1892 United Kingdom general election

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1892 United Kingdom general election
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
  1886 4–26 July 1892 (1892-07-04 1892-07-26) 1895  

All 670 seats in the House of Commons
336 seats needed for a majority
 First partySecond party
  Photo of Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury.jpg William Ewart Gladstone crop.jpg
Leader Marquess of Salisbury William Ewart Gladstone
Party Conservative & Lib. Unionist Liberal
Leader sinceApril 1881April 1880
Leader's seat House of Lords Midlothian
Last election393 seats, 51.4%191 seats, 41.8%
Seats won314272
Seat changeDecrease2.svg79Increase2.svg80
Popular vote2,028,5861,958,598

 Third partyFourth party
  O'CONNOR(1880) p4.697 JUSTIN Mc CARTHY M.P..jpg Ireland yesterday and today (1909) (14587063449) (cropped).jpg
Leader Justin McCarthy John Redmond
Party Irish National Federation Irish National League
Leader since18911891
Leader's seat North Longford Waterford City
Last electionPart of IPP Part of IPP
Seats won729
Seat changeIncrease2.svg72Increase2.svg9
Popular vote224,52867,119
SwingNew partyNew party

United Kingdom general election 1892.svg
Colours denote the winning party

Prime Minister before election

Marquess of Salisbury

Appointed Prime Minister

William Ewart Gladstone

The 1892 United Kingdom general election was held from 4 July to 26 July 1892. It saw the Conservatives, led by Lord Salisbury, win the greatest number of seats, but not enough for an overall majority as William Ewart Gladstone's Liberals won many 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.

Conservative Party (UK) Political party in the United Kingdom

The Conservative Party, officially the Conservative and Unionist Party, sometimes informally called the Tories, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom. The governing party since 2010, it is the largest in the House of Commons, with 312 Members of Parliament, and also has 249 members of the House of Lords, 4 members of the European Parliament, 31 Members of the Scottish Parliament, 11 members of the Welsh Assembly, eight members of the London Assembly and 8,916 local councillors.

William Ewart Gladstone British Liberal politician and prime minister of the United Kingdom

William Ewart Gladstone was a British statesman and Liberal Party politician. In a career lasting over 60 years, he served for 12 years as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, spread over four terms beginning in 1868 and ending in 1894. He also served as Chancellor of the Exchequer four times.

Liberal Party (UK) political party of the United Kingdom, 1859–1988

The Liberal Party was one of the two major 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 Peelites and Radicals favourable to the ideals of the American and French Revolutions 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.


Despite being split between Parnellite and anti-Parnellite factions, the Irish Nationalist vote held up well. As the Liberals did not have a majority on their own, Salisbury refused to resign on hearing the election results and waited to be defeated in a vote of no confidence on 11 August. Gladstone formed a minority government dependent on Irish Nationalist support.

Irish National League

The Irish National League (INL) was a nationalist political party in Ireland. It was founded on 17 October 1882 by Charles Stewart Parnell as the successor to the Irish National Land League after this was suppressed. Whereas the Land League had agitated for land reform, the National League also campaigned for self-government or Irish Home Rule, further enfranchisement and economic reforms.

The Irish National Federation (INF) was a nationalist political party in Ireland. It was founded in 1891 by former members of the Irish National League (INL), who had left the Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP) in protest when Charles Stewart Parnell refused to resign the party leadership as a result of his involvement in the divorce proceedings of Katharine O'Shea, the separated wife of a fellow MP with whom he had a long-standing relationship.

1892 vote of no confidence in the Salisbury ministry

The vote of no confidence in the second Salisbury ministry occurred when the Conservative government of Robert Cecil, the Marquess of Salisbury decided to meet Parliament after the general election despite not winning a majority. The government presented a Queen's Speech, but was defeated on 11 August 1892 when the House of Commons carried by 350 to 310 an amendment moved by the opposition Liberal Party declaring that Her Majesty's "present advisers" did not possess the confidence of the House. After the vote Salisbury resigned and Liberal Party leader William Ewart Gladstone became Prime Minister for the fourth time.

The Liberals had engaged in failed attempts at reunification between 1886 and 1887. Gladstone however was able to retain control of much of the Liberal party machinery, particularly the National Liberal Federation. Gladstone used the annual NLF meetings as a platform to consolidate various Liberal causes, particularly the Newcastle meeting of 1891, which gave its name to the radical Newcastle Programme. This programme placed Irish Home Rule first, followed by Welsh and Scottish disestablishment, reduction in factory work hours, free education, electoral reform, land reform, reform or abolition of the House of Lords, and the removal of duties on basic foods. This programme would later be disowned by the party leadership following the Liberal defeat in the 1895 election ( Haigh 1990 , p. 259).

