“I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.”

-Margaret Thatcher

On this day in 1987, Margaret Thatcher became the first British Prime Minister to win a third consecutive term to office in over one hundred and sixty years. The Conservatives won another landslide victory, the second under Thatcher, and returned to government with Thatcherism on the forefront once again.

Unlike her previous two terms at the helm however, her third would not prove to be as successful. The Iron Lady, as many came to know her as, Thatcher’s support for reforms such as the Community Charge poll tax and her increasingly sceptic view of involvement within the European community were widely unpopular. In November 1990, a series of events spelled the beginning of the end of Thatcher’s reign.

Opposition to her rule had divided the Conservatives among themselves and their unity wavered. Resignations within the party followed and on 14 November, Michael Heseltine, a former cabinet minister, challenged Thatcher’s leadership. Thatcher won the first round of the contest, but before the results of the second were announced, Thatcher resigned as Prime Minister on 22 November, after having held the position for more than 11 years and paved the way for a younger core of leadership to emerge and take the party forward.