1979 European Parliament election in the United Kingdom

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1979 European Parliament election in the United Kingdom
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
7 June 1979 1984  

81 seats to the European Parliament
Turnout32.4%
 First partySecond party
 
Con
Lab
Leader James Scott-Hopkins Barbara Castle
Party Conservative Labour
Alliance ED PES
Leader's seat Hereford and Worcester Greater Manchester North
Seats won6017
Popular vote6,508,4924,253,247
Percentage48.4%31.6%

Map of 1979 European Parliament election in the United Kingdom.svg

1979 UK European Parliament election.svg

Leader of Largest Party

Margaret Thatcher
Conservative

The European Assembly Election, 1979, was the first European election to be held in the United Kingdom after the European Communities (EC) decided to directly elect representatives to the European Parliament. It was held on 7 June. Elections were also held in eight other EC states. European elections were incorporated into UK law by the European Assembly Elections Act 1978. Out of the 410 members of the European Parliament, 81 were elected from the UK. The electoral system was First Past the Post in England, Scotland and Wales (electing 78 MEPs in total) and Single Transferable Vote in Northern Ireland (electing 3 MEPs).

Contents

The result was a landslide victory for the Conservative Party, which won 60 of the 78 seats available in England, Wales and Scotland. Their decisive victory in the general election of the previous month and divisions within the Labour party on whether to stay in the EC probably helped the Conservatives to such a comprehensive victory. There was a very low turnout in the election compared with other states, the lowest in Europe. Voter apathy was an explanation, but it is likely the large number of elections in 1979 had a significant negative effect on turnout. There were referendums in Scotland and Wales on devolution in March and the general election in May, as well as local elections in England (not including London) and Wales.

Result (UK-wide)

Source: UK Parliament Briefing

PartyVotes won % of voteSeats % of seats
Conservative 6,508,49248.46075.0
Labour 4,253,24731.61721.3
Liberal 1,690,63812.60Steady2.svg
SNP 247,8361.811.3
DUP 170,6881.311.3
SDLP 140,6221.011.3
UUP 125,1690.911.3
Plaid Cymru 83,3990.60Steady2.svg
Alliance 39,0260.30Steady2.svg
Independent Unionist 38,1980.30Steady2.svg
Independent Republican 33,9690.30Steady2.svg
United Against
the Common Market
27,5060.20Steady2.svg
Independent 23,5390.20Steady2.svg
Ecology 17,9530.10Steady2.svg
Mebyon Kernow 10,2050.10Steady2.svg
United Community9,3830.10Steady2.svg
United Labour 6,1220.00Steady2.svg
Ind. Conservative 4,8040.00Steady2.svg
Workers' Party 4,4180.00Steady2.svg
Unionist Party NI 3,7120.00Steady2.svg
Independent Democratic2,4730.00Steady2.svg
International Marxist 1,6350.00Steady2.svg
Ulster Liberal Party9320.00Steady2.svg
EFP4970.00Steady2.svg
Others1,6280.00Steady2.svg

Results Breakdown

England, Scotland and Wales

Map of the Scottish results. European Parliament election, 1979 (Scotland).svg
Map of the Scottish results.
Map of the Northern Irish results European Parliament election, 1979-1999 (Northern Ireland, UK).svg
Map of the Northern Irish results

Source: UK Parliament Briefing

PartyVotes won % of voteSeats % of seats
Conservative 6,508,49250.66076.9
Labour 4,253,24733.01721.8
Liberal 1,690,63813.10Steady2.svg
SNP 247,8361.911.3
Plaid Cymru 83,3990.60Steady2.svg
United Against
the Common Market
27,5060.20Steady2.svg
Independent 23,5390.20Steady2.svg
Ecology 17,9530.10Steady2.svg
Mebyon Kernow 10,2050.10Steady2.svg
Ind. Conservative 4,8040.00Steady2.svg
Ind. Democratic2,4730.00Steady2.svg
International Marxist 1,6350.00Steady2.svg
EFP4970.00Steady2.svg
Others1,6280.00Steady2.svg

Total votes cast – 12,873,852.

Northern Ireland

Source Northern Ireland Social and Political Archive

PartyCandidate(s)SeatsFirst Preference Votes
Number % of vote
DUP Ian Paisley 1170,68829.8
SDLP John Hume 1140,62225.5
UUP John Taylor, Harry West 1125,16921.9
Alliance Oliver Napier 039,0266.8
Independent Unionist James Kilfedder 038,1986.7
Independent Republican Bernadette McAliskey 033,9695.9
United Community David Bleakley 09,3831.6
United Labour Paddy Devlin 06,1221.1
Workers' Party Brian Brennan, Francis Donnelly04,4180.8
Unionist Party NI Eddie Cummings03,7120.6
Ulster Liberal James Murray09320.2

Total votes cast – 572,239.

