1964 United Kingdom general election

Last updated

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).jpg Jo Grimond.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
and Shetland
Last election258 seats, 43.8%365 seats, 49.4%6 seats, 5.9%
Seats won3173049
Seat changeIncrease2.svg59Decrease2.svg61Increase2.svg3
Popular vote12,205,80812,002,6423,099,283

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

Prime Minister after election

Harold Wilson

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, 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 Labour Party achieved substantial gains in Scotland, beginning the party's political domination of that country that lasted until the rise of the SNP at the 2015 general election.


Both major parties had changed leadership in 1963; after the sudden death of Hugh Gaitskell early in the year, Labour chose Harold Wilson (who was then thought of as being on the party's centre-left), while Sir Alec Douglas-Home (then 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 afterwards disclaimed his title 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, and while it was for a while thought likely that the Conservatives would win the scheduled 1964 general election, albeit with a reduced majority, 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. [1] This proved to be unworkable, and Wilson called a snap election in 1966.


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 election campaign formally began on 25 September 1964 when Douglas-Home saw the Queen and asked for a dissolution of Parliament. 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 ]

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. [2]

The election night was broadcast live by the BBC, and was presented for the fifth and final time by Richard Dimbleby, with Robin Day, Ian Trethowan, Cliff Michelmore and David Butler. [3]

Opinion polling


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. [4] 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%. The main shift was the swing from the Conservatives to the Liberals of 5.7%. The Liberals won nearly twice as many votes as in 1959, partly because they had 150 more candidates. 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. [5]

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. [4]

1964 UK parliament.svg
UK General Election 1964
PartyLeaderStoodElectedGainedUnseatedNet % of total %No.Net %
  Labour Harold Wilson 628317634+5950.344.112,205,808+0.3
  Conservative Alec Douglas-Home 6303044656148.343.412,002,6426.0
  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. [lower-alpha 2]
Government's new majority4
Total votes cast27,657,148

Votes summary

Popular vote

Seats summary

Parliamentary seats

Regional results

Great Britain

PartyVotes% of voteCandidatesSeats% of seats+/–
Labour 12,103,04944.8618317
Conservative & Unionist 11,600,74542.9618292
Conservative 10,292,97438.1599286
Unionist 981,6413.66524
National Liberal 326,1301.2196
Liberal 3,081,92911.43619
Plaid Cymru 69,5070.32300.0Equals-sign-blue.gif
SNP 64,0440.21500.0Equals-sign-blue.gif
Communist 46,4420.23600.0Equals-sign-blue.gif
Other parties and independents53,1160.24700.0
Total (turnout: 77.2%)27,018,832100.01,718618100.0Equals-sign-blue.gif
Did not vote 7,984,670
Registered voters 35,003,502
British population 52,608,000
Source: Rallings & Thrasher
PartyVotes% of voteCandidatesSeats% of seats+/–
Conservative & Unionist 10,106,02844.151126251.3
Conservative 9,894,01443.150025650.1
National Liberal 212,0140.91161.1
Labour 9,982,36043.551124648.1
Liberal 2,775,75212.132330.6
Communist 24,8240.12200.0Equals-sign-blue.gif
Other parties and independents48,2870.24200.0
Total (turnout: 77.0%)22,937,251100.01,409511100.0Equals-sign-blue.gif
Did not vote 6,867,376
Registered voters 29,804,627
English population 44,610,500
Source: Rallings & Thrasher
PartyVotes% of voteCandidatesSeats% of seats+/–
Labour 1,283,66748.7714360.6+5
Conservative & Unionist 1,069,69540.6712433.87
Unionist 981,64137.3652433.81
National Liberal 88,0543.3600.06
Liberal 200,0637.62645.6+3
SNP 64,0442.41500.0Equals-sign-blue.gif
Communist 12,2410.5900.0Equals-sign-blue.gif
Other parties and independents4,8290.2500.0
Total (turnout: 77.6%)2,634,539100.019771100.0Equals-sign-blue.gif
Did not vote 759,352
Registered voters 3,393,891
Scottish population 5,209,000
Source: Rallings & Thrasher
PartyVotes% of voteCandidatesSeats% of seats+/–
Labour 837,02257.8362877.8
Conservative & Unionist 425,02229.436616.7
Conservative 398,96027.634616.7
National Liberal 26,0621.8200.0
Liberal 106,1147.31225.6
Plaid Cymru 69,5074.82300.0Equals-sign-blue.gif
Communist 9,3770.6500.0Equals-sign-blue.gif
Total (turnout: 80.1%)1,447,042100.011236100.0Equals-sign-blue.gif
Did not vote 358,453
Registered voters 1,805,495
Voting age population1,805,925
Welsh population 2,676,400
Source: Rallings & Thrasher

Northern Ireland

PartyVotes% of voteCandidatesSeats% of seats+/–
Conservative & Unionist 401,89763.01212100.0Equals-sign-blue.gif
Ulster Unionist Party
Labour 102,75916.11000.0Equals-sign-blue.gif
Independent Republican 101,62815.91200.0
Ulster Liberal 17,3542.7400.0
Republican Labour 14,6782.3100.0
Total (turnout: 71.7%)638,316100.012100.0Equals-sign-blue.gif
Did not vote 252,236
Registered voters 890,552
Voting age population891,043
Northern Irish population 1,458,000
Source: Rallings & Thrasher

Transfers of 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
Liberal National
Conservative Eton and Slough
Liberal Labour Bolton West, Huddersfield West
Liberal (HOLD) Cardiganshire, Devon North, Montgomeryshire, Orkney and Shetland
Liberal National Labour Luton†, Renfrewshire West
Liberal Ross and Cromarty
Liberal National (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
UUP UUP 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




Televised results programmes

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

Televised declarations

These declarations were covered live by the BBC where the returning officer was heard to say "duly elected".

