All 670 seats in the House of Commons
336 seats needed for a majority
Colours denote the winning party
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 (referring to the Union of Great Britain and Ireland), this exacerbated divisions within the Liberals over Irish Home Rule and led to a Liberal split and another general election the following year.
The 1885 election saw the first socialist party participate, with the Social Democratic Federation led by H. M. Hyndman standing three candidates.
|UK General Election 1885|
|Stood||Elected||Gained||Unseated||Net||% of total||%||No.||Net %|
|Scottish Land Restoration||5||0||0||0||0.05||2,359||N/A|
|Social Democratic Federation||3||0||0||0||0.02||657||N/A|
The Liberal Party was one of the two major political parties in the United Kingdom with the opposing Conservative Party in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The party arose from an alliance of Whigs and free trade-supporting Peelites and the 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 then won a landslide victory in the following year's general election.
The 1918 United Kingdom general election was called immediately after the Armistice with Germany which ended the First World War, and was held on Saturday, 14 December 1918. The governing coalition, under Prime Minister David Lloyd George, sent letters of endorsement to candidates who supported the coalition government. These were nicknamed "Coalition Coupons", and led to the election being known as the "coupon election". The result was a massive landslide in favour of the coalition, comprising primarily the Conservatives and Coalition Liberals, with massive losses for Liberals who were not endorsed. Nearly all the Liberal MPs without coupons were defeated, although party leader H. H. Asquith managed to return to Parliament in a by-election.
The December 1910 United Kingdom general election was held from 3 to 19 December. It was the last general election to be held over several days and the last to be held prior to the First World War (1914–18).
The January 1910 United Kingdom general election was held from 15 January to 10 February 1910. The government called the election in the midst of a constitutional crisis caused by the rejection of the People's Budget by the Conservative-dominated House of Lords, in order to get a mandate to pass the budget.
The 1906 United Kingdom general election was held from 12 January to 8 February 1906.
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 1895 United Kingdom general election was held from 13 July to 7 August 1895. It was won by the Conservatives led by Lord Salisbury who formed an alliance with the Liberal Unionist Party and had a large majority over the Liberals, led by Lord Rosebery. The Irish Parliamentary Party was split at this time; most of its MPs followed John Dillon, while a rump followed John Redmond.
The 1892 United Kingdom general election was held from 4 to 26 July 1892. It saw the Conservatives, led by Lord Salisbury again win the greatest number of seats, but no longer a majority as William Ewart Gladstone's Liberals won 80 more seats than in the 1886 general election. The Liberal Unionists who had previously supported the Conservative government saw their vote and seat numbers go down.
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.
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 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 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 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 enactment on 1 January 1869.
Over the history of the House of Commons, the number of Members of Parliament (MPs) has varied for assorted reasons, with increases in recent years due to increases in the population of the United Kingdom. There are currently 650 constituencies, each sending one MP to the House of Commons, corresponding to approximately one for every 92,000 people, or one for every 68,000 parliamentary electors.
The Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It was a piece of electoral reform legislation that redistributed the seats in the House of Commons, introducing the concept of equally populated constituencies, a concept in the broader global context termed equal apportionment, in an attempt to equalise representation across the UK. It was associated with, but not part of, the Representation of the People Act 1884.
The Hawarden Kite was a famous British newspaper scoop of December 1885, that Liberal Party leader William Gladstone now supported home rule for Ireland. It was an instance of "kite-flying", made by Herbert Gladstone, son of the Leader of the Opposition William Ewart Gladstone, who often served as his father's secretary. It was given to Edmund Rogers of the National Press Agency in London. The statement was accurate but it is unknown whether the father knew and approved of releasing it to the press. The bombshell announcement resulted in the fall of Lord Salisbury's Conservative government. Irish Nationalists, led by Charles Parnell's Irish Parliamentary Party, held the balance of power in Parliament. Gladstone's conversion to Home Rule convinced them to switch away from the Conservatives and support the Liberals using the 86 seats in Parliament they controlled.
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.
The Irish component of the December 1910 United Kingdom general election took place between 3 and 19 December, concurrently with the polls in Great Britain. Though the national result was a deadlock between the Conservatives and the Liberals, the result in Ireland was, as was the trend by now, a large victory for the Irish Parliamentary Party. The IPP supported the Liberals to form a government after the election. This was to be the party's last victory, however. Due to the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the next general election would not be held until 1918, by which time events both in Ireland and Britain and outside would conspire to see the rise of a new nationalist party, Sinn Féin, and the subsequent demise of the IPP.
The Derby by-election, 1886 was a parliamentary by-election held for the House of Commons constituency of Derby, the county town of Derbyshire on 9 February 1886.
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.