Soham Grammarians - Mock General Election 1966

The candidates L-R: GC Chambers (Communist) - DM Salmon (Labour)  - AG Smith (Conservative) - SE Quicke (Liberal):
Mr Rennison announced the results at 3.40pm on Thursday 31st March

The crowd: The editor (duffle coated, at front) is among those shown.
Staff spotted include Mr Ades, Mr Hemmings, Mr Hart, Mr Humphry, Mr Makin.

Report in the Summer 1966 Soham Grammarian
Election fever hit the school during the last two weeks of the Easter Term when, for the second time, a Mock Election was held at the same time as the National Election. To prevent a lengthy campaign, as occurred in 1964, canvassing was limited to the week before polling day. Each candidate had the Main Hall at his disposal for one day.

When the Nomination Papers were handed in by 3.45 p.m. on Wednesday, 23rd March the fight was found to be four-cornered with G. C. Chambers standing as Communist, S. E. Quicke for the Liberals, D. M. Salmon for the Socialists and A. G. Smith for the Conservatives. Their respective agents (R. C. Rawlinson, R. K. Youngs, J. A. Brown and R. J. Brown) were responsible for the placing of the party posters in the appropriate places.

The various party meetings in the Main Hall were well conducted with the candidates putting forward their policies with varying amounts of success. Heckling did not reach the pitch it did in the National Election due to the candidates’ ability to deal with it and the vigilant policing of Mr. J. W. Rennison, who acted as “official bouncer” if the heckling got out of hand.

The result of the School’s Mock Election announced by Mr. J. W. Rennison at 3.40 p.m. on Thursday, 31st March was:—
Chambers, G. C. (Communist)      42
Quicke, S. E.   (Liberal)                   91
Salmon, D. M.   (Labour)                79
Smith A.G. (Conservatives)            141

Conservative majority                      52

The Communist candidate lost his deposit as he failed to obtain one-eighth of the total votes cast.
Total votes cast 355 +1 spoilt out of a total of 394 boys in the school.
Thus the percentage poll decreased from 95.2 in 1964 to 90.4.

Distribution of votes:-
Communist 11.8%
Liberal 25.6% (a decrease of 6.2% since 1964)
Labour 22.2% (an increase of 8.1% since 1964)
Conservative 40.2% (a decrease of 1.4% since 1964)

The Conservative victory was, as in 1964, expected, but the real surprise was the increase in the Labour vote, at the expense predominantly of the Liberal party. The Conservative support was strongest in the First and Sixth Forms, tending to be lowest in the Third and Fourth Forms.

In contrast to this the Communist party stronghold was in the Fourth and Fifth Forms, with no support at all in the First and Sixth Forms. Support for the Labour and Liberal parties was spread fairly evenly throughout the School.

It seems that the Labour party has made a revival in the School, after the disappointing result in 1964, and that the Liberal party will have a hard fight on their hands to retain their present position in the next election (in 5 years?).


Photos source: Richard Vince SG64
If you can add photos or recollections or other items to this page, please contact the editor
page created 7 Jul 22; updated 8 Jul 22