All 646 seats to the House of Commons
324 seats needed for a majority
Colours denote the winning party, as shown in the main table of results.
* Indicates boundary change – so this is a nominal figure
Composition of the House of Commons after the election
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 Labour campaign emphasised a strong economy; however, Blair had suffered a decline in popularity, which was exacerbated by the decision to send British troops to invade Iraq in 2003. Despite this, Labour mostly retained its leads over the Conservatives in opinion polls on economic competence and leadership, and Conservative leaders Iain Duncan Smith (2001–2003) and Michael Howard (2003–2005) struggled to capitalise on Blair's unpopularity, with the party consistently trailing behind Labour in the polls throughout the 2001–2005 parliament. [ citation needed ]
The Conservatives campaigned on policies such as immigration limits, improving poorly managed hospitals, and reducing high crime rates. The Liberal Democrats, led by Charles Kennedy, were opposed to the Iraq War, given that there had been no second UN resolution, [ citation needed ]and collected votes from disenchanted Labour voters.
Tony Blair was returned as Prime Minister, with Labour having 355 MPs, but with a popular vote share of 35.2%, the smallest of any majority government in UK electoral history. In terms of votes, it was only narrowly ahead of the Conservatives, but still had a comfortable lead in terms of seats. The Conservatives returned 198 MPs, with 32 more seats than they had won at the previous general election, and won the popular vote in England, while still ending up with 91 fewer MPs in England than Labour. The Liberal Democrats saw their popular vote increase by 3.7% and won the most seats of any third party since 1923, with 62 MPs. Anti-war activist and former Labour MP George Galloway was elected as the MP for Bethnal Green and Bow under the Respect – The Unity Coalition banner; Richard Taylor was re-elected for Kidderminster Health Concern in Wyre Forest; and independent candidate Peter Law was elected in Blaenau Gwent.
In Northern Ireland, the Ulster Unionist Party, the more moderate of the main unionist parties, which had dominated Northern Irish politics since the 1920s, was reduced from six MPs to one, with party leader David Trimble himself being unseated. The more hardline Democratic Unionist Party became the largest Northern Irish party, with nine MPs elected. Notable MPs leaving the House of Commons at this election included UUP leader David Trimble, former SDLP leader John Hume, former Cabinet ministers Estelle Morris, Paul Boateng, Chris Smith, Gillian Shephard, Virginia Bottomley and Michael Portillo, the Father of the House of Commons Tam Dalyell, Tony Banks and Sir Teddy Taylor.
Following the election, Michael Howard conceded defeat, resigned as Conservative leader and was succeeded by future Prime Minister David Cameron. Blair resigned as both Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party in June 2007, and was replaced by then-Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown. The election results were broadcast live on the BBC and presented by Peter Snow, David Dimbleby, Tony King, Jeremy Paxman, and Andrew Marr.
The governing Labour Party, led by Tony Blair, was looking to secure a third consecutive term in office and to retain a large majority. The Conservative Party was seeking to regain seats lost to both Labour and the Liberal Democrats since the 1992 general election, and move from being the Official Opposition into government. The Liberal Democrats hoped to make gains from both main parties, but especially the Conservative Party, with a "decapitation" strategy targeting members of the Shadow Cabinet. The Lib Dems had also wished to become the governing party, or to make enough gains to become the Official Opposition, but more realistically hoped to play a major part in a parliament led by a minority Labour or Conservative government. In Northern Ireland the Democratic Unionist Party sought to make further gains from the Ulster Unionist Party in unionist politics, and Sinn Féin hoped to overtake the Social Democratic and Labour Party in nationalist politics. (Note that Sinn Féin MPs do not take their seats in the House of Commons—they follow a policy of abstentionsim.) The pro-independence Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru (Party of Wales) stood candidates in every constituency in Scotland and Wales respectively.
Many seats were contested by other parties, including several parties without incumbents in the House of Commons. Parties that were not represented at Westminster, but had seats in the devolved assemblies and/or the European Parliament, included the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, the UK Independence Party, the Green Party of England and Wales, the Scottish Green Party, and the Scottish Socialist Party. The Health Concern party also stood again. A full list of parties which declared their intention to run can be found on the list of parties contesting the 2005 general election.