The National Liberal Federation (1877–1936) was the union of all English and Welsh Liberal Associations. It held an annual conference which was regarded as being representative of the opinion of the party's rank and file and was broadly the equivalent of a present-day party conference.

The Newcastle Programme was a statement of policies passed by the representatives of the English and Welsh Liberal Associations meeting at the annual conference of the National Liberal Federation (NLF) in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1891. The centrepiece of the Newcastle Programme was the primacy of Irish Home Rule, but associated with it were a raft of other reforms, in particular: land reform; reform of the Lords; shorter parliaments; district and parish councils; registration reform and abolition of plural voting; local veto on drink sales; employers' liability for workers' accidents and Scottish and Welsh disestablishment.

The election also saw the election of Britain's first Asian MP, with Dadabhai Naoroji being elected for Finsbury Central ( The Guardian 2013 ).

Dadabhai Naoroji Indian politician

Dadabhai Naoroji also known as the "Grand Old Man of India" and "Unofficial Ambassador of India" was a Parsi intellectual, educator, cotton trader, and an early Indian political and social leader. He was a Liberal Party member of Parliament (MP) in the United Kingdom House of Commons between 1892 and 1895, and the first Indian to be a British MP, notwithstanding the Anglo-Indian MP David Ochterlony Dyce Sombre, who was disenfranchised for corruption.


UK General Election 1892
PartyLeaderStoodElectedGainedUnseatedNet% of total%No.Net %
  Conservative & Lib. Unionist Lord Salisbury 606314211007946.8746.992,028,5864.4
  Liberal William Ewart Gladstone 5352719819+7940.4445.371,958,598+0.2
  Irish National Federation Justin McCarthy 8572+7210.755.20224,528N/A
  Irish National League John Redmond 449+91.341.5567,119N/A
  Independent Labour N/A9330+30.450.5122,198N/A
  Ind. Conservative N/A4000000.135,556N/A
  Independent Liberal N/A6 1 1 0+10.150.083,572N/A
  Scottish Trades Councils Chisholm Robertson 4000000.052,313N/A
  Independent Nationalist N/A2000000.052,180N/A
  Scottish Parliamentary Labour Keir Hardie 3000000.041,866N/A
  Social Democratic Federation H. M. Hyndman 2000000.02659N/A
  Independent N/A3000000.00137N/A

Voting summary

Popular vote
Conservative and Liberal Unionist
Irish National Federation
Irish National League
Independent Labour
Independent Conservative
Independent Liberal

Seats summary

Parliamentary seats
Conservative and Liberal Unionist
Irish National Federation
Irish National League
Independent Labour
Independent Liberal

See also

The total registered electorate in the United Kingdom grew from 5.7 million in 1885 to over 21 million in 1918. Much of the growth was result of the Reform Act 1918, which expanded franchise by abolishing property qualifications for men and introduced female suffrage for some women over the age of 30.


  1. All parties shown.

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The Liberal Unionist Party was a British political party that was formed in 1886 by a faction that broke away from the Liberal Party. Led by Lord Hartington and Joseph Chamberlain, the party formed a political alliance with the Conservative Party in opposition to Irish Home Rule. The two parties formed the ten-year-long coalition Unionist Government 1895–1905 but kept separate political funds and their own party organisations until a complete merger was agreed in May 1912.

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1892 United Kingdom general election in Ireland

The 1892 general election in Ireland took place from 4–26 July 1892. This was the first general election in Ireland following the split in the Irish Parliamentary Party caused by Charles Stewart Parnell's relationship with Katharine O'Shea, who had been married at the beginning of their relationship. The ensuing scandal saw the Party split into rival wings; the anti-Parnellite Irish National Federation, and the pro-Parnellite Irish National League. Parnell later died in October 1891 of a heart attack.

1895 United Kingdom general election in Ireland

The 1895 United Kingdom general election in Ireland took place from 13–29 July 1895. The divide between the anti-Parnellite Irish National Federation and the pro-Parnellite Irish National League continued, and with only minor variation in seats. In the overall election result, the Conservative–Liberal Unionist coalition beat the Liberal Party government led by the Earl of Rosebery. Lord Salisbury returned as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, having previously served from 1885 to 1886, and again from 1886 to 1892.


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