). Rob Whitehouse joins high spirited members of the Walsall Labour party, as they travel north to rally support for their cause in a vital 1983 by-election.

The Darlington by-election was an important one for Labour who were keen to halt the recent rise of the SDP. The SDP, however, ran a poor campaign and Labour retained the seat under Oswald O'Brien only to lose it three months later at the General Election when Michael Fallon won for the Conservatives.