All parties campaigned using such tools as party manifestos, party political broadcasts and touring the country in what are commonly referred to as battle buses.
Local elections in parts of England and in Northern Ireland were held on the same day. The polls were open for fifteen hours, from 07:00 to 22:00 BST (UTC+1). The election came just over three weeks after the dissolution of Parliament on 11 April by Queen Elizabeth II, at the request of the Prime Minister, Tony Blair.
Following the death of Pope John Paul II on 2 April, it was announced that the calling of the election would be delayed until 5 April.
Thanks to eight years of sustained economic growth Labour could point to a strong economy, with greater investment in public services such as education and health. This was overshadowed, however, by the issue of the controversial 2003 invasion of Iraq, which met widespread public criticism at the time, and would dog Blair throughout the campaign. The Chancellor, Gordon Brown, played a prominent role in the election campaign, frequently appearing with Blair and ensuring that the economy would remain the central focus of Labour's message.
Recently elected Conservative leader Michael Howard brought a great level of experience and stability to a party that had ousted its former leader Iain Duncan Smithjust 18 months prior. The Conservatives focused their campaign on more traditional conservative issues like immigration, which created some controversy with the slogan "It's not racist to impose limits on immigration". They also criticised Labour's "dirty" hospitals and high crime levels, under the umbrella of the slogan "Are you thinking what we're thinking?"
However, Labour counter-attacked, by emphasising Howard's role in the unpopular Major Government of 1992–1997, airing a party election broadcast attacking Howard, showing a montage of scenes from Howard's tenure as Home Secretary, including prison riots and home repossessions. It also launched a billboard campaign showing Howard, and the Conservative Party's four previous leaders (Iain Duncan Smith, William Hague, John Major and Margaret Thatcher), with the caption "Britain's working, don't let the Tories wreck it again."
For the Liberal Democrats, this was the second and final election campaign fought by leader Charles Kennedy, who strongly opposed the Iraq War and personally offered a more down-to-earth approach to voters, which proved popular. There were some questions, however, over Kennedy's abilities when, at the Liberal Democrat manifesto launch, he was asked about local income tax, but appeared confused on the figures.Both the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives were keen to tackle Labour's introduction of tuition fees, which both opposition parties opposed and promised to abolish.
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At the close of voting (2200 BST) the ballot boxes were sealed and returned to the counting centres, where counting proceeded under the supervision of the returning officer who was obliged to declare the result as soon as it was known. As previously, there was serious competition amongst constituencies to be first to declare. Sunderland South repeated its performance in the last three elections and declared Labour incumbent Chris Mullin re-elected as MP with a majority of 11,059 at approximately 2245 BST (failing by two minutes to beat its previous best, but making it eligible for entry into the Guinness Book of World Records as longest consecutive delivery of first results). The vote itself represented a swing (in a safe Labour seat, in a safe Labour region) of about 4% to the Conservatives and 4.5% to the Liberal Democrats, somewhat below the prediction of BBC/ITV exit polls published shortly after 2200 BST.
Sunderland North was the next to declare, followed by Houghton and Washington East, both of whose Labour MPs retained their seats but with reductions in the incumbent majorities of up to 9%. The first Scottish seat to declare was Rutherglen and Hamilton West — another safe Labour seat, also a Labour hold, but with the majority reduced by 4%. The first seat to change hands was Putney, where Labour's majority of 2,771 fell to a strong Conservative challenge, with a total swing of about 5,000 (6.2%). This was also the first seat to be declared for the Conservatives. The first Liberal Democrat seat to be declared was North East Fife, the constituency of Lib Dem deputy leader Sir Menzies Campbell which he had held since 1987.
The constituency of Crawley in West Sussex had the slimmest majority of any seat, with Labour's Laura Moffatt holding off the Conservatives' Henry Smith by 37 votes after three recounts.
|Opinion polling for UK general elections|
|Opinion polls • Leadership approval|
Following problems with exit polls in previous British elections, the BBC and ITV agreed for the first time to pool their respective data, using results from Mori and NOP. More than 20,000 people were interviewed for the poll at 120 polling stations across the country. The predictions were very accurate—initial projections saw Labour returned to power with a majority of 66 (down from 160),and the final result (including South Staffordshire, where the election was postponed due to the death of a candidate) was indeed a Labour majority of 66.
