All 625 seats in the House of Commons
313 seats needed for a majority
Colours denote the winning party
Composition of the House of Commons after the election
The 1950 United Kingdom general election was the first general election ever to be held after a full term of Labour government. The election was held on Thursday 23 February 1950. The election was the first held after the abolition of plural voting and university constituencies. The Labour Government's 1945 lead over the Conservatives shrunk dramatically and it was returned to power but with an overall majority reduced from 146 to just 5. There was a 5.8% national swing towards the Conservatives, who gained 90 seats. Labour called another general election in 1951, which it lost to the Conservative Party.
Turnout increased to 83.9%, the highest turnout in a UK general election under universal suffrage,and representing an increase of more than 11% in comparison to 1945.
It was also the first general election to be covered on television, although the footage was not recorded. Richard Dimbleby hosted the BBC coverage of the election, which he would later do again for the 1951, 1955, 1959 and the 1964 general elections. On this occasion, Dimbleby was joined in the BBC Lime Grove Studios by R. B. McCallum, Fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford, and author of The British General Election of 1945 and David Butler, research student of Nuffield College. The first election night programme ran from 10:45 pm until just after 1:00 am.
Significant changes since the 1945 general election included the abolition of plural voting by the Representation of the People Act 1948, and a major reorganisation of constituencies by the House of Commons (Redistribution of Seats) Act 1949. Eleven new English seats were created and six were abolished, and there were over 170 major alterations to constituencies across the country.
The Conservatives, having recovered from their landslide election defeat in 1945, accepted most of the nationalisation that had taken place under the Attlee government, which included the NHS and the mixed economy.[ clarification needed ] The campaign essentially focused on the possible future nationalisation of other sectors and industries, which was supported by the Labour Party, and opposed by the Conservatives. The Liberals essentially viewed the struggle between the two parties on this issue as a class struggle.
One of the major election issues was Rationing still in effect on petrol, confectionery and meats over five years after the end of the war. The Conservative Party promised to phase out rationing while Labour campaigned for its continuation.
The Liberal Party fielded 475 candidates, more than at any general election since 1929. Liberal Party leader Clement Davies felt that the party had been at a disadvantage at the 1945 general election when they ran fewer candidates than needed to form a government. Davies arranged for the cost of running extra candidates to be offset by the party taking out insurance with Lloyd's of London against more than fifty candidates losing their deposits.
In the event, the strategy only succeeded in causing a very marginal increase in the overall Liberal vote over the previous election (albeit it was still their best popular vote percentage since 1929); the number of votes-per-candidate declined sharply, resulting in them losing a further three seats from their already-disappointing 1945 showing. A total of 319 Liberal candidates lost their deposits, a record number [ page needed ] until 2015, when candidates for the Liberal Democrats lost 335 deposits at the general election held in that year.
Despite losing 78 seats, the Labour Party won an overall majority of 5 seats, down from 146 in the previous election, while their vote share slightly declined. The Conservatives saw a resurgence in their support, gaining an additional 90 seats and saw their vote share improve by more than 4%.
Prominent personalities entering Parliament in this election included Edward Heath (Bexley), Jo Grimond (Orkney and Shetland), Enoch Powell (Wolverhampton South West), Reginald Maudling (Barnet) and Iain Macleod (Enfield West).
Scottish politician Willie Gallacher lost his West Fife seat to Labour; he was the longest-serving Member of Parliament (from 1935 to 1950) and the last MP in Parliament for the Communist Party of Great Britain.
