All 654 seats in the House of Commons
328 seats needed for a majority
Colours denote the winning party—as shown in § Results
In the 1857 United Kingdom general election, the Whigs, led by Lord Palmerston, won a majority in the House of Commons as the Conservative vote fell significantly. The election had been provoked by a vote of censure in Palmerston's government over his approach to the Arrow affair which led to the Second Opium War. Aged 72 Palmerston became the oldest person to win a general election for the first time. As of 2019 [update] there has been no person as old as Palmerston to win a general election for the first time.
There is no separate tally of votes or seats for the Peelites. They did not contest elections as an organised party but more as independent Free trade Conservatives with varying degrees of distance from the two main parties.
|UK General Election 1857|
|Stood||Elected||Gained||Unseated||Net||% of total||%||No.||Net %|
The 1959 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday, 8 October 1959. It marked a third consecutive victory for the ruling Conservative Party, now led by Harold Macmillan. For the second time in a row, the Conservatives increased their overall majority in Parliament, this time to 100 seats, having gained 20 seats for a return of 365. The Labour Party, led by Hugh Gaitskell, lost 19 seats and returned 277. The Liberal Party, led by Jo Grimond, again returned only six MPs to the House of Commons, but managed to increase its overall share of the vote to 5.9%, compared to just 2.7% four years earlier. Despite their success, the Conservatives failed to win the most seats in Scotland and have not done so since. The election marked the beginning of Labour's domination of Scottish seats at Westminster, which lasted until the rise of the Scottish National Party at the 2015 general election. Both Jeremy Thorpe, a future Liberal leader, and Margaret Thatcher, a future Conservative leader and eventually Prime Minister, first entered the House of Commons after this election.
The 1935 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday 14 November 1935 and resulted in a large, albeit reduced, majority for the National Government now led by Stanley Baldwin of the Conservative Party. The greatest number of members, as before, were Conservatives, while the National Liberal vote held steady. The much smaller National Labour vote also held steady but the resurge in the main Labour vote caused over a third of their MPs, including National Labour leader Ramsay MacDonald, to lose their seats.
The 1924 United Kingdom general election was held on Wednesday 29 October 1924, as a result of the defeat of the Labour minority government, led by Ramsay MacDonald, in the House of Commons on a motion of no confidence. It was the third general election to be held in less than two years.
The 1900 United Kingdom general election was held between 26 September and 24 October 1900, following the dissolution of Parliament on 25 September. Also referred to as the Khaki Election, it was held at a time when it was widely believed that the Second Boer War had effectively been won.
The 1886 United Kingdom general election took place from 1 July to 27 July 1886, following the defeat of the Government of Ireland Bill 1886. It resulted in a major reversal of the results of the 1885 election as the Conservatives, led by Lord Salisbury, were joined in an electoral pact with the breakaway Unionist wing of the Liberals led by Lord Hartington and Joseph Chamberlain. The new Liberal Unionist party gave the Conservatives their parliamentary majority but did not join them in a formal coalition.
The 1885 United Kingdom general election was held from 24 November to 18 December 1885. This was the first general election after an extension of the franchise and redistribution of seats. For the first time a majority of adult males could vote and most constituencies by law returned a single member to Parliament fulfilling one of the ideals of Chartism to provide direct single-member, single-electorate accountability. It saw the Liberals, led by William Ewart Gladstone, win the most seats, but not an overall majority. As the Irish Nationalists held the balance of power between them and the Conservatives who sat with an increasing number of allied Unionist MPs, this exacerbated divisions within the Liberals over Irish Home Rule and led to a Liberal split and another general election the following year.
The 1874 United Kingdom general election saw the incumbent Liberals, led by William Ewart Gladstone, lose decisively, even though it won a majority of the votes cast. Benjamin Disraeli's Conservatives won the majority of seats in the House of Commons, largely because they won a number of uncontested seats. It was the first Conservative victory in a general election since 1841. Gladstone's decision to call an election surprised his colleagues, for they were aware of large sectors of discontent in their coalition. For example, the nonconformists were upset with education policies; many working-class people disliked the new trade union laws and the restrictions on drinking. The Conservatives were making gains in the middle-class, Gladstone wanted to abolish the income tax, but failed to carry his own cabinet. The result was a disaster for the Liberals, who went from 387 MPs to only 242. Conservatives jumped from 271 to 350. For the first time the Irish nationalists would be elected. Gladstone himself noted: "We have been swept away in a torrent of gin and beer".
The 1868 United Kingdom general election was the first after passage of the Reform Act 1867, which enfranchised many male householders, thus greatly increasing the number of men who could vote in elections in the United Kingdom. It was the first election held in the United Kingdom in which more than a million votes were cast; nearly triple the number of votes were cast compared to the previous election of 1865.
The 1865 United Kingdom general election saw the Liberals, led by Lord Palmerston, increase their large majority over the Earl of Derby's Conservatives to more than 80. The Whig Party changed its name to the Liberal Party between the previous election and this one.
In the 1859 United Kingdom general election, the minority Conservative government of Earl of Derby failed to achieve a majority of seats in the House of Commons. Despite making overall gains, Derby's government was defeated in a confidence vote by an alliance of the Whigs, led by Lord Palmerston and other political groupings including the Peelites, Radicals and the Irish Brigade. Palmerston subsequently formed a new government from this alliance which is now considered to be the first official Liberal Party administration.
The 1852 United Kingdom general election was a watershed in the formation of the modern political parties of Britain. Following 1852, the Tory/Conservative party became, more completely, the party of the rural aristocracy, while the Whig/Liberal party became the party of the rising urban bourgeoisie in Britain. The results of the election were extremely close in terms of both the popular vote and the numbers of seats won by the two main parties.
The 1847 United Kingdom general election saw candidates calling themselves Conservatives win the most seats, in part because they won a number of uncontested seats. However, the split among the Conservatives between the majority of Protectionists, led by Lord Stanley, and the minority of free traders, known also as the Peelites, led by former prime minister Sir Robert Peel, left the Whigs, led by Prime Minister Lord John Russell, in a position to continue in government.
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 Peelites were a breakaway dissident political faction of the British Conservative Party from 1846 to 1859. Initially led by Robert Peel, the former Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader in 1846, the Peelites supported Free Trade whilst the bulk of the Conservative Party remained protectionist. The Peelites later merged with the Whigs and Radicals to form the Liberal Party in 1859.
This article gives an overview of liberalism in the United Kingdom. It is limited to liberal parties with substantial support, mainly proved by having had a representation in parliament. The sign ⇒ denotes another party in that scheme. For inclusion in this scheme, it is not necessary that parties labelled themselves as a liberal party.
Cambridge University was a university constituency electing two members to the British House of Commons, from 1603 to 1950.
In parliamentary politics, balance of power is a situation in which one or more members of a parliamentary or similar chamber can by their uncommitted vote enable a party to attain and remain in minority government. The term may also be applied to the members who hold that position. The members holding the balance of power may guarantee their support for a government by either joining it in a coalition government or by an assurance that they will vote against any motion of no confidence in the government or will abstain in such a vote. In return for such a commitment, such members may demand legislative or policy commitments from the party they are to support. A person or party may also hold a balance of power in a chamber without any commitment to government, in which case both the government and opposition groupings may on occasion need to negotiate for that person's or party's support.
Edward Bolton King was a British Whig politician from Umberslade in Warwickshire.