1857 United Kingdom general election

Last updated

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 Edward Smith-Stanley, 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% [n 1] 33.5% [n 1]
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.

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.

According to A. J. P. Taylor:

The general election of 1857 is unique in our history: the only election ever conducted as a simple plebiscite in favour of an individual. Even the "coupon" election of 1918 claimed to be more than a plebiscite for Lloyd George; even Disraeli and Gladstone offered a clash of policies as well as of personalities. In 1857 there was no issue before the electorate except whether Palmerston should be Prime Minister; and no one could pretend that Palmerston had any policy except to be himself. [2]

Results

1857 UK parliament.svg
UK General Election 1857
PartyCandidatesVotes
StoodElectedGainedUnseatedNet % of total %No.Net %
  Whig 507377+5357.6564.77464,127+7.0
  Conservative 3512646640.3733.45239,7127.1
  Independent Irish 131.991.6912,099
  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%

See also

Notes

  1. 1 2 Several country and university seats held by Conservatives were uncontested, and many urban multi-member constituencies that tended to vote Liberal had multiple candidates, so this is an misleading figure. Therefore, national swing is not applicable to elections in this era.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Liberal Party (UK)</span> Major political party in the United Kingdom from 1859 to 1988

The Liberal Party was one of the two major political parties in the United Kingdom, along with the Conservative Party, in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Beginning as an alliance of Whigs, free trade–supporting Peelites and reformist Radicals in the 1850s, by the end of the 19th century it had formed four governments under William Gladstone. Despite being divided over the issue of Irish Home Rule, the party returned to government in 1905 and won a landslide victory in the 1906 general election.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen</span> British politician

George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen,, styled Lord Haddo from 1791 to 1801, was a British statesman, diplomat and landowner, successively a Tory, Conservative and Peelite politician and specialist in foreign affairs. He served as Prime Minister from 1852 until 1855 in a coalition between the Whigs and Peelites, with Radical and Irish support. The Aberdeen ministry was filled with powerful and talented politicians, whom Aberdeen was largely unable to control and direct. Despite his trying to avoid this happening, it took Britain into the Crimean War, and fell when its conduct became unpopular, after which Aberdeen retired from politics.

The Independent Irish Party (IIP) was the designation chosen by the 48 Members of the United Kingdom Parliament returned from Ireland with the endorsement of the Tenant Right League in the general election of 1852. The League had secured their promise to offer an independent opposition to the dominant landlord interest, and to advance an agrarian reform programme popularly summarised as the "three F's": fair rent, fixed tenure and free sale.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Russell, 1st Earl Russell</span> Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1846 to 1852 and 1865 to 1866

John Russell, 1st Earl Russell,, known by his courtesy title Lord John Russell before 1861, was a British Whig and Liberal statesman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1846 to 1852 and again from 1865 to 1866.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby</span> British Prime Minister

Edward George Geoffrey Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby, was a British statesman, three-time Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and, to date, the longest-serving leader of the Conservative Party. He was a scion of one of Britain's oldest, wealthiest and most powerful families. He is one of only four British prime ministers to have three or more separate periods in office. However, his ministries each lasted less than two years and totalled three years and 280 days. Derby introduced the state education system in Ireland, and reformed Parliament.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">February 1974 United Kingdom general election</span>

The February 1974 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday, 28 February 1974. The Labour Party, led by Leader of the Opposition and former Prime Minister Harold Wilson, gained 14 seats, but was seventeen short of an overall majority. The Conservative Party, led by incumbent Prime Minister Edward Heath, lost 28 seats; but achieved a higher share of the vote than Labour. This resulted in a hung parliament, the first since 1929. Heath sought a coalition with the Liberals, but the two parties failed to come to an agreement and then Wilson became Prime Minister for a second time, his first under a minority government. Because Labour was unable to form a majority coalition with another party, Wilson called another early election in September, which was held in October and resulted in a Labour majority. This was also the first general election to be held with the United Kingdom as a member state of the European Communities (EC)—widely known as the "Common Market".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1922 United Kingdom general election</span>

The 1922 United Kingdom general election was held on Wednesday 15 November 1922. It was won by the Conservative Party, led by Bonar Law, which gained an overall majority over the Labour Party, led by J. R. Clynes, and a divided Liberal Party.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1880 United Kingdom general election</span>

The 1880 United Kingdom general election was a general election in the United Kingdom held from 31 March to 27 April 1880.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1874 United Kingdom general election</span>

The 1874 United Kingdom general election saw the incumbent Liberals, led by William 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 were elected. Gladstone himself noted: "We have been swept away in a torrent of gin and beer".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1865 United Kingdom general election</span>

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 80. The Whig Party changed its name to the Liberal Party between the previous election and this one.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1859 United Kingdom general election</span>

In the 1859 United Kingdom general election returned no party a majority of seats in the House of Commons. The Earl of Derby's Conservatives formed a minority government, but despite making overall gains, Derby's government was defeated in a confidence vote by an alliance of Palmerston's Whigs together with Peelites, Radicals and the Irish Brigade. Palmerston subsequently formed a new government from this alliance which is now considered to be the first Liberal Party administration.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1852 United Kingdom general election</span>

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 the numbers of seats won by the two main parties.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1847 United Kingdom general election</span>

The 1847 United Kingdom general election was conducted between 29 July 1847 and 26 August 1847 and resulted in the Whigs in control of government despite candidates calling themselves Conservatives winning the most seats. The Conservatives were divided between Protectionists, led by Lord Stanley, and a minority of free-trade Tories, known also as the Peelites for their leader, former prime minister Sir Robert Peel. This left the Whigs, led by Prime Minister Lord John Russell, in a position to continue in government.

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.

In the United Kingdom, the word liberalism can have any of several meanings. Scholars use the term to refer to classical liberalism; the term can also mean economic liberalism, social liberalism or political liberalism; it can simply refer to the politics of the Liberal Democrat party; it can occasionally have the imported American meaning, however, the derogatory connotation is much weaker in the UK than in the US, and social liberals from both the left and right wing continue to use liberal and illiberal to describe themselves and their opponents, respectively.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of the Conservative Party (UK)</span> Aspect of history

The Conservative Party is the oldest political party in the United Kingdom and arguably the world. The current party was first organised in the 1830s and the name "Conservative" was officially adopted, but the party is still often referred to as the Tory party. The Tories had been a coalition that more often than not formed the government from 1760 until the Reform Act 1832. Modernising reformers said the traditionalistic party of "Throne, Altar and Cottage" was obsolete, but in the face of an expanding electorate 1830s–1860s it held its strength among royalists, devout Anglicans and landlords and their tenants.

Cambridge University was a university constituency electing two members to the British House of Commons, from 1603 to 1950.

Oxford University was a university constituency electing two members to the British House of Commons, from 1603 to 1950. The last two members to represent Oxford University when it was abolished were A. P. Herbert and Arthur Salter.

Portsmouth was a borough constituency based upon the borough of Portsmouth in Hampshire. It returned two members of parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, elected by the bloc vote system.

References

  1. Including Peelites.
  2. A. J. P. Taylor, "Lord Palmerston," History Today (1951) 1#7 pp 35-41 at p. 38 online
  3. "Others" are mostly Irish Independent Opposition.
  4. The Conservative total votes cast and MPs includes around 26 Peelites—some reference works claim it was as few as 18.

Further reading