All 658 seats in the House of Commons
330 seats needed for a majority
The UK parliament after the 1830 election
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 Augustand 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.
The eighth United Kingdom Parliament was dissolved on 24 July 1830. The new Parliament was summoned to meet on 14 September 1830, 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. This election was the first since 1708 to cause the collapse of the government.
The Tory leader, at the time of the 1830 election, was the Duke of Wellington. He had been Prime Minister since 1828.
The previous Parliament had been unstable, with both principal parties fractured. During the 1826–30 Parliament, there had been four Tory prime ministers. The Earl of Liverpool, who had been Prime Minister since 1812, was forced by ill health to retire in 1827.
George Canning, who had been Leader of the House of Commons under Liverpool, became Prime Minister in early 1827. The High Tories, led by the Duke of Wellington and Robert Peel, refused to serve in his government. Canning invited a section of the Whigs, including Lansdowne to join a coalition ministry with the Canningite faction of the Tories. Other Whigs, like Earl Grey, remained in opposition. Some Whigs like Viscount Althorp adopted a neutral attitude to the government.
After Canning's death in August 1827, the premiership passed to Viscount Goderich for a few more months, until Wellington took over on 22 January 1828. Those Whigs who had been in both Canning's and Goderich's governments returned to the Opposition. For a short while a band of MPs and peers who had been supporters of Canning (hence the Canningites) were in included in Wellington's government but left on the issue of the re-distribution of seats from the corrupt parliamentary borough of East Retford in May 1828.
There was a further split in the Tory administration in 1829 on the issue of Catholic emancipation when Daniel O'Connell and his Catholic Association won a parliamentary seat. Legally barred from taking his seat in the House of Commons because he was a Catholic, Wellington's government was forced to bring about a change but led to another split in their party—this time with the creation of the 'Ultra-Tory' group led by Edward Knatchbull MP and supported by a number of influential peers in the House of Lords.
There had not been a predominantly Whig administration since the Ministry of all the Talents in 1806–07. The Whig Party had had weak leadership, particularly in the House of Commons, for many years. However, during the 1826–30 Parliament the situation improved.
At the time of the general election, the Earl Grey was the leading figure amongst the Whig peers. However Grey had given up the formal leadership in 1824. The Marquess of Lansdowne was acting as leader, but had not taken up the title. The animosity which King George IV had to Earl Grey had barred him from government, but in the new reign his chances of office had improved.
There had been no official Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons since 1821, but in 1830 the Whigs selected Viscount Althorp to fill the vacancy.
In Irish politics, Daniel O'Connell and his Catholic Association had succeeded in obtaining Catholic emancipation in 1829. However this measure was accompanied with an increase in the property qualification for Irish county voters, from a £2 freehold to a £20 one. For the first time since the penal laws were enacted in the seventeenth century Catholics in Ireland could serve in Parliament. With emancipation achieved, O'Connell was free to pursue his other aim with a campaign for repeal of the Act of Union.
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.
The general election took place between the first contest on 29 July and the last contest on 1 September 1830.
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
Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey,, known as Viscount Howick between 1806 and 1807, was a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from November 1830 to July 1834.
Frederick John Robinson, 1st Earl of Ripon,, styled The Honourable F. J. Robinson until 1827 and known between 1827 and 1833 as The Viscount Goderich, the name by which he is best known to history, was a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1827 to 1828.
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.
Edward John Littleton, 1st Baron Hatherton PC, FRS, was a British politician from the extended Littleton/Lyttelton family, of first the Canningite Tories and later the Whigs. He had a long political career, active in each of the Houses of Parliament in turn over a period of forty years. He was closely involved in a number of major reforms, particularly Catholic Emancipation, the Truck Act of 1831, the Parliamentary Boundaries Act 1832 and the Municipal Corporations Act 1835. Throughout his career he was actively concerned with the Irish question and he was Chief Secretary for Ireland between 1833 and 1834.
Canningites were a faction of British Tories in the first decade of the 19th century through the 1820s who were led by George Canning. The Canningites were distinct within the Tory party because they favoured Catholic emancipation and free trade.
The Roman Catholic Relief Act 1829, also known as the Catholic Emancipation Act 1829, was passed by Parliament in 1829. It was the culmination of the process of Catholic Emancipation throughout the United Kingdom. In Ireland, it repealed the Test Act 1672 and the remaining Penal Laws which had been in force since the passing of the Disenfranchising Act of the Irish Parliament of 1728. Its passage followed a vigorous campaign that threatened insurrection led by Irish lawyer Daniel O'Connell. The British leaders, the prime minister the Duke of Wellington and his top aide Robert Peel, although initially opposed, gave in to avoid civil strife.
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 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 1807 United Kingdom general election was the third general election to be held after the Union of Great Britain and Ireland.
The 1812 United Kingdom general election was the fourth general election to be held after the Union of Great Britain and Ireland.
The Derby Dilly was a name given to a group of dissident Whigs who split from the main party under the leadership of Edward, Lord Stanley on the issue of the reorganisation of the Church of Ireland in 1834. Stanley and three others resigned from the cabinet of Lord Grey on this particular issue but other factors included their fear that the Whigs were appeasing their radical and Irish allies with further reforms.
The Conservative government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland that began in 1828 and ended in 1830 was led by the Duke of Wellington in the House of Lords and Robert Peel in the House of Commons.
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 Ultra-Tories were an Anglican faction of British and Irish politics that appeared in the 1820s in opposition to Catholic emancipation. The faction was later called the "extreme right-wing" of British and Irish politics.
The Canningites, led by George Canning and then the Viscount Goderich as First Lord of the Treasury, governed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1827 until 1828.