The projected shares of the vote in Great Britain were Labour 35% (down 6% on 2001), Conservatives 33% (up 1%), Liberal Democrats 22% (up 4%) and other parties 8% (up 1%). — 44 seats according to the exit poll — with the Liberal Democrats expected to take as few as two. Whilst the Lib Dems' vote share predicted by the exit poll was accurate (22.6% compared to the actual 22.0%), they did better in some Lib Dem-Labour marginals than predicted on the basis of the national share of the vote, and achieved a net gain of 11 seats.The Conservatives were expected to make the biggest gains, however
There were major boundary changes in Scotland, where the number of seats were reduced from 72 to 59. As a result of this each party lost some seats, and this notional election result below is based on the 2001 election results if they had been fought on these new 2005 boundaries.
|Party||Seats||Gains||Losses||Net gain/loss||Seats %||Votes %||Votes||+/−|
|Party||Labour Party|| Conservative and|
|Liberal Democrats||UK Independence Party||Scottish National Party||Greens|
| Democratic |
|Leader||Tony Blair||Michael Howard||Charles Kennedy||Roger Knapman||Alex Salmond||Caroline Lucas (GPEW)||Ian Paisley|
|Votes||9,552,436 (35.2%)||8,784,915 (32.4%)||5,985,454 (22.0%)||605,973 (2.2%)||412,267 (1.5%)||257,758 (1.0%)||241,856 (0.9%)|
|Seats||355 (55.2%)||198 (30.7%)||62 (9.6%)||0 (0.0%)||6 (0.9%)||0 (0.0%)||9 (1.4%)|
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At 04:28 BST, it was announced that Labour had won Corby, giving them 324 seats in the House of Commons out of those then declared and an overall majority, Labour's total reaching 355 seats out of the 646 House of Commons seats. Labour received 35.3% of the popular vote, equating to approximately 22% of the electorate on a 61.3% turnout, up from 59.4% turnout in 2001. Increased turnout was mostly attributed to the extension and promotion of the postal voting system, which has been criticised as being too insecure increasing the risk of electoral fraud.
As expected, voter disenchantment led to an increase of support for many opposition parties, and caused many eligible to vote, not to turn out. Labour achieved a third successive term in office for the first time in their history, though with reduction of the Labour majority from 167 to 67 (as it was before the declaration of South Staffordshire). As it became clear that Labour had won an overall majority, Michael Howard, the leader of the Conservative Party, announced his intention to retire from frontline politics. The final seat to declare was the delayed poll in South Staffordshire, at just after 1 a.m. on Friday 24 June.
The election was followed by further criticism of the UK electoral system. Calls for reform came particularly from Lib Dem supporters, citing that they received only just over 10% of the overall seats with 22.1% of the popular vote. The only parties to win a substantially higher percentage of seats than they achieved in votes were Labour, the Democratic Unionist Party, Sinn Féin, and Health Concern, which ran only one candidate. The results of the election give a Gallagher index of dis-proportionality of 16.76.
The Labour Government claimed that being returned to office for a third term for the first time ever showed the public approval of Labour's governance and the continued unpopularity of the Conservatives. Nevertheless, Labour's vote declined to 35.3%, the lowest share of the popular vote to have formed a majority government in the history of the UK House of Commons. In many areas the collapse in the Labour vote resulted in a host of seats changing hands. Labour also failed to gain any new seats, almost unique in any election since 1945. As well as losing seats to the Tories and the Liberal Democrats, Labour also lost Blaenau Gwent, their safest seat in Wales,to Independent Peter Law, and Bethnal Green and Bow to Respect candidate George Galloway.
