In some ways the election was a re-run of 1983 with another Conservative landslide due in part to a fragmented opposition.
The year-long miners' strike, the Westland affair and the U.S. raid on Libya were all in voters' minds. More materially, unemployment had started falling, taxes had been cut, and the "Lawson boom" was well under way.
The overall results mask a degree of polarisation as the South of England swung further towards the Tories; whilst the North, Wales and Scotland tended to Labour. (See Swingplot 87 for more details.)