#12 The Political Landscape

This 1966 leaflet shows the policies of the Labour Government which was in power in the year that Stirling University was established.

Image from Scottish Political Archive, University of Stirling.

The 1966 United Kingdom general election on 31 March 1966 had been easily won by sitting Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson. Wilson’s decision to call an election turned on the fact that his government,elected a mere 17 months previously in 1964, had an unworkably small majority of only 4 MPs. The new Labour government was returned with a much larger majority of 96 MPs.
In the period that the University of Stirling was first established a number of liberalising social reforms were passed through parliament.  These included the near abolition of capital punishment,decriminalisation of sex between men in private (in England and Wales only), liberalisation of abortion law and the abolition of theatre censorship. The Divorce Reform Act 1969 was passed by Parliament (and came into effect in 1971) and the franchise was also extended with the reduction of the voting age from twenty-one to eighteen in 1969.
The Labour administration also carried out the widespread expansion of Higher Education and implemented the recommendations of the Robbins Report to create over 30 new polytechnics in the UK and new Universities like Stirling.  

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