1964 United Kingdom general election

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1964 United Kingdom general election
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
  1959 15 October 1964 1966  

All 630 seats in the House of Commons
316 seats needed for a majority
Opinion polls
Turnout77.1%, Decrease2.svg1.7%
 First partySecond partyThird party
  Harold Wilson.jpg Alec Douglas-Home (c1963) (cropped).jpg Jo Grimond in 1963 (3x4 crop).jpg
Leader Harold Wilson Alec Douglas-Home Jo Grimond
Party Labour Conservative Liberal
Leader since 14 February 1963 18 October 19635 November 1956
Leader's seat Huyton Kinross and
Western Perthshire
Orkney
and Shetland
Last election258 seats, 43.8%365 seats, 49.4%6 seats, 5.9%
Seats won317304 [note 1] 9
Seat changeIncrease2.svg59Decrease2.svg61Increase2.svg3
Popular vote12,205,80812,002,6423,099,283
Percentage44.1%43.4%11.2%
SwingIncrease2.svg0.3%Decrease2.svg6.0%Increase2.svg5.3%

UK General Election, 1964.svg
Colours denote the winning party—as shown in § Results

Composition of the Commons in 1964.svg
Composition of the House of Commons after the election

Prime Minister before election

Alec Douglas-Home
Conservative

Prime Minister after election

Harold Wilson
Labour

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 regained power. It resulted in the Conservatives, led by the incumbent Prime Minister Alec Douglas-Home, narrowly losing to the Labour Party, led by Harold Wilson; Labour secured a parliamentary majority of four seats and ended its thirteen years in opposition. Wilson became (at the time) the youngest Prime Minister since Lord Rosebery in 1894. To date, this is also the most narrow majority obtained in the House of Commons with just 1 seat clearing labour for Majority Government.

Contents

Background

Both major parties had changed leadership in 1963. Following the sudden death of Hugh Gaitskell early in the year, Labour had chosen Harold Wilson (at the time, thought of as being on the party's centre-left), while Alec Douglas-Home (at the time the Earl of Home) had taken over as Conservative leader and Prime Minister in the autumn after Harold Macmillan announced his resignation. Douglas-Home shortly afterward disclaimed his peerage under the Peerage Act 1963 in order to lead the party from the Commons.

Macmillan had led the Conservative government since January 1957. Despite initial popularity and a resounding election victory in 1959, he had become increasingly unpopular in the early 1960s, due tor rising unemployment and inflation during the recession of 1960–1961 and the United States' cancellation of the Skybolt program intended to provide Britain with an independent nuclear weapons delivery system after the cancellation of the Blue Streak project. Although Macmillan ended the latter crisis with the Nassau Agreement guaranteeing US assistance in the Polaris programme of submarine-launched ballistic missiles, this also indirectly harmed his reputation after French President Charles de Gaulle vetoed Britain's accession bid to the European Communities over his skepticism at the Anglo-American "Special Relationship." [1]

However, the Labour Party was temporarily divided due to the death of Gaitskell in 1963 and the subsequent leadership election. Although Wilson won this election against his opponents George Brown and James Callaghan, he was distrusted within the party because of his previous unsuccessful leadership challenge to Gaitskell in 1960. [2] The party also suffered from internal policy disputes over unilateral nuclear disarmament and Clause IV of its constitution committing it to nationalization of industry. [3]

It was for a while thought likely that the Conservatives would win the scheduled 1964 general election, albeit with a reduced majority, but then the emergence of the Profumo affair in March 1963 and Macmillan's handling of the matter all but destroyed the credibility of his government. While he survived a vote of no confidence in June 1963, polling indicated that the Conservatives would lose the next election heavily if Macmillan remained in power, which, along with health issues, caused Macmillan to announce his resignation in the autumn of 1963.

Douglas-Home faced a difficult task in rebuilding the party's popularity with just a year elapsing between taking office and having to face a general election. Wilson had begun to try to tie the Labour Party to the growing confidence of Britain in the 1960s, asserting that the "white heat of revolution" would sweep away "restrictive practices ... on both sides of industry". The Liberal Party enjoyed a resurgence after a virtual wipeout in the 1950s, and doubled its share of the vote, primarily at the expense of the Conservatives. Although Labour did not increase its vote share significantly, the fall in support for the Conservatives led to Wilson securing an overall majority of four seats. [4] This proved to be unworkable, and Wilson called a snap election in 1966.