The Conservatives claimed that their increased number of seats showed disenchantment with the Labour government and was a precursor of a Conservative breakthrough at the next election. Following three consecutive elections of declining representation and then in 2001 a net gain of just one seat, 2005 was the first general election since their famous 1983 landslide victory where the number of Conservative seats increased appreciably, although the Conservatives' vote share increased only slightly and this election did mark the third successive general election in which the Conservatives polled below 35%. In some areas the Conservative vote actually fell. The Conservatives claimed to have won the general election in England, since they received more votes than Labour although Labour still won a majority of seats.
The Liberal Democrats claimed that their continued gradual increase in seats and percentage vote showed they were in a position to make further gains from both parties. They pointed in particular to the fact that they were now in second place in roughly one hundred and ninety constituencies and that having had net losses to Labour in the 1992 general election and having not taken a single seat off Labour in 1997, they had held their gains off Labour from the 2001 general election and had actually made further gains from them. The Liberals also managed to take three seats from the Conservatives, one notable victory being that of Tim Farron over Tim Collins in Westmorland and Lonsdale, through the use of a "decapitation strategy", which targeted senior Tories.
The Liberal Democrats increased their percentage of the vote by 3.7%, the Conservatives by 0.6%, and Labour's dropped by 5.4%.
The UK media interpreted the results as an indicator of a breakdown in trust in the government, and especially in Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Meanwhile, the Scottish National Party improved its position in Scotland, regaining the Western Isles and Dundee East from Labour, having lost both seats in 1987.In Wales Plaid Cymru failed to gain any seats and lost Ceredigion to the Liberal Democrats. In Northern Ireland the Ulster Unionists were all but wiped out, only keeping North Down, with leader David Trimble losing his seat in Upper Bann. For the first time the DUP became the biggest party in Northern Ireland.
It was the first general election since 1929 in which no party received more than ten million votes. It was the most "three-cornered" election since 1923, though the Liberal Democrats failed to match the higher national votes of the SDP–Liberal Alliance in the 1980s either in absolute or percentage terms. The total combined vote for Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats proved to be the lowest main three-party vote since 1922.
|Political party||Leader||Candidates||Elected||Seats gained||Seats lost||Net change|
|% of seats||Number of votes||% of votes||Change in %|
|Liberal Democrats||Charles Kennedy||626||62||16||5||+11||9.6||5,985,454||22.0||+3.8||96,540|
|Green||Caroline Lucas and Keith Taylor||182||0||0||0||0||0.0||257,758||1.0||+0.4||N/A|
|Plaid Cymru||Ieuan Wyn Jones||40||3||0||1||–1||0.5||174,838||0.6||–0.1||58,279|
|Sinn Féin||Gerry Adams||18||5||1||0||+1||0.8||174,530||0.6||–0.1||34,906|
|Scottish Socialist||Colin Fox||58||0||0||0||0||0.0||43,514||0.2||–0.1||N/A|
|Scottish Green||Shiona Baird and Robin Harper||19||0||0||0||0||0.0||25,760||0.1||+0.1||N/A|
|Socialist Labour||Arthur Scargill||49||0||0||0||0||0.0||20,167||0.1||0.0||N/A|
|Health Concern||Richard Taylor||1||1||0||0||0||0.2||18,739||0.1||0.0||18,739|
|English Democrat||Robin Tilbrook||24||0||0||0||0||0.0||15,149||0.1||N/A||N/A|
|Socialist Alternative||Peter Taaffe||17||0||0||0||0||0.0||9,398||0.0||N/A||N/A|