|Party||Leader||Stood||Elected||Gained||Unseated||Net||% of total||%||No.||Net %|
|Irish Labour||William Norton||2||0||0||0||0||0.2||52,715||N/A|
|Sinn Féin||Paddy McLogan||2||0||0||0||0||0.1||23,362||N/A|
|Plaid Cymru||Gwynfor Evans||7||0||0||0||0||0.1||17,580||+0.1|
|Ind. Labour Party||David Gibson||4||0||0||3||−3||0.0||4,112||−0.2|
|Independent Liberal and Conservative||N/A||1||0||0||0||0||0.0||1,551||N/A|
|Mudiad Gweriniaethol Cymru||N/A||1||0||0||0||0||0.0||613||N/A|
|Social Credit||John Hargrave||1||0||0||0||0||0.0||551||N/A|
|United Socialist||Guy Aldred||1||0||0||0||0||0.0||485|
The 2001 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday 7 June 2001, four years after the previous election on 1 May 1997, to elect 659 members to the House of Commons. The governing Labour Party was re-elected to serve a second term in government with another landslide victory, returning 412 members of Parliament versus 418 from the 1997 general election, a net loss of six seats, though with a significantly lower turnout than before—59.4%, compared to 71.3% at the previous election. The number of votes Labour received fell by nearly three million. Tony Blair went on to become the first Labour Prime Minister to serve two consecutive full terms in office. As Labour retained almost all of their seats won in the 1997 landslide victory, the media dubbed the 2001 election "the quiet landslide".
The 1997 United Kingdom general election was held on 1 May 1997. The incumbent governing Conservative Party led by Prime Minister John Major was defeated in a landslide by the Labour Party led by Tony Blair.
The 1983 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday 9 June 1983. It gave the Conservative Party under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher the most decisive election victory since that of the Labour Party in 1945, with a landslide majority of 144 seats.
The 1970 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday 18 June 1970. It resulted in a surprise victory for the Conservative Party under leader Edward Heath, which defeated the governing Labour Party under Harold Wilson. The Liberal Party, under its new leader Jeremy Thorpe, lost half its seats. The Conservatives, including the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), secured a majority of 30 seats. This general election was the first in which people could vote from the age of 18, after passage of the Representation of the People Act the previous year, and the first UK election where party, and not just candidate names were allowed to be put on the ballots.
The 1987 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday, 11 June 1987, to elect 650 members to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. The election was the third consecutive general election victory for the Conservative Party, and second landslide under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher, who became the first Prime Minister since the Earl of Liverpool in 1820 to lead a party into three successive electoral victories.
The October 1974 United Kingdom general election took place on Thursday 10 October 1974 to elect 635 members of the British House of Commons. It was the second general election held that year, the first year that two general elections were held in the same year since 1910, and the first time that two general elections were held less than a year apart from each other since the 1923 and 1924 elections, which took place 10 months apart. The election resulted in the Labour Party led by Harold Wilson winning the narrowest majority recorded, 3 seats. This enabled the remainder of the Labour government, 1974–1979 to take place, which saw a gradual loss of its majority.
The 1945 United Kingdom general election was a national election held on 5 July 1945, but polling in some constituencies was delayed by some days, and the counting of votes was delayed until 26 July to provide time for overseas votes to be brought to Britain. The governing Conservative Party sought to maintain its position in Parliament but faced challenges from public opinion about the future of the United Kingdom in the post-war period. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill proposed to call for a general election in Parliament, which passed with a majority vote less than two months after the conclusion of the Second World War in Europe.
The 1964 United Kingdom general election was held on 15 October 1964, five years after the previous election, and thirteen years after the Conservative Party, first led by Winston Churchill, had entered power. It resulted in the Conservatives, led by the incumbent Prime Minister, Sir Alec Douglas-Home, narrowly losing the election to the Labour Party, led by Harold Wilson, with Labour having an overall majority of four seats. It resulted in Labour ending its thirteen years in opposition and led Wilson to become, at the time, the youngest Prime Minister since Lord Rosebery in 1894.
The 1951 United Kingdom general election was held twenty months after the 1950 general election, which the Labour Party had won with a slim majority of just five seats. The Labour government called a snap election for Thursday 25 October 1951 in the hope of increasing its parliamentary majority. However, despite winning the popular vote and achieving both the highest-ever total vote and highest percentage vote share, Labour won fewer seats than the Conservative Party. This election marked the return of Winston Churchill as Prime Minister, and the beginning of Labour's thirteen-year spell in opposition. This was the final general election to be held with George VI as monarch, as he died the following year on 6 February and was succeeded by his daughter, Elizabeth II. This was also the last election in which the Conservatives did better in Scotland than in England.