Campaign

The pre-election campaign was prolonged, as Douglas-Home delayed calling a general election to give himself as much time as possible to improve the prospects of his party. The Labour Party indicated that it held high popular support by winning the 1964 London local elections. This led to speculation that the Conservative government would not call an election in 1964 despite constitutional precedent requiring it do so quinquennially in peacetime. However, Conservative leaders became more optimistic about their chances after winning three by-elections in Winchester, Bury St. Edmunds, and Devizes. The election campaign formally began on 25 September 1964 when Douglas-Home saw the Queen and asked for a dissolution of Parliament. The dissolution notably occurred without a formal royal prorogation and recall for the first time since 1922. [5]

The campaign was dominated by some of the more voluble characters of the political scene at the time. While George Brown, deputy leader of the Labour Party, toured the country making energetic speeches (and the occasional gaffe), Quintin Hogg was a leading spokesman for the Conservatives. The image of Hogg lashing out at a Wilson poster with his walking stick was one of the most striking of the campaign.[ citation needed ]

The Labour Party campaigned on what historian Andrew Thorpe called "the basis of revisionism given a significant twist in the direction of Wilsonian planning, and a more dirigiste approach to industrial modernization." [2] Labour's manifesto Let's Go with Labour for New Britain reflected Party Leader Wilson's belief that social justice and technological progress would transform industry to create a planned economy capable of providing full employment, rapid economic growth, favourable balance of trade, and control of inflation.[ citation needed ] Party leaders also decided that they had lost the previous election because of their failure to come to terms with their failure to appeal to the middle class after its growth from the post–World War II economic expansion, and adjusted strategy accordingly. [6]

Labour called for greater co-ordination between state-run enterprises and repeated its past pledges for the renationalisation of the steel and road haulage industries privatised by past Conservative governments. However, it declared that it would not nationalise any further industries. It also promised expansions of social services, tax reform, and what would become the prices and incomes policy. In education it sought comprehensivisation of secondary education and a higher school-leaving age, while in immigration it sought both immigration quotas restricting future entry and equal rights for immigrants who had already arrived in the country. In foreign policy it pledged a re-evaluation of previous governments' foreign aid and alliances, increased British assertiveness at the United Nations, a build-up of the conventional components of the British Armed Forces, but did not promise unilateral nuclear disarmament and the dismantlement of the British nuclear arsenal as some left-wing members of the party desired. [2] [7] While early campaigning suggested that a Labour government would abandon the Polaris programme, Wilson quickly decided to avoid this topic altogether due to the continuing popularity of an independent British nuclear deterrent. [8] Labour's platform of a "socialist foreign policy" also criticised the Conservative government for a scandal involving the British defense contractor Ferranti, the Aden Emergency, Cypriot intercommunal violence, escalating American involvement in the Vietnam War, arms sales to the apartheid regime of South Africa, and a contract to construct naval frigates for Francoist Spain. [9]

The Conservative Party suffered in the election because of Douglas-Home's unpopularity caused by his aristocratic background, his accession to the premiership without a formal election, his economic and trade policies, and the side-lining of popular Conservative leaders such as Enoch Powell and Iain Macleod. Even many Conservatives condemned him for the Resale Prices Act 1964 abolishing resale price maintenance. Douglas-Home's predecessor Macmillan described him to Queen Elizabeth II as "steel painted as wood." However, his campaigning did allow the Conservative Party's lag in the polls to narrow. [10] [11] [12] The Conservative manifesto Prosperity with a Purpose pledged closer relations with the Atlantic world and the Commonwealth of Nations, development of nuclear power, industrial retraining, increased capital investment in British industry, and continued development of BAC TSR-2 supersonic fighter-bomber project. [13] [14] The Conservative campaign emphasised the party's diplomatic successes such as the Nassau Agreement, the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and the defense of Malaysia in the Borneo Confrontation. [9] Although the Conservatives made limited appeals to new Caribbean, African, and South Asian immigrants by printing campaign literature in Hindi and Urdu, it defended the Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962 restricting immigration of Commonwealth citizens. [15]

As in previous elections since its decline, the Liberal Party under Jo Grimond's leadership positioned itself as a non-socialist, individualist alternative to Labour. The two key domestic policy pledges in its manifesto Think for Yourself, Vote Liberal were reforms to improve the British healthcare system and devolution for Scotland and Wales. [13] The Liberals also were distinguished by their internationalist foreign policy, becoming the first major party to endorse explicitly British membership in the European Economic Union. Supporters and leaders of the Liberal Party hoped for a breakthrough in 1964 which would re-establish it as a powerful force in British politics after its dramatic recovery from near-extinction in the 1950s and a surprise victory in the 1962 Orpington by-election, the party's first win outside the "Celtic fringe" of South West England, Wales, and Scotland in over a decade. However, by 1964 the Liberals lost much of their momentum by losing a series of by-elections and local elections, and faced growing financial difficulties. [16]