|National Front||Tom Holmes||13||0||0||0||0||0.0||8,079||0.0||N/A||N/A|
|Legalise Cannabis||Alun Buffry||21||0||0||0||0||0.0||6,950||0.0||0.0||N/A|
|Monster Raving Loony||Howling Laud Hope||19||0||0||0||0||0.0||6,311||0.0||0.0||N/A|
|Community Action||Peter Franzen||3||0||0||0||0||0.0||5,984||0.0||N/A||N/A|
|Christian Vote||George Hargreaves||10||0||0||0||0||0.0||4,004||0.0||N/A||N/A|
|Mebyon Kernow||Dick Cole||4||0||0||0||0||0.0||3,552||0.0||0.0||N/A|
|Forward Wales||John Marek||6||0||0||0||0||0.0||3,461||0.0||N/A||N/A|
|Rainbow Dream Ticket||Rainbow George Weiss||23||0||0||0||0||0.0||2,463||0.0||N/A||N/A|
|Community Group||Martin Williams||1||0||0||0||0||0.0||2,365||0.0||N/A||N/A|
|Ashfield Independents||Roy Adkins||1||0||0||0||0||0.0||2,292||0.0||N/A||N/A|
|Alliance for Green Socialism||Mike Davies||5||0||0||0||0||0.0||1,978||0.0||N/A||N/A|
|Workers' Party||Seán Garland||6||0||0||0||0||0.0||1,669||0.0||0.0||N/A|
|Socialist Environmental||Goretti Horgan||1||0||0||0||0||0.0||1,649||0.0||N/A||N/A|
|Scottish Unionist||Daniel Houston||1||0||0||0||0||0.0||1,266||0.0||0.0||N/A|
|Workers Revolutionary||Sheila Torrance||10||0||0||0||0||0.0||1,241||0.0||0.0||N/A|
|New England||Michael Tibby||1||0||0||0||0||0.0||1,224||0.0||N/A||N/A|
|Communist (CPB)||Robert Griffiths||6||0||0||0||0||0.0||1,124||0.0||0.0||N/A|
|Peace and Progress||Chris Cooper||3||0||0||0||0||0.0||1,036||0.0||N/A||N/A|
|Scottish Senior Citizens||John Swinburne||2||0||0||0||0||0.0||1,017||0.0||N/A||N/A|
|Your Party||Daniel Thompson||2||0||0||0||0||0.0||1,006||0.0||N/A||N/A|
|SOS! Northampton||Yvonne Dale||2||0||0||0||0||0.0||932||0.0||N/A||N/A|
|Ind. Working Class||None||1||0||0||0||0||0.0||892||0.0||N/A||N/A|
|Democratic Labour||Brian Powell||1||0||0||0||0||0.0||770||0.0||N/A||N/A|
|British Public Party||Kashif Rana||1||0||0||0||0||0.0||763||0.0||N/A||N/A|
|Free Scotland Party||Brian Nugent||3||0||0||0||0||0.0||743||0.0||N/A||N/A|
|Pensioners Party Scotland||George Rodger||1||0||0||0||0||0.0||716||0.0||N/A||N/A|
|Publican Party||Kit Fraser and Don Lawson||1||0||0||0||0||0.0||678||0.0||N/A||N/A|
|English Independence Party||Andrew Constantine||1||0||0||0||0||0.0||654||0.0||N/A||N/A|
|Local Community Party||Jack Crossfield||1||0||0||0||0||0.0||570||0.0||N/A||N/A|
|Clause 28||David Braid||3||0||0||0||0||0.0||516||0.0||N/A||N/A|
|UK Community Issues Party||Michael Osman||3||0||0||0||0||0.0||502||0.0||N/A||N/A|
The figure of 355 seats for Labour does not include the Speaker Michael Martin. See also the list of parties standing in Northern Ireland.
|Government's new majority||66|
[ citation needed ]
|Party||Name||Constituency||Office held whilst in power||Year elected||Defeated by||Party|
|Labour||Stephen Twigg||Enfield Southgate||Minister of State for Schools||1997||David Burrowes||Conservative Party|
|Melanie Johnson||Welwyn Hatfield||Minister of State for Public Health||1997||Grant Shapps||Conservative Party|
|Chris Leslie||Shipley||Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department for Constitutional Affairs||1997||Philip Davies||Conservative Party|
|Ivan Henderson||Harwich||Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Home Office||1997||Douglas Carswell||Conservative Party|
|David Stewart||Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber (contested Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey)||Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Scotland||1997||Danny Alexander||Liberal Democrats|
|Peter Bradley||The Wrekin||Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister of State for Rural Affairs||1997||Mark Pritchard||Conservative Party|
|Keith Bradley||Manchester Withington||Treasurer of the Household||1987||John Leech||Liberal Democrats|
|Barbara Roche||Hornsey and Wood Green||Minister of State for Asylum and Immigration||1992||Lynne Featherstone||Liberal Democrