ELECTIONS in Barrow have rarely produced the human drama, or given the shock result, as that seen in 1983.

The Mail, on June 10, noted: "Labour crashed to defeat at Barrow for the first time in nearly 40 years, as the Tories swept back to power in a landslide victory.

"Albert Booth, Barrow's former MP and a former cabinet minister, was among a number of well known Labour personalities, including Anthony Wedgwood Benn, who have not been returned.

"Tory newcomer Cecil Franks, aided by the boundary reshuffle, completely wiped out Mr Booth's comfortable 7,000 plus majority and raced in more than 4,500 votes clear.

"Jubilant Tories broke into rapturous cheering as returning officer, Mr Derek Lyon, officially declared the result shortly after 3.30am.

"Earlier Mr Booth, who had been Barrow's MP since 1966 and was Secretary of State for Employment in the last Labour administration, stood grim-faced as the final tally was formally agreed.

"The SDP's David Cottier trailed in third, more than 6,000 behind Mr Booth."

The final tally was Conservatives 22,284; Labour on 17,707 and the Social Democratic Party on 11,079.

Mr Franks, MP for Barrow and the newly included Ulverston, said: "I think what we have achieved in what has basically been a three-week campaign is incredible.

his election campaign in the submarine-building town of Barrow had been greatly helped by the support for unilateral nuclear disarmament  of Labour leader Michael Foot.

As he looked forward to taking up his place in the House of Commons, Mr Franks told The Mail: "I think you will see a tremendous change in Barrow politics and that the Conservative Party will be a force to be reckoned with.

"The campaign has drawn in a tremendous body of enthusiastic and conscientious supporters."

Albert Booth didn't stay unemployed for long and by September was a Sheffield-based director of the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive on £423 per week.

Mr Franks was able to hold the Barrow and Furness seat in a general election held on June 11 in 1987 - where he gained 25,431 votes to the 21,504 of nearest rival, Labour candidate Peter Phizacklea.

However, by March 1990 the national row over the introduction of the Poll Tax saw the Conservative group of councillors in Barrow distance themselves from their own MP.