1857 United Kingdom general election

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1857 United Kingdom general election
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
  1852 27 March – 24 April 1857 (1857-03-27 1857-04-24) 1859  

All 654 seats in the House of Commons
328 seats needed for a majority
 First partySecond party
  Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston.jpg 14th Earl of Derby (cropped).jpg
Leader Viscount Palmerston Earl of Derby
Party Whig Conservative
Leader since6 February 1855July 1846
Leader's seat Tiverton House of Lords
Last election324 seats, 57.9%330 seats, 41.9%
Seats won377264 [1]
Seat changeIncrease2.svg53Decrease2.svg66
Popular vote464,127239,712
Percentage64.8%33.5%
SwingIncrease2.svg6.9%Decrease2.svg8.4%

1857 UK general election map.svg
Colours denote the winning party—as shown in § Results

Prime Minister before election

Viscount Palmerston
Whig

Prime Minister after election

Viscount Palmerston
Whig

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 there has been no person as old as Palmerston to win a general election for the first time.

Contents

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.

Results

UK General Election 1857
PartyCandidatesVotes
StoodElectedGainedUnseatedNet% of total%No.Net %
  Whig 507377+5357.6564.77464,127+7.0
  Conservative 3512646640.3733.45239,7127.1
  Chartist 1 000000.16140.1

Summary

Popular vote
Whig
64.77%
Conservative
33.45%
Others
1.69%
Chartist
0.09%

Seats summary

Parliamentary seats
Whig
57.65%
Conservative
40.37%
Others
1.99%

Notes

  1. Including Peelites.
  2. "Others" are mostly Irish Independent Opposition.
  3. The Conservative total votes cast and MPs includes around 26 Peelites—some reference works claim it was as few as 18.

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