ConstituencyWinning party 1959Constituency result 1964 by partyWinning party 1964
Cheltenham Conservative 19,79714,5577,568 Conservative hold
Salford West Labour 16,44620,490 Labour hold
Billericay Conservative 35,34733,75510,706 Conservative hold
Exeter Conservative 18,03516,6738,815 Conservative hold
Battersea South Conservative 10,61512,2633,294 Labour gain
Liverpool Exchange Labour 7,23916,985 Labour hold
Holborn and St Pancras South Conservative 13,11715,823226 Labour gain
North Devon Liberal 13,9854,30619,031 Liberal hold
Stockport South Conservative 13,71816,7557,107 Labour gain
Barons Court Conservative 14,80015,9662,821 Labour gain
Bolton West Liberal 13,52216,51910,086 Labour gain
Smethwick Labour 16,69014,916262 Conservative gain
Huyton Labour 22,94042,213899 Labour hold
Orpington Conservative 19,5654,60922,637 Liberal win
Torrington Conservative 16,8895,86714,831 Conservative hold
Kinross and Western Perthshire Conservative 16,6594,6873,649 Conservative hold

See also


  1. This summary of opinion poll findings from the last few days of the campaign is given early in the BBC's election night coverage.
  2. Conservative total includes Scottish Unionists, Ulster Unionists, and National Liberals.

Related Research Articles

1979 United Kingdom general election General election held in the United Kingdom

The 1979 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday 3 May 1979 to elect 635 members to the British House of Commons. The Conservative Party, led by Margaret Thatcher, ousted the incumbent Labour government of James Callaghan with a parliamentary majority of 43 seats. The election was the first of four consecutive election victories for the Conservative Party, and Thatcher became the United Kingdom's and Europe's first elected female head of government. Unusually the date chosen coincided with the 1979 United Kingdom local elections. The local government results provided some source of comfort to the Labour Party (UK), who recovered some lost ground from local election reversals in previous years, despite losing the general election. The parish council elections were pushed back a few weeks.

1983 United Kingdom general election

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.

1970 United Kingdom general election

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.

Alec Douglas-Home Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1963 to 1964

Alexander Frederick Douglas-Home, Baron Home of the Hirsel, was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from October 1963 to October 1964. He was the only British prime minister born during the Edwardian era, and the last to hold office while a member of the House of Lords, before disclaiming his peerage and taking up a seat in the House of Commons for the remainder of his premiership. His reputation, however, rests more on his two periods serving as Britain's foreign minister than on his brief premiership.

1987 United Kingdom general election

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.

October 1974 United Kingdom general election

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.

1945 United Kingdom general election National election in the United Kingdom

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.

1966 United Kingdom general election

The 1966 United Kingdom general election was held on 31 March 1966. The result was a landslide victory for the Labour Party led by incumbent Prime Minister Harold Wilson.

Unionist Party (Scotland) Former centre-right political party in Scotland

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

1955 United Kingdom general 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.

1959 United Kingdom general 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.

1906 United Kingdom general election

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


The swingometer is a graphics device that shows the effects of the swing from one party to another on British election results programmes. It is used to estimate the number of seats that will be won by different parties, given a particular national swing in the vote towards or away from a given party, and assuming that that percentage change in the vote will apply in each constituency. The device was invented by Peter Milne, and later refined by David Butler and Robert McKenzie.

2005 United Kingdom general election General election held in the United Kingdom

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.

Night of the Long Knives (1962) 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.

Conservative government, 1957–1964

The Conservative government of the United Kingdom that began in 1957 and ended in 1964 consisted of three ministries: the first Macmillan ministry, second Macmillan ministry, and then the Douglas-Home ministry. They were led by Harold Macmillan and Sir Alec Douglas-Home, who were appointed respectively by Queen Elizabeth II.

Heath ministry

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.

John Reginald Bevins was a British Conservative politician who served as a Liverpool Member of Parliament (MP) for fourteen years. He served in the governments of the 1950s and 1960s, playing an important role in establishing independent television.

Postwar Britain (1945–1979)

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.


  1. "1964: Labour scrapes through", BBC News, 5 April 2005, retrieved 21 May 2018
  2. John W. Young, "International Factors and the 1964 Election." Contemporary British History (2007) 21#3 pp 351-371.
  3. UK General Election 1964 – Results Round-up on YouTube
  4. 1 2 Vernon Bogdanor (18 January 2014). "The Spectator book review that brought down Macmillan's government". The Spectator. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  5. Dod's Parliamentary Companion 1966. Epsom, Surrey: Business Directories Limited. 1966. pp. 574–575.

Further reading