Britain will be going to the polls to vote for a new government on May 3rd.
GV Common crier walks towards Royal Exchange in London and makes proclamation (2 shots)
GV Houses of Parliament with police outside (2 shots)
GV Notice saying Westminster Hall temporarily closed
GV Poster with three political leaders
SV Transport House
SV INTERIOR ZOOM INTO CU Ron Hayward, Labour Party General Secretary, interviewed by John Darby (3 shots)
GV PAN FROM Transport House TO Conservative headquarters in Smith Square AND CU sign (2 shots)
CU Lord Thornycroft speaking (2 shots)
COMMON CRIER: "Oyez, oyez, oyez. By the Queen, a proclamation for dissolving the present Parliament and declaring the calling of another. Elizabeth Regina. Whereas we have thought fit by and with the advice of our Privy Council to dissolve this present Parliament, we do to that end publish this our Royal proclamation."
DARBY: "Mr. Hayward, unlike the United States you really can't plan ahead for a specific election date. What problems does this cause here in Britain?"
HAYWARD: "Well it cause problems inasmuch of course, as you say that there's no set date. The government has a term of office for five years, or else it gets defeated. And we were defeated, we've been a minority government now for the best part of three years. We were defeated and so immediately they, the Prime Minister of the day goes to the Queen, she issues a proclamation and there's a General Election. If you have a majority, then of course you choose your own time. But rarely do governments go to the full five years."
DARBY: "What special security problems do you face in this election?"
HAYWARD: "The normal security problems that ...and they're apparent right throughout the United Kingdom. The police have advised all parliamentary candidates, irrespective of party to take simple and sensible precautions, and at party headquarters of all major parties we've had to take special precautions to see that people keep the peace."
THORNYCROFT: "We need more???money like everybody needs more money for anything they have to do. But I'm very glad to say that it's coming in, there seems to be a real determination to get a change of government in this country, and I'm not going to be beaten for lack of money."
DARBY: "What special security arrangements have you to face up to during this election?"
THORNYCROFT: "I'm afraid that in this country, as many others, security is a problem."
DARBY: "Does it mean this will be less of a public campaign?"
THORNYCROFT: "No it won't."
DARBY: "Would it be fair nevertheless to say that the 21 per cent lead that one national newspaper gave you yesterday, surely must please you?"
THORNYCROFT: "Well, actually it doesn't. I never believe these theories, and I think 21 per cent leads don't exist, and cause atmospheres of complacency which I despair of."
REPORTERS: JOHN DARBY
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Britain will be going to the polls to vote for a new government on May 3rd. In London this week the political parties are beginning their campaigns in earnest. prime Minister James Callaghan of the Labour party fired the opening shots with an attack on the European Common Market and the Conservative opposition, saying that if the Conservatives win they will "Let the Europeans walk all over them". Visnews reporter John Darby went to the campaign headquarters to find out more about the business of preparing for an election. First of all he watched as the Common Crier made the official announcement of the dissolution of Parliament on the steps of the Royal Exchange.
SYNOPSIS: Security is tight at the Houses of Parliament after the recent death by car bomb of Conservative Member of Parliament Airey Neave. Westminster Hall is temporarily closed to the public. At Labour Party headquarters John Darby spoke to Party General Secretary Ron Hayward.
On the other side of Smith Square, outside the headquarters of the Conservative party, which is led by Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, John Darby asked the party Chairman Lord Thornycroft about the problem of financing a campaign.