Many party speakers, especially at televised rallies, had to deal with hecklers; in particular Douglas-Home was treated very roughly at a meeting in Birmingham. Douglas-Home's speeches dealt with the future of the nuclear deterrent, while fears of Britain's relative decline in the world, reflected in chronic balance of payment problems, helped the Labour Party's case. [17]

By 1964, television had developed as a medium and played a much greater role than in previous British elections. It received more coverage from current affairs programs such as BBC1's Panorama, Associated-Rediffusion's This Week , and Granada Television's World in Action as well as political satire inspired by the success of That Was the Week That Was . [7] The election night was broadcast live by BBC Television, and was presented for the fifth and final time by Richard Dimbleby, with Robin Day, Ian Trethowan, Cliff Michelmore and David Butler. [18]

Opinion polling

Results

The Conservatives made a surprising recovery from being well behind Labour when Home become prime minister, and would have won if 900 voters in eight seats had changed votes. [19] Labour won a very slim majority of four seats, forming a government for the first time since 1951. Labour achieved a swing of just over 3%, although its vote rose by only 0.3% and achieved a lesser number of votes than in its previous defeats of 1955 and 1959. The main shift was the swing from the Conservatives to the Liberals of 5.7%. The Liberals defied popular expectations of a net loss and won nearly twice as many votes as in 1959, partly because they had 150 more candidates. Although this was the Liberals' best electoral performance since the 1929 general election and left it in a key parliamentary position due to Labour's slender majority, it failed to achieve the desired breakthrough returning the party to its pre-World War II status. [16] Wilson became Prime Minister, replacing Douglas-Home. The four-seat majority was not sustainable for a full Parliament, and Wilson called another general election in 1966. In particular the small majority meant the government could not implement its policy of nationalising the steel industry, due to the opposition of two of its backbenchers, Woodrow Wyatt and Desmond Donnelly.

89 female candidates stood in the election with 29 women being elected as MPs (11 for the Conservatives and 18 for Labour). [20]

This was the only election in Britain's recent history when all seats were won by the three main parties: no minor parties, independents or splinter groups won any seats. It is also the only time both Labour and the Conservatives have taken over 300 seats each and was the last election in which one party, namely the Conservative Party, contested every single seat. The Conservatives had previously held off on contesting certain Liberal-held seats as per local-level agreements to avoid vote-splitting, but ended that policy at this election. The resultant splitting of votes actually helped grant Labour a majority, by throwing two formerly Liberal-held seats in northern England to Labour; however, the outcome of the election would not have been meaningfully altered had the Liberals retained the seats, as Labour would still have had as many seats as the other two parties combined, and Liberal leader Jo Grimond was not inclined to prop up a minority Conservative government.

Home told D. R. Thorpe that the most important reason for the Conservative loss was Iain Macleod's "The Tory Leadership" article, in which the former cabinet minister claimed that an Etonian "magic circle" conspiracy had led to Home becoming prime minister. [19] British Ambassador to the United States David Ormsby-Gore wrote to Home that "Almost anything could have tipped the balance. Khrushchev’s removal from office twelve hours earlier, China’s nuclear explosion thirty-six hours earlier or just Rab [Butler] keeping his mouth shut for once." [15] David Butler and Donald E. Stokes's influential 1969 British Election Study report Political Change in Britain attributed the Labour victory to Wilson's greater popularity than Home and the party's appeal to younger voters. After British elections in the 1980s and the 1990s challenged many of the assumptions of Butler and Stokes's model, the BES issued a second 2001 report by political scientists from the University of Texas and the University of Essex emphasizing the role of valence politics over public perception of party performance. [21]

Working-class voters also selected Labour in greater numbers than in the previous election due in part to the weakening of the postwar boom which had popularized the Conservatives in the 1950s, although the Conservatives attracted a greater number of female voters than before. The Conservatives tried attract working-class voters by improving the party's relationships with trade union movement in the 1960s through the Conservative Trade Union Councils at the party level and the new National Economic Development Council at the governmental level. However, their outreach had been weakened by the Rookes v Barnard decision allowing employers to collect punitive damages from strike actions and Home's tough approach to industrial relations. [11] [22] [23] As a result, the trade unions heavily supported Labour in the election and encouraged working-class support of the party. [11] As much as 85 percent of Labour's election spending consisted of funds raised by trade unions. [24] Aggregate data analyses of the results demonstrate higher turnout in constituencies dominated by the professional–managerial class, agricultural workers, council tenants, voters without automobiles, and the elderly. [25] Many salaried professionals who ordinarily supported for the Conservatives voted for Labour because of high inflation.[ citation needed ] On the other hand, Labour's poorer performance in central and southern England and loss of five seats in that area indicated an increasing white working-class backlash against nonwhite immigration. The most notable example was the Smethwick contest where the racist Conservative candidate Peter Griffiths unseated Shadow Foreign Secretary Patrick Gordon Walker. [2] [15] [26]

