All 658 seats in the House of Commons
330 seats needed for a majority
The UK parliament after the 1812 election
The 1812 United Kingdom general election was the fourth general election to be held after the Union of Great Britain and Ireland.
The fourth United Kingdom Parliament was dissolved on 29 September 1812. The new Parliament was summoned to meet on 24 November 1812, for a maximum seven-year term from that date. The maximum term could be and normally was curtailed, by the monarch dissolving the Parliament, before its term expired.
Following the 1807 election the Pittite Tory ministry, led as Prime Minister by the Duke of Portland (who still claimed to be a Whig), continued to prosecute the Napoleonic Wars.
At the core of the opposition were the Foxite Whigs, led since the death of Fox in 1806 by Earl Grey (known by the courtesy title of Viscount Howick and a member of the House of Commons from 1806–07). However, as Foord observes: "the affairs of the party during most of this period were in a state of uncertainty and confusion". Grey was not the commanding leader Fox had been. After Grey inherited his peerage and went to the House of Lords in 1807, the party leadership in the House of Commons was extremely weak.
The Grenvillites, associated with the Whig Prime Minister before Portland, William Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville, were also in opposition but were of less significance than the Foxites. Despite this Grenville was recognised as the first Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords.
A relative of Grey's wife, George Ponsonby, was proposed to Whig MPs by Grey and Grenville as the Whig leader in the House of Commons. Ponsonby was the first person recognised as the official Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons, as opposed to the leader of an opposition faction. He proved to be incompetent but could not be persuaded to resign.
Until 1812 the Tory faction associated with another former Prime Minister, Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth, and were also out of office.[ clarification needed ]
The smallest component of the opposition were the Radicals, who were a largely middle-class group of reformers. They had philosophical differences with the more aristocratic Whigs, but usually ended up voting with them in Parliament.
In 1809 Portland, whose health was failing, resigned. The new Tory Prime Minister was Spencer Perceval. In April 1812 he brought Sidmouth into the cabinet. A month later, on 11 May 1812, Perceval was assassinated. The premiership passed to the Earl of Liverpool, who failed to attract Grenville. This was a further stage in the development of a two-party system—just about all Tories supported the government and all Whigs opposed it.
The general election of 1812 returned the Tories to power for another term.
At this period there was not one election day. After receiving a writ (a royal command) for the election to be held, the local returning officer fixed the election timetable for the particular constituency or constituencies he was concerned with. Polling in seats with contested elections could continue for many days.
An example of what happened in the 1812 election was the Irish constituency of Westmeath. Walker confirms the date of election was 24 October 1812. Stooks Smith indicates that there were three days of polling, during which time 950 electors came to the hustings and voted. Longer contests were possible. The polling in the Berkshire election of 1812 went on for 15 days (with 1,992 electors voting).
The time between the first and last contests in the general election was 5 October to 10 November 1812.
Monmouthshire (1 County constituency with 2 MPs and one single member Borough constituency) is included in Wales in these tables. Sources for this period may include the county in England.
Table 1: Constituencies and MPs, by type and country
|Country||BC||CC||UC||Total C||BMP||CMP||UMP||Total MPs|
Table 2: Number of seats per constituency, by type and country
William Wyndham Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville, was a British Pittite Tory politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1806 to 1807, though he was a supporter of the Whigs for the duration of the Napoleonic Wars.
Spencer Perceval was a British Tory politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from October 1809 until his assassination in May 1812. Perceval is the only British prime minister to have been assassinated. So far he is the only solicitor-general or attorney-general to have become prime minister.
The 1832 United Kingdom general election, the first after the Reform Act, saw the Whigs win a large majority, with the Tories winning less than 30% of the vote.
The Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition, more commonly known simply as the Leader of the Opposition, is the politician who leads the official opposition in the United Kingdom. The Leader of the Opposition by convention leads the largest party not within the government: where one party wins outright this is the party leader of the second largest political party in the House of Commons. The current Leader of the Opposition is Keir Starmer, the current leader of the Labour Party, who was elected to the leadership of the Labour Party on 4 April 2020.
