I came across a fascinating document earlier today via Gary Gibbons' blog.
It is a contemporary account of the internal machinations of the Heath government in the immediate aftermath of the first 1974 election which led to a hung parliament written by Robert Armstrong (Heath's principal private secretary from 1970 - 1974 - his Bernard Woolley to Heath's Jim Hacker if you will). It was apparently released after an FOI request from the Thatcher Foundation. Perhaps she was interested in the details of Heath's fall from power that ultimately led to her inexorable rise!
It details how Heath tried desperately to hold onto power and the discussions he had both with the Ulster Unionists and also Jeremy Thorpe, the then leader of the Liberal Party. There are some fascinating insights for political geeks like me such as the lengths Thorpe went to to avoid journalists as he travelled back from Devon to London and the constitutional consequences of the various courses of action that were being considered.
Towards the end it almost becomes like an excerpt from a novel as Armstrong details the wordless trip to the Palace with Heath and how he almost broke down in tears as Sir Martin Charteris, The Queen's Private Secretary of the time sympathised with him.
It's 22 pages of scanned in type with manual corrections in PDF form and it is well worth reading here.
Who knows, Gordon Brown may find himself in a similar position to Heath in a few months time...
UPDATE: The Hung Parliament 2010 blog has a much more detailed analysis of this document and its contents in this blogpost.