3173049
LabourConservativeLib
1964 UK parliament.svg
UK General Election 1964 [27] [28]
CandidatesVotes
PartyLeaderStoodElectedGainedUnseatedNet % of total %No.Net %
  Labour Harold Wilson 628317634+5950.344.112,205,808+0.3
  Conservative Alec Douglas-Home 630304 [note 1] 4656148.343.412,002,6426.0
  Liberal Jo Grimond 365952+31.411.23,099,283+5.3
  Independent Republican N/A1200000.4101,628N/A
  Plaid Cymru Gwynfor Evans 2300000.369,5070.0
  SNP Arthur Donaldson 1500000.264,044+0.1
  Communist John Gollan 3600000.246,442+0.1
  Independent N/A2000000.118,677N/A
  Independent Liberal N/A400000.116,064N/A
  Republican Labour Gerry Fitt 1 00000.114,678N/A
  Ind. Conservative N/A500 1 10.06,459N/A
  British National John Bean 1 00000.03,410N/A
  Anti-Common Market League John Paul & Michael Shay200000.03,083N/A
  Ind. Nuclear Disarmament Pat Arrowsmith 200000.01,534N/A
  Fellowship Ronald Mallone 1 00000.01,1120.0
  Patriotic Party Richard Hilton200000.01,108N/A
  League of Empire Loyalists Arthur K. Chesterton 300000.01,046N/A
  Communist Anti-Revisionist Michael McCreery 1 00000.0899N/A
 Christian ProgressiveN/A 1 00000.0865N/A
  Taxpayers' Coalition Party John E. Dayton 1 00000.0709N/A
  Agriculturalist N/A100000.0534N/A
  Independent Labour N/A 1 00000.0458N/A
  National Democratic David Brown 1 00000.0349N/A
  Socialist (GB) N/A200000.03220.0
  World Government Gilbert Young 1 00000.0318N/A
 British and CommonwealthMiles Blair 1 00000.0310N/A
  Social Credit Party of Great Britain and Northern Ireland John Hargrave 1 00000.0304N/A
  Christian Socialist N/A100000.0265N/A
All parties shown. [note 3]
Government's new majority4
Total votes cast27,657,148
Turnout77%