William Brabazon Ponsonby, 1st Baron Ponsonby , PC (Ire) was a leading Irish Whig politician, being a member of the Irish House of Commons, and, after 1800, of the United Kingdom parliament. Ponsonby was the son of the Hon. John Ponsonby, the Speaker of the Irish House of Commons and Lady Elizabeth Cavendish, daughter of the 3rd Duke of Devonshire. He was invested as a Privy Counsellor of Ireland in 1784. He served as Joint Postmaster-General of Ireland (1784–1789).
The 1831 United Kingdom general election saw a landslide win by supporters of electoral reform, which was the major election issue. As a result, it was the last unreformed election, as the Parliament which resulted ensured the passage of the Reform Act 1832. Polling was held from 28 April to 1 June 1831. The Whigs won a majority of 136 over the Tories, which was as near to a landslide as the unreformed electoral system could deliver. As the Government obtained a dissolution of Parliament once the new electoral system had been enacted, the resulting Parliament was a short one and there was another election the following year. The election was the first since 1715 to see a victory by a party previously in minority.
The 1830 United Kingdom general election was triggered by the death of King George IV and produced the first parliament of the reign of his successor, William IV. Fought in the aftermath of the Swing Riots, it saw electoral reform become a major election issue. Polling took place in July and August and the Tories won a plurality over the Whigs, but division among Tory MPs allowed Earl Grey to form an effective government and take the question of electoral reform to the country the following year.
George Tierney PC was an Anglo-Irish Whig politician. For much of his career he was in opposition to the governments of William Pitt and Lord Liverpool. From 1818 to 1821 he was Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons.
The 1826 United Kingdom general election saw the Tories under the Earl of Liverpool win a substantial and increased majority over the Whigs. In Ireland, liberal Protestant candidates favouring Catholic emancipation, backed by the Catholic Association, achieved significant gains.
The 1820 United Kingdom general election was triggered by the death of King George III and produced the first parliament of the reign of his successor, George IV. It was held shortly after the Radical War in Scotland and the Cato Street Conspiracy. In this atmosphere, the Tories under the Earl of Liverpool were able to win a substantial majority over the Whigs.
The 1818 United Kingdom general election saw the Whigs gain a few seats, but the Tories under the Earl of Liverpool retained a majority of around 90 seats. The Whigs were divided over their response to growing social unrest and the introduction of the Corn Laws.
The 1802 United Kingdom general election was the election to the House of Commons of the second Parliament of the United Kingdom. It was the first to be held after the Union of Great Britain and Ireland. The first Parliament had been composed of members of the former Parliaments of the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland.
The 1806 United Kingdom general election was the election of members to the 3rd Parliament of the United Kingdom. This was the second general election to be held after the Union of Great Britain and Ireland.
The 1807 United Kingdom general election was the third general election to be held after the Union of Great Britain and Ireland.
Buckinghamshire is a former United Kingdom Parliamentary constituency. It was a constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of England then of the Parliament of Great Britain from 1707 to 1800 and of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1885.
In the first Parliament to be held after the Union of Great Britain and Ireland on 1 January 1801, the first House of Commons of the United Kingdom was composed of all 558 members of the former Parliament of Great Britain and 100 of the members of the House of Commons of Ireland.
The 1796 British general election returned members to serve in the 18th and last House of Commons of the Parliament of Great Britain. They were summoned before the Union of Great Britain and Ireland on 1 January 1801. The members in office in Great Britain at the end of 1800 continued to serve in the first Parliament of the United Kingdom (1801–02).
The 1790 British general election returned members to serve in the House of Commons of the 17th Parliament of Great Britain to be summoned after the merger of the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland in 1707.
Foxite was a late 18th-century British political label for Whig followers of Charles James Fox.