The 1955 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday 26 May 1955, four years after the previous general election in 1951. It was a snap election: After Winston Churchill retired in April 1955, Anthony Eden took over and immediately called the election in order to gain a mandate for his government. It resulted in a majority of 60 seats for the government under new leader and Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden; the result remains the largest party share of the vote at a post-war general election. This was the first general election to be held with Elizabeth II as monarch, having succeeded her father George VI a year after the previous election.
The 1959 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday, 8 October 1959. It marked a third consecutive victory for the ruling Conservative Party, now led by Harold Macmillan. For the second time in a row, the Conservatives increased their overall majority in Parliament, this time to 100 seats, having gained 20 seats for a return of 365. The Labour Party, led by Hugh Gaitskell, lost 19 seats and returned 258. The Liberal Party, led by Jo Grimond, again returned only six MPs to the House of Commons, but managed to increase its overall share of the vote to 5.9%, compared to just 2.7% four years earlier.
The 1924 United Kingdom general election was held on Wednesday 29 October 1924, as a result of the defeat of the Labour minority government, led by Ramsay MacDonald, in the House of Commons on a motion of no confidence. It was the third general election to be held in less than two years.
The 1906 United Kingdom general election was held from 12 January to 8 February 1906.
The 2004 European Parliament election was the United Kingdom's part of the wider 2004 European Parliament election which was held between 10 and 13 June 2004 in the 25 member states of the European Union. The United Kingdom's part of this election was held on Thursday 10 June 2004. The election also coincided with the 2004 local elections and the London Assembly and mayoral elections. In total, 78 Members of the European Parliament were elected from the United Kingdom using proportional representation.
The 2005 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday 5 May 2005, to elect 646 members to the House of Commons. The Labour Party, led by Tony Blair, won its third consecutive victory, with Blair becoming the only Labour leader besides Harold Wilson to form three majority governments. However, its majority fell to 66 seats compared to the 167-seat majority it had won four years before. This was the first time the Labour Party had won a third consecutive election, and remains the party's most recent general election victory.
The 2010 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday 6 May 2010, with 45,597,461 registered voters entitled to vote to elect members to the House of Commons. The election took place in 650 constituencies across the United Kingdom under the first-past-the-post system. The election resulted in a large swing to the Conservative Party similar to that seen in 1979; the Labour Party lost the 66-seat majority it had previously enjoyed, but no party achieved the 326 seats needed for a majority. The Conservatives, led by David Cameron, won the most votes and seats, but still fell 20 seats short. This resulted in a hung parliament where no party was able to command a majority in the House of Commons. This was only the second general election since the Second World War to return a hung parliament, the first being the February 1974 election. However, a hung parliament was anticipated this time, so politicians and voters were better prepared for the constitutional process that would follow such a result. The coalition government that was subsequently formed was the first to eventuate directly from a UK election. The hung parliament came about in spite of the Conservatives managing both a higher vote total and a higher share of the vote than the previous Labour government had done in 2005, when it secured a comfortable majority. A total of 149 sitting MPs stood down at the election, the highest since 1945, including many former New Labour Cabinet ministers such as former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, Alan Milburn, Geoff Hoon, Ruth Kelly, James Purnell and John Reid. One reason for the very high number of MPs standing down was the parliamentary expenses scandal a year earlier.
The United Kingdom general elections overview is an overview of United Kingdom general election results since 1922. The 1922 election was the first election in the new United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, after the creation of the Irish Free State removed Southern Ireland from the UK.
Wednesbury was a borough constituency in England's Black Country which returned one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1868 until it was abolished for the February 1974 general election.
This is an annotated list of notable records from United Kingdom general elections from 1945 onwards.
The 2017 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday, 8 June 2017, two years after the previous general election in 2015. The governing Conservative Party remained the largest single party in the House of Commons but lost its small overall majority, resulting in the formation of a Conservative-led minority government with a confidence-and-supply agreement with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) of Northern Ireland.
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