Votes summary

Popular vote
Labour
44.13%
Conservative
43.41%
Liberal
11.21%
Others
1.25%

Seats summary

Parliamentary seats
Labour
50.32%
Conservative
48.25%
Liberal
1.43%

Transfers of seats

FromToNo.Seats
Labour Labour (HOLD) Aberavon, Aberdare, Aberdeen North, Abertillery, Accrington, Anglesey, Ashton-under-Lyne, Ayrshire Central, Ayrshire South, Barking, Barrow-in-Furness, Bedwellty, Belper, Birkenhead, Bishop Auckland, Blackburn, Blaydon, Bolsover, Bootle, Bosworth, Bothwell, Brecon and Radnor, Brigg, Bristol Central, Bristol South, Bristol South East 4, Burnley, Caernarfon, Caerphilly, Cardiff South East, Cardiff West, Carmarthen, Chester-le-Street, Chesterfield, Chorley, Coatbridge and Airdrie, Consett, Crewe, Dagenham, Dartford, Derby North, Derby South, Derbyshire North East, Dudley, Dunbartonshire East, Dunbartonshire West, Dundee East, Dundee West, Dunfermline Burghs, Durham, Durham North West, Easington, East Ham N, East Ham S, Ebbw Vale, Eccles, Edinburgh Central, Edinburgh East, Edinburgh Leith, Erith and Crayford, Falmouth and Camborne, Farnworth, Faversham, Fife West, Flintshire East, Gateshead East, Gateshead West, Glasgow Bridgeton, Glasgow Central, Glasgow Craigton, Glasgow Gorbals, Glasgow Govan, Glasgow Maryhill, Glasgow Provan, Glasgow Scotstoun, Glasgow Shettleston, Glasgow Springburn, Gloucester, Gloucestershire West, Goole, Gower, Greenock, Grimsby, Hamilton, Houghton-le-Spring, Huyton, Ilkeston, Ince, Jarrow, Kilmarnock, Kingston upon Hull East, Kingston upon Hull West, Kirkcaldy Burghs, Lanark, Lanarkshire North, Leicester NE, Leicester NW, Leicester SW, Leigh, Leyton, Lincoln, Liverpool Edge Hill, Liverpool Exchange, Liverpool Scotland, Llanelli, Loughborough, Manchester Ardwick, Manchester Cheetham, Manchester Exchange, Manchester Gorton, Manchester Openshaw, Merionethshire, Merthyr Tydfil, Midlothian, Motherwell, Neath, Nelson and Colne, Newport (Monmouthshire), Newton, Ogmore, Oldbury and Halesowen, Oldham East, Oldham West, Paisley, Pembrokeshire, Pontypool, Pontypridd, Rhondda East, Rhondda West, Rochdale, Romford, Rossendale, Rowley Regis and Tipton, St Helens, Salford East, Salford West, Sedgefield, South Shields, Southampton Itchen, Stalybridge and Hyde, Stirling and Falkirk, Stirlingshire East and Clackmannan, Stirlingshire West, Stockton-on-Tees, Sunderland North, Swansea East, Thurrock, Walthamstow W, Warrington, West Ham North, West Ham South, West Lothian, Western Isles, Westhoughton, Whitehaven, Widnes, Wigan, Workington, Wrexham
National Liberal
Conservative Eton and Slough, Smethwick
Liberal Labour Bolton West, Huddersfield West
Liberal (HOLD) Cardiganshire, Devon North, Montgomeryshire, Orkney and Shetland
National Liberal Labour Luton†, Renfrewshire West
Liberal Ross and Cromarty
National Liberal (HOLD) Bristol North East, Harwich, Holland with Boston, Huntingdonshire, St Ives
Conservative Angus North and Mearns, Angus South, Bedfordshire South*, Dumfries†, Fife East†, Plymouth Devonport*
Conservative Labour Bolton East, Buckingham, Bury and Radcliffe, Carlisle, Derbyshire South East, Dover, Epping, Glasgow Kelvingrove, Glasgow Pollok, Glasgow Woodside†, Gravesend, The Hartlepools, Heywood and Royton, Hitchin, Kingston upon Hull North, Liverpool Kirkdale, Liverpool Toxteth, Liverpool Walton, Liverpool West Derby, Manchester Blackley, Manchester Wythenshawe, Preston South, Rochester and Chatham, Rutherglen†, Stockport North, Stockport South, Sunderland South, Swansea West, Watford
Liberal Bodmin, Inverness, Orpington
Conservative (HOLD) Aberdeen South, Aberdeenshire East, Aberdeenshire West, Abingdon, Aldershot, Altrincham and Sale, Argyll, Ashford, Aylesbury, Ayr, Ayrshire North and Bute, Banff, Barnet, Barry, Basingstoke, Bebington, Beckenham, Bedford, Bedfordshire Mid, Berwick and East Lothian, Bexley, Billericay, Blackpool North, Blackpool South, Bournemouth East & Christchurch, Bournemouth West, Bridlington, Bristol North West, Bristol West, Bromley, Bromsgrove, Buckinghamshire South, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, Canterbury, Cardiff North, Cheadle, Chelmsford, Cheltenham, Chester, Chigwell, Chislehurst, Cirencester and Tewkesbury, Clitheroe, Colchester, Conway, Cornwall North, Crosby, Darlington, Darwen, Denbigh, West Derbyshire, Dorset North, Dorset South 3, Dorset West, Eastleigh, Edinburgh North, Edinburgh Pentlands, Edinburgh South, Edinburgh West, Essex SE, Exeter, Flintshire West, Folkestone and Hythe, Fylde North, Fylde South, Gainsborough, Galloway, Gillingham, Glasgow Cathcart, Glasgow Hillhead, Gloucestershire South, Gosport and Fareham, Grantham, Haltemprice, Harborough, Hemel Hempstead, Hereford, Hertford, Hertfordshire E, Hertfordshire SW, High Peak, Honiton, Horncastle, Hornchurch, Howden, Ilford North, Ilford South, Isle of Ely, Isle of Thanet, Isle of Wight, Kidderminster, Kinross and West Perthshire, Knutsford, Lancaster, Leicester South East, Leominster, Liverpool Garston, Liverpool Wavertree, Louth, Macclesfield, Maidstone, Maldon, Manchester Moss Side, Manchester Withington, Melton, Middleton and Prestwich, Monmouth, Moray and Nairn, Morecambe and Lonsdale, Nantwich, New Forest, Newbury, Northwich, Ormskirk, Plymouth Sutton, Penrith and the Border, Perth and East Perthshire, Petersfield, Poole, Portsmouth Langstone, Portsmouth South, Portsmouth West, Preston North, Reading, Renfrewshire East, Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles, Runcorn, Rutland and Stamford, Saffron Walden, St Albans, Sevenoaks, Southampton Test, Southend East, Southend West, Southport, Stretford, Stroud, Tavistock, Tiverton, Tonbridge, Torquay, Torrington, Totnes, Truro, Wallasey, Walthamstow East, Wanstead and Woodford, Westmorland, Winchester, Windsor, Wirral, Wokingham, Worcester, Worcestershire South, Wycombe
Ind. Conservative
Ind. Conservative Liberal Caithness and Sutherland
Ulster Unionist Ulster Unionist North Antrim, South Antrim, Armagh, Belfast East, Belfast North, Belfast South, Belfast West, Down North, Down South, Fermanagh and South Tyrone, Londonderry, Mid Ulster
Conservative Speaker Cities of London and Westminster

