1865 United Kingdom general election

Last updated

1865 United Kingdom general election
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
  1859 11–24 July 1865 (1865-07-11 1865-07-24) 1868  

All 658 seats in the House of Commons
330 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 Liberal Conservative
Leader since12 June 1859July 1846
Leader's seat Tiverton House of Lords
Last election356 seats, 65.8%298 seats, 34.2%
Seats won369289
Seat changeIncrease2.svg13Decrease2.svg9
Popular vote508,821346,035
Percentage59.5%40.5%
SwingDecrease2.svg6.3%Increase2.svg6.3%

1865 UK general election map.svg
Colours denote the winning party—as shown in § Results

Prime Minister before election

Viscount Palmerston
Liberal

Prime Minister after election

Viscount Palmerston
Liberal

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.

Contents

Palmerston died in October the same year and was succeeded by Lord John Russell as Prime Minister. [1] Despite the Liberal majority, the party was divided by the issue of further parliamentary reform, and Russell resigned after being defeated in a vote in the House of Commons in 1866, leading to minority Conservative governments under Derby and then Benjamin Disraeli.

This was the last United Kingdom general election until 2019 where a party increased its majority after having been returned to office at the previous election with a reduced majority.

Corruption

The 1865 general election was regarded by contemporaries as being a generally dull contest nationally, which exaggerated the degree of corruption within individual constituencies. In his PhD thesis, Cornelius O'Leary described The Times as having reported "the testimony is unanimous that in the General Election of 1865 there was more profuse and corrupt expenditure than was ever known before". [2] As a result of allegations of corruption, 50 election petitions were lodged, of which 35 were pressed to a trial; 13 ended with the elected MP being unseated. In four cases a Royal Commission had to be appointed because of widespread corrupt practices in the constituency. [3]

As a result, when he became Prime Minister in 1867, Benjamin Disraeli announced that he would introduce a new method for election petition trials, which were then determined by a committee of the House of Commons, resulting in the Parliamentary Elections Act 1868, whereby two Judges of the Court of Common Pleas, Exchequer of Pleas or Queen's Bench would be designated to try election petitions with full judicial salaries. [3]

Constituencies

Many new constituencies were used for this election:

Results

1865 UK parliament.svg
369289
LiberalConservative
UK General Election 1865
PartyCandidatesVotes
StoodElectedGainedUnseatedNet % of total %No.Net %
  Liberal 516369+1356.0859.52508,8216.2
  Conservative 406289943.9240.48346,035+6.2
Total658+4100100854,856

Regional results

Great Britain

PartyCandidatesUnopposedSeatsSeats changeVotes % % change
Liberal 433133311Increase2.svg5457,28960.0
Conservative 347115244Decrease2.svg1304,53840.0
Total780248555Equals-sign-blue.gif761,827100
England
PartyCandidatesUnopposedSeatsSeats changeVotes % % change
Liberal 35988251Equals-sign-blue.gif406,97859.0
Conservative 30894213Increase2.svg4291,23841.0
Total667182464Increase2.svg4698,216100
Scotland
PartyCandidatesUnopposedSeatsSeats changeVotes % % change
Liberal 513042Increase2.svg243,48085.4
Conservative 17711Decrease2.svg24,30514.6
Total683753Equals-sign-blue.gif47,785100
Wales
PartyCandidatesUnopposedSeatsSeats changeVotes % % change
Liberal 211518Increase2.svg34,56574.0
Conservative 161214Decrease2.svg31,60026.0
Total372732Equals-sign-blue.gif6,165100

Ireland

PartyCandidatesUnopposedSeatsSeats changeVotes % % change
Liberal 832858Increase2.svg851,53255.6
Conservative 592745Decrease2.svg841,49744.4
Total14255103Equals-sign-blue.gif93,029100

Universities

PartyCandidatesUnopposedSeatsSeats changeVotes % % change
Conservative 6267,39576.5
Liberal 2002,26623.5
Total8269,661100

Source: Rallings & Thrasher 2012 , pp. 8–9

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1886 United Kingdom general election</span>

The 1886 United Kingdom general election took place from 1 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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1885 United Kingdom general election</span>

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 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.

<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">1868 United Kingdom general election</span>

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.

<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">1857 United Kingdom general election</span>

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.

<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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1835 United Kingdom general election</span>

The 1835 United Kingdom general election was called when Parliament was dissolved on 29 December 1834. Polling took place between 6 January and 6 February 1835, and the results saw Robert Peel's Conservatives make large gains from their low of the 1832 election, but the Whigs maintained a large majority.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1832 United Kingdom general election</span>

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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Reform Act 1867</span> United Kingdom legislation

The Representation of the People Act 1867, 30 & 31 Vict. c. 102 was a piece of British legislation that enfranchised part of the urban male working class in England and Wales for the first time. It took effect in stages over the next two years, culminating in full commencement on 1 January 1869.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gloucester (UK Parliament constituency)</span> Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom, 1885 onwards

Gloucester is a constituency centred on the cathedral city and county town of the same name, represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament by Richard Graham of the Conservative Party.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1831 United Kingdom general election</span>

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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Repeal Association</span> Political party in Ireland

The Repeal Association was an Irish mass membership political movement set up by Daniel O'Connell in 1830 to campaign for a repeal of the Acts of Union of 1800 between Great Britain and Ireland.

The 1780 British general election returned members to serve in the House of Commons of the 15th Parliament of Great Britain to be summoned after the merger of the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland in 1707. The election was held during the American War of Independence and returned Lord North to form a new government with a small and rocky majority. The opposition consisted largely of the Rockingham Whigs, the Whig faction led by the Marquess of Rockingham. North's opponents referred to his supporters as Tories, but no Tory party existed at the time and his supporters rejected the label.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Parliamentary Elections Act 1868</span> United Kingdom legislation

The Parliamentary Elections Act 1868, sometimes known as the Election Petitions and Corrupt Practices at Elections Act or simply the Corrupt Practices Act 1868, is an Act of the United Kingdom Parliament, since repealed. The effect of the Act was to transfer responsibility for trying election petitions from the House of Commons to the Judges of the High Court of Justice. The Act was designed to, and did, provide a more effective measure for preventing corruption and fraud in Parliamentary elections.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1885 United Kingdom general election in Ireland</span>

The 1885 general election in Ireland was the first election following the Representation of the People Act 1884 and the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885, which redrew the Irish electoral landscape.

References

Sources and further reading