©National Archives

Returns and writs of Margaret Thatcher, 1979 Returns and writs of the former Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, for the constituency of Finchley, in 1979.

Margaret Hilda Thatcher first won this parliamentary seat in 1959. She succeeded Edward Heath as leader of the Conservative Party in 1975 and won the general election of 1979 to become the first woman prime minister in European history.

By the time Margaret Thatcher was ousted from the role of leader in 1990, she had become the United Kingdom's longest serving 20th Century prime minister. She was also the first to win three consecutive terms of office. Throughout her eleven years in leadership she consistently pursued policies that earned her the nickname of the Iron Lady.