Incumbents defeated

PartyNameConstituencyOffice held whilst in powerYear electedDefeated byParty
Conservative Party Philip Holland Acton 1959 Bernard Floud Labour Party
William Compton Carr Barons Court 1959 Ivor Richard Labour Party
Ernest Partridge Battersea South 1951 Ernie Perry Labour Party
John Hollingworth Birmingham All Saints 1959 Brian Walden Labour Party
Leslie Seymour Birmingham Sparkbrook 1959 Roy Hattersley Labour Party
Leonard Cleaver Birmingham Yardley 1959 Ioan Evans Labour Party
Douglas Marshall Bodmin 1945 Peter Bessell Liberal Party
William Taylor Bradford North 1950 Ben Ford Labour Party
David James Brighton Kemptown 1959 Dennis Hobden Labour Party
John Bidgood Bury and Radcliffe 1955 David Ensor Labour Party
Donald Johnson Carlisle 1955 Ronald Lewis Labour Party
Sir Alan Glyn Clapham 1959 Margaret McKay Labour Party
Wilf Proudfoot Cleveland 1959 James Tinn Labour Party
Philip Hocking Coventry South 1959 Bill Wilson Labour Party
Anthony Bourne-Arton Darlington 1959 Ted Fletcher Labour Party
Anthony Barber Doncaster Minister of Health 1951 Harold Walker Labour Party
John Arbuthnot Dover 1950 David Ennals Labour Party
Graeme Finlay Epping 1951 Stan Newens Labour Party
Frank Lilley Glasgow Kelvingrove 1959 Maurice Miller Labour Party
Peter Kirk Gravesend Under-Secretary of State for War 1955 Albert Murray Labour Party
Maurice Macmillan Halifax 1955 Shirley Summerskill Labour Party
Tony Leavey Heywood and Royton 1955 Joel Barnett Labour Party
Martin Maddan Hitchin 1955 Shirley Williams Labour Party
Geoffrey Johnson-Smith Holborn and St Pancras South 1959 Lena Jeger Labour Party
Neil McLean Inverness 1954 Russell Johnston Liberal Party
Marcus Worsley Keighley 1959 John Binns Labour Party
Denys Bullard King's Lynn 1959 Derek Page Labour Party
Michael Coulson Kingston upon Hull North Parliamentary Private Secretary 1959 Henry Solomons Labour Party
Norman Pannell Liverpool Kirkdale 1955 James Dunn Labour Party
Reginald Bevins Liverpool Toxteth Postmaster General 1950 Richard Crawshaw Labour Party
Kenneth Thompson Liverpool Walton 1950 Eric Heffer Labour Party
John Woollam Liverpool West Derby 1954 by-election Eric Ogden Labour Party
Eric Johnson Manchester Blackley 1951 Paul Rose Labour Party
Eveline Hill Manchester Wythenshawe 1950 Alf Morris Labour Party
Gordon Matthews Meriden Parliamentary Private Secretary 1959 Christopher Rowland Labour Party
Fergus Montgomery Newcastle upon Tyne East Parliamentary Private Secretary 1959 Geoffrey Rhodes Labour Party
Geoffrey Rippon Norwich South 1955 Christopher Norwood Labour Party
John Cordeaux Nottingham Central 1955 Jack Dunnett Labour Party
Peter Tapsell Nottingham West 1959 Michael English Labour Party
Alan Green Preston South Financial Secretary to the Treasury 1955 Peter Mahon Labour Party
Hugh Linstead Putney 1942 by-election Hugh Jenkins Labour Party
Julian Critchley Rochester and Chatham 1959 Anne Kerr Labour Party
Norman Hulbert Stockport North 1950 Arnold Gregory Labour Party
Harold Steward Stockport South 1955 by-election Maurice Orbach Labour Party
Paul Williams Sunderland South 1953 by-election Gordon Bagier Labour Party
Hugh Rees Swansea West Parliamentary Private Secretary 1959 Alan Williams Labour Party
John Kerans The Hartlepools 1959 Ted Leadbitter Labour Party
Michael Hughes-Young Wandsworth Central Treasurer of the Household 1955 David Kerr Labour Party
Frederick Farey-Jones Watford 1955 Raphael Tuck Labour Party
Michael Hamilton Wellingborough Lord Commissioner of the Treasury 1959 Harry Howarth Labour Party
Trevor Skeet Willesden East 1959 Reg Freeson Labour Party
Colin Turner Woolwich West 1959 Bill Hamling Labour Party
Labour Party Charles Howell Birmingham Perry Barr 1955 Wyndham Davies Conservative Party
Fenner Brockway Eton and Slough 1950 Anthony Meyer Conservative Party
Albert Hilton South West Norfolk 1959 by-election Paul Hawkins Conservative Party
Patrick Gordon Walker Smethwick Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs 1945 by-election Peter Griffiths Conservative Party
Liberal Party Arthur Holt Bolton West 1951 Gordon Oakes Labour Party
Donald Wade Huddersfield West Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party 1950 Ken Lomas Labour Party
Independent Liberal Sir John MacLeod Ross and Cromarty 1950 Alasdair Mackenzie Liberal Party

