1818 United Kingdom general election

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1818 United Kingdom general election
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
  1812 17 June – 18 July 1818 [1] 1820  

All 658 seats in the House of Commons
330 seats needed for a majority
 First partySecond party
  Earl jenkinson.jpg Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey after Sir Thomas Lawrence copy.jpg
Leader Earl of Liverpool Earl Grey
Party Pittite Whig
Leader since8 June 1812
Seats won280175

1818 UK parliament.svg
The UK parliament after the 1818 election

Prime Minister before election

Earl of Liverpool
Pittite

Prime Minister after election

Earl of Liverpool
Pittite

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.

Contents

The result of the election was known on 4 August 1818.

The fifth United Kingdom Parliament was dissolved on 10 June 1818. The new Parliament was summoned to meet on 4 August 1818, 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. The sixth Parliament lasted only about a year and a half, as King George III's death on 29 January 1820 triggered a dissolution of Parliament.

Political situation

The Tory leader was the Earl of Liverpool, who had been Prime Minister since his predecessor's assassination in 1812. The Tory Leader of the House of Commons was Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh.

The Whig Party had long suffered from weak leadership, particularly in the House of Commons.

At the time of the general election, the Earl Grey was the leading figure amongst the Whig peers. The last Whig Prime Minister, the Lord Grenville, had retired from active politics in 1817. It was likely that Earl Grey would have been invited to form a government, had the Whigs come to power, although in this era the monarch rather than the governing party decided which individual would be Prime Minister.

The Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons, until his death in 1817, was George Ponsonby, Lady Grey's uncle. About a year after Ponsonby's death, George Tierney reluctantly became the recognised Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons. However, after 1819 he did not carry out the functions of leader although he retained the title.

Summary of the constituencies

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

CountryBCCCUCTotal CBMPCMPUMPTotal MPs
Flag of England.svg  England 202392243404784486
Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg  Wales 13130261314027
Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland 15300451530045
  Ireland 333216635641100
 Total26311433804671765658

Table 2: Number of seats per constituency, by type and country

CountryBCx1BCx2BCx4CCx1CCx2UCx1UCx2Total C
Flag of England.svg  England 4196203902243
Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg  Wales 13001210026
Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland 15003000045
  Ireland 31200321066
 Total631982427212380

See also

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References

  1. Rix, Kathryn (18 June 2018). "The General Election of 1818".