Constituency results

ConstituencyCon%Lab%Lib%PC%SNP%Others
Bedfordshire 102,05458.848,45427.921,94312.61,1980.7
Birmingham North 68,50747.860,16342.014,58310.2
Birmingham South 66,01247.560,77543.712,1608.8
Bristol 100,16054.259,44332.125,30813.7
Cambridgeshire 94,49759.042,03826.323,50114.7
Cheshire East 89,64056.050,32431.519,95212.5
Cheshire West 93,58956.847,27628.723,81614.5
Cleveland 76,51450.651,68834.118,12512.04,9603.3
Cornwall and Plymouth 94,65055.136,68121.423,10513.517,16410.0
Cotswolds 109,13958.637,71320.327,91615.011,4226.1
Cumbria 104,47156.462,48533.716,6319.01,5960.9
Derbyshire 81,04650.962,34739.215,7759.9
Devon 127,03261.837,38018.241,01020.0
Durham 53,04335.181,98254.216,09410.7
Essex North East 99,13760.733,49620.526,29816.14,4972.7
Essex South West 78,05953.946,24431.920,51614.2
Glasgow 41,14427.373,84649.011,0737.324,77616.4
Greater Manchester North 62,45639.279,92050.216,91010.6
Greater Manchester South 70,68847.563,21442.514,86910.0
Greater Manchester West 67,12743.366,82543.121,02113.6
Hampshire West 114,97858.934,47217.745,78623.4
Hereford and Worcester 106,27158.549,88827.525,42114.0
Hertfordshire 97,17450.249,61925.646,75724.2
Highlands and Islands 30,77626.110,8469.236,10930.739,99134.0
Humberside 79,53151.756,52136.817,64311.5
Kent East 117,26764.740,06022.120,19011.13,7882.1
Kent West 113,96160.746,48224.827,12713.5
Lancashire Central 91,35554.163,70937.713,8218.2
Lancashire East 77,08749.962,72940.612,2687.92,4731.6
Lancashire West 79,88851.360,39938.712,1167.83,4862.2
Leeds 54,40539.862,47545.620,00514.6
Leicester 91,67555.157,81134.717,02710.2
Lincolnshire 104,46061.544,61626.320,81512.2
Liverpool 49,64645.242,41938.717,65016.1
London Central 84,91554.445,72129.319,01012.26,4484.1
London East 77,95548.864,92540.716,78310.5
London North 74,04249.759,07739.715,83810.6
London North East 36,20034.261,00457.58,8398.3
London North West 87,59655.349,26831.121,61813.6
London South 98,29858.944,96727.023,52614.1
London South East 94,18055.054,79832.021,49412.58900.5
London South Inner 60,65243.667,83048.810,5097.6
London South West 83,49852.051,74232.221,25113.23,8102.6
London West 89,43351.067,19338.317,0779.81,6350.9
Lothians 66,76135.661,18032.629,51815.829,93516.0
Mid and West Wales 67,22636.077,47441.417,6289.422,73012.21,8261.0
Mid Scotland and Fife 66,25535.158,76831.218,1129.645,42624.1
Midlands Central 94,60657.946,55728.515,8599.76,3803.9
Midlands East 85,09855.353,93535.114,8199.6
Midlands West 69,91647.368,02446.09,9366.7
Norfolk 102,98159.852,40630.416,8059.8
North East Scotland 51,93033.038,13924.238,51624.528,88618.3
North Wales 74,17341.946,62726.421,98912.434,17119.3
Northamptonshire 103,63859.647,02927.123,13413.3
Northumbria 67,06639.975,17244.825,71315.3
Nottingham 64,72844.866,27945.913,5159.3
Salop and Stafford 90,54557.545,54728.916,46910.54,8043.1
Sheffield 64,15742.177,21950.710,9517.2
Somerset 120,05757.041,93119.948,60023.1
South East Wales 51,47830.393,09354.810,5346.212,4697.42,1821.3
South of Scotland 66,81643.043,14527.716,82510.828,69418.5
South Wales 66,85237.977,78444.117,81110.114,0297.9
Staffordshire East 70,83648.764,23044.110,4097.2
Strathclyde East 41,48228.672,26349.810,3257.121,01314.5
Strathclyde West 65,60837.263,78136.117,95510.229,11516.5
Suffolk 101,96660.445,64227.121,13112.5
Surrey 113,78654.428,89713.862,27229.74,4502.1
Sussex East 123,50665.733,58117.930,84716.4
Sussex West 131,07765.926,89413.535,59317.95,3032.7
Thames Valley 110,78863.139,86522.724,87714.2
Tyne South and Wear 67,47544.973,93649.28,9585.9
Upper Thames 103,48859.439,90022.930,90717.7
Wessex 130,74463.342,91020.831,22015.11,7060.8
Wight and Hampshire East 128,41464.734,90117.635,24817.7
Wiltshire 86,87347.535,45719.460,40433.1
Yorkshire North 98,46459.141,40824.826,81216.1
Yorkshire South 46,65632.683,49058.313,0259.1
Yorkshire South West 52,15735.875,47351.917,85012.3
Yorkshire West 73,55544.476,55246.315,4609.3

]

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References

  1. http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN06865/SN06865.pdf