All 630 seats in the House of Commons
316 seats needed for a majority
Colours denote the winning party—as shown in § Results
Composition of the House of Commons after the election
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 1955 general election remains the most recent occasion that the Conservative Party won the most seats in Scotland, also winning a majority of the popular vote in that country. No party has since won a majority of the votes there, though the Scottish National Party came very close in 2015. This was also the last time the Conservatives did better in Scotland than in the United Kingdom as a whole.
The election was fought on new boundaries, with five seats added to the 625 fought in 1951. On election day, the Daily Mirror had printed the front-page headline "Don't Let The Tories Cheat Our Children", urging its readers to elect Labour on the basis that it had "built a better Britain for us all" ( Daily Mirror 2012 ).
The BBC later described the election as one of the "dullest" after World War 2.The Daily Express wrote that the British people were more interested in Princess Margaret's romance with Peter Townsend. The Labour Party, then in its twentieth year of leadership under Clement Attlee, steadily lost ground owing to infighting between the left-wing (Bevanites) and the right-wing (Gaitskellites), resulting in an unclear election message. It was the fifth and last general election fought by Labour leader Clement Attlee, who by this time was 72 years old. Eden had only become Leader of the Conservative Party a few weeks before the election, after the retirement of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, but he had long been considered the heir apparent to the Conservative leadership. The Conservatives were hoping to take advantage of the end of food rationing and the positive atmosphere created by the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. Eden himself was telegenic (although not as great a public speaker as Churchill) and gradual economic growth benefited the party greatly.
The result showed very little change from 1951, with fewer than 25 seats changing hands and only a small swing from Labour to the Conservatives. The only real highlight of the night was in Northern Ireland, where Sinn Féin won two seats at a UK election for the first time since 1918 (before the partition of Ireland).
The Labour Party suffered at this time from deep internal divisions, yet for it this election was not the disaster it could have been.
Although little changed, this was a strong victory for the Conservatives, who won the largest share of the vote for a single party at a post-war general election.
The Liberal Party had yet another poor performance, only slightly improving their popular vote total from the previous election, and again winning just six seats. Five of their six seats did not have Conservative challengers, as per local-level agreements to avoid vote-splitting which likely would have thrown the seats to Labour; the only Liberal candidate to be victorious against both Conservative and Labour challengers was Orkney and Shetland MP Jo Grimond, who was first elected in 1950. The poor national showing was widely viewed as the death knell for the embattled leadership of Clement Davies, who resigned the following year and was replaced by Grimond.
Future Labour leader Michael Foot lost his seat of Plymouth Devonport at this election; he returned for Ebbw Vale at a 1960 by-election.
For the first time, television took a prominent role in the campaign; this is the earliest UK general election of which television coverage survives (the 1950 and 1951 election nights were broadcast on television live, but the footage was not recorded). Only three hours of the coverage, presented by Richard Dimbleby, was kept; this was rebroadcast on BBC Parliament on the fiftieth and sixtieth anniversaries of the date of the election.
|Party||Leader||Stood||Elected||Gained||Unseated||Net||% of total||%||No.||Net %|
|Sinn Féin||Paddy McLogan||12||2||2||0||+2||0.3||0.6||152,310||+0.5|
|Plaid Cymru||Gwynfor Evans||11||0||0||0||0||0.2||45,119||+0.2|
|Irish Labour||William Norton||1||0||0||1||−1||0.1||16,050||0.0|
|Ind. Labour Party||Annie Maxton||2||0||0||0||0||0.0||3,334||0.0|
|Government's new majority||60|
|Total votes cast||26,759,729|
|Labour||Labour (HOLD)||many||Ashfield (replaced Broxtowe), Barons Court (replaced Hammersmith South), Blackburn (replaced Blackburn East), Fulham (replaced Fulham East), Glasgow Provan (replaced Glasgow Camlachie), Hackney Central (replaced Hackney South), Kingston upon Hull West (replaced Kingston upon Hull Central), Manchester Openshaw (replaced Droylsden), Midlothian (replaced Midlothian and Peebles), Nottingham North (replaced Nottingham East), Nottingham West (replaced Nottingham North West), Reading (replaced Reading South), Walsall North (replaced Walsall), et al.|
|Liberal National||2||Bradford West (replaced Bradford Central), Plymouth Devonport|
|Conservative||19||Ayrshire Central, Carlisle, Ealing North, Gloucestershire South, Gravesend, Halifax, Hornchurch, Leeds North East, Liverpool Kirkdale, Maldon, Nottingham Central, Nottingham South, Preston South, Southampton Test, Sunderland South†, Walthamstow East, Wandsworth Central, Watford, The Wrekin|
|abolished||6||Birmingham Erdington, Fulham West, Glasgow Tradeston, Leeds Central, Manchester Clayton, Sheffield Neepsend|
|Irish Labour||UUP||1||Belfast West|
|Nationalist||Sinn Féin||1||Fermanagh and South Tyrone 2|
|Independent Republican||1||Mid Ulster 1|
|Liberal||Liberal (HOLD)||6||Bolton West, Cardiganshire, Carmarthen, Huddersfield West, Montgomery, Orkney and Shetland|
|Liberal National||Liberal National (HOLD)||17||Angus North and Mearns, Angus South, Bedfordshire South, Bradford North, Denbigh, Dumfriesshire, Fife East, Harwich, Holland with Boston, Huntingdonshire, Luton, Newcastle upon Tyne North, Norfolk Central, Renfrewshire West, Ross and Cromarty, St Ives, Torrington|
|Conservative||Labour||4||Bristol North West, Glasgow Govan, Norfolk South West, Romford|
|Conservative (HOLD)||many||Birmingham Selly Oak (replaced Birmingham King's Norton), Croydon NE (replaced Croydon East), Croydon NW (replaced Croydon North), Croydon South (replaced Croydon West), Howden (replaced Beverley), Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles (replaced Roxburgh and Selkirk), Stroud (replaced Stroud & Thornbury), et al.|
|Speaker||Cirencester and Tewkesbury*|
|abolished||2||Blackburn West, Leeds North, Reading North|
|UUP||UUP||9||North Antrim, South Antrim, Armagh, Belfast East, Belfast North, Belfast South, Down North, Down South, Londonderry|
|Seat created||Labour||5||Birmingham All Saints, Erith and Crayford, Feltham, Leeds East, Meriden|
|Seat created||Conservative||9||Chigwell, Eastleigh, Essex South East, Glasgow Craigton, Hertfordshire East, Nantwich, Rye, Surbiton, Walsall South|
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 Irish general election of 1918 was the part of the 1918 United Kingdom general election which took place in Ireland. It is now seen as a key moment in modern Irish history because it saw the overwhelming defeat of the moderate nationalist Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP), which had dominated the Irish political landscape since the 1880s, and a landslide victory for the radical Sinn Féin party. Sinn Féin had never stood in a general election, but had won six seats in by-elections in 1917–18. The party had vowed in its manifesto to establish an independent Irish Republic. In Ulster, however, the Unionist Party was the most successful party.
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.
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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 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 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.
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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.
The 1951 United Kingdom general election in Northern Ireland was held on 25 October as part of the wider general election with 12 MPs elected in single-seat constituencies using first-past-the-post.
The 1955 United Kingdom general election in Northern Ireland was held on 26 May as part of the wider general election with 12 MPs elected in single-seat constituencies using first-past-the-post.
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