Televised results programmes

Both BBC Television and ITV provided live televised coverage of the results and provided commentary.


See also

Notes

  1. 1 2 The seat and vote count figures for the Conservatives given here include the Speaker of the House of Commons
  2. This summary of opinion poll findings from the last few days of the campaign is given early in the BBC's election night coverage.
  3. Conservative total includes Scottish Unionists, Ulster Unionists, and National Liberals.

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The Unionist Party was the main centre-right political party in Scotland between 1912 and 1965.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1950 United Kingdom general election</span>

The 1950 United Kingdom general election was the first ever to be held after a full term of Labour government. The election was held on Thursday 23 February 1950, and was the first held following the abolition of plural voting and university constituencies. The government's 1945 lead over the Conservative Party shrank dramatically, and Labour was returned to power but with an overall majority reduced from 146 to just 5. There was a 2.8% national swing towards the Conservatives, who gained 90 seats. Labour called another general election in 1951, which the Conservative Party won.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1951 United Kingdom general election</span> October 1951 general election

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, for he died the following year on 6 February and was succeeded by his daughter, Elizabeth II. It is also the most recent election in which the Conservatives have done better in Scotland than in England.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1959 United Kingdom general election</span> 8th October 1959

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 a landslide majority of 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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1918 United Kingdom general election</span>

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, including party leader H. H. Asquith.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1906 United Kingdom general election</span> Last UK Liberal party electoral parliamentary majority result

The 1906 United Kingdom general election was held from 12 January to 8 February 1906.

The National Democratic and Labour Party, usually abbreviated to National Democratic Party (NDP), was a short-lived political party in the United Kingdom.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Night of the Long Knives (1962)</span> UK political crisis in 1962

In British politics, the "Night of the Long Knives" was a major Cabinet reshuffle that took place on 13 July 1962. Prime Minister Harold Macmillan dismissed seven members of his Cabinet, one-third of the total. The speed and scale of the reshuffle caused it to be associated by its critics with the 1934 Night of the Long Knives in Nazi Germany.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Heath ministry</span> Premiership of Edward Heath

Edward Heath of the Conservative Party formed the Heath ministry and was appointed Prime Minister of the United Kingdom by Queen Elizabeth II on 19 June 1970, following the 18 June general election. Heath's ministry ended after the February 1974 general election, which produced a hung parliament, leading to the formation of a minority government by Harold Wilson of the Labour Party.

Wednesbury was a borough constituency in England's Black Country which returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1868 until it was abolished for the February 1974 general election.

