THE election results were in: it was June 12, 1987, and Margaret Thatcher had won a third successive term in office. But Scotland was swimming against the tide, and newspapers said she now faced all-out opposition from Labour north of the border, where her triumph had been halted.

The following day we reported (above) that Labour MPs could demand the creation of a Scottish Assembly, and the scrapping of the poll tax, as part of their price for constitutional co-operation at Westminster.

On June 16, 49 of Labour’s 50 Scottish MPs discussed the next move. Donald Dewar, Shadow Scottish Secretary, said the fight to force the Conservatives to concede an Assembly would be a long-term affair. The assembly was a priority but there would be no wild, extra-parliamentary activity. “I am not promising miracles”, he said, “and I am planning for a long campaign. There is no question of a four-week election-type sprint and collapse at the end. However, if there is a thrawn and Thatcherite approach there will be a lot of action and very effective unity within the Labour Group”.

The MPs here (five were unavailable for the photocall) are: Bob Hughes, Frank Doran, George Foulkes, Martin O’Neill, Norman Hogg, Brian Wilson, David Lambie, John McFall, John McAllion, Ernie Ross, Gordon Brown, Dick Douglas, Adam Ingram, John Home Robertson, Alistair Darling, Gavin Strang, Ron Brown, Nigel Griffiths, Harry Ewing, Dennis Canavan, Henry McLeish, Bob McTaggart, John Maxton, Donald Dewar, Bruce Millan, George Galloway, Maria Fyfe, Jimmy Dunnachie, Jimmy Wray, Tommy McAvoy, David Marshall, Norman Godman, George Robertson, Bill McKelvey, Tam Dalyell, Robin Cook, Alex Eadie, John Smith, Tom Clarke, John Reid, Allen Adams, Norman Buchan, Tommy Graham, Sam Galbraith and Calum Macdonald.

Read more: Herald Diary