Emlyn Hugh Garner Evans was a British barrister, Royal Air Force officer, and politician. Early in his career he adhered to the Liberal Party and was once arrested in Nazi Germany for expressing anti-fascist views. He later transferred to the Conservative-allied National Liberals and was elected to Parliament; however his continued allegiance to the Liberal side brought about a premature termination of his Parliamentary career.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Postwar Britain (1945–1979)</span>

When Britain emerged victorious from the Second World War, the Labour Party under Clement Attlee came to power and created a comprehensive welfare state, with the establishment of the National Health Service giving free healthcare to all British citizens, and other reforms to benefits. The Bank of England, railways, heavy industry, and coal mining were all nationalised. The most controversial issue was nationalisation of steel, which was profitable unlike the others. Economic recovery was slow, housing was in short supply, bread was rationed along with many necessities in short supply. It was an "age of austerity". American loans and Marshall Plan grants kept the economy afloat. India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon gained independence. Britain was a strong anti-Soviet factor in the Cold War and helped found NATO in 1949. Many historians describe this era as the "post-war consensus" emphasizing how both the Labour and Conservative parties until the 1970s tolerated or encouraged nationalisation, strong trade unions, heavy regulation, high taxes, and a generous welfare state.

References

  1. Barberis, Peter (September 2007). "Introduction: The 1964 General Election—the 'Not Quite, But' and 'But Only Just' Election". Contemporary British History. 21 (3): 284–285. doi:10.1080/13619460600825840. ISSN   1361-9462. S2CID   144383151 via Taylor and Francis Online.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Thorpe, Andrew (1997). A History of the British Labour Party. London: Macmillan Education UK. pp. 154–156. doi:10.1007/978-1-349-25305-0. ISBN   978-0-333-56081-5.
  3. Fielding 2007, p. 315.
  4. 1964: Labour scrapes through, BBC News, 5 April 2005, retrieved 21 May 2018
  5. Schaffer, B. B. (7 April 2008). "The British General Election, 1964: A Retrospect". Australian Journal of Politics & History. 11 (1): 7–22. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8497.1965.tb00411.x.
  6. Fielding, Steven (September 2007). "Rethinking Labour's 1964 Campaign". Contemporary British History. 21 (3): 309–324. doi:10.1080/13619460600825873. ISSN   1361-9462. S2CID   153901372 via Taylor and Francis Online.
  7. 1 2 Barberis (2007) , p. 286
  8. Young 2007, p. 362-364.
  9. 1 2 Young, John W. (September 2007). "International Factors and the 1964 Election". Contemporary British History. 21 (3): 353–355. doi:10.1080/13619460600825931. ISSN   1361-9462. S2CID   154812255.
  10. "Sir Alec Douglas-Home | prime minister of United Kingdom | Britannica". www.britannica.com. Retrieved 28 June 2022.
  11. 1 2 3 "History of Sir Alec Douglas-Home - GOV.UK". www.gov.uk. Retrieved 28 June 2022.
  12. Schaffer 2008, p. 11.
  13. 1 2 Barberis (2007) , p. 288
  14. Young 2007, p. 360.
  15. 1 2 3 Young (2007) , p. 361-362
  16. 1 2 Barberis, Peter (September 2007). "The 1964 General Election and the Liberals' False Dawn". Contemporary British History. 21 (3): 373–379. doi:10.1080/13619460600825949. ISSN   1361-9462. S2CID   153819205 via Taylor and Francis Online.
  17. John W. Young, "International Factors and the 1964 Election." Contemporary British History (2007) 21#3 pp 351-371.
  18. UK General Election 1964 – Results Round-up on YouTube
  19. 1 2 Vernon Bogdanor (18 January 2014). "The Spectator book review that brought down Macmillan's government". The Spectator. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  20. Dod's Parliamentary Companion 1966. Epsom, Surrey: Business Directories Limited. 1966. pp. 574–575.
  21. Denver, David (1 September 2007). "The 1964 General Election: Explaining Voting Behaviour Then and Now". Contemporary British History. 21 (3): 295–307. doi:10.1080/13619460600825857. ISSN   1361-9462. S2CID   153838758 via Taylor and Francis Online.
  22. Wrigley, Chris (September 2007). "Trade Unions and the 1964 General Election". Contemporary British History. 21 (3): 326–328. doi:10.1080/13619460600825899. ISSN   1361-9462. S2CID   153352143 via Taylor and Francis Online.
  23. Barberis 2007, p. 190-191.
  24. Wrigley 2007, p. 331.
  25. Denver 2007, p. 304.
  26. Schaffer (2008) , p. 16-19
  27. "United Kingdom election results—summary results 1885–1979". Archived from the original on 23 February 2008.
  28. "Summary of the election".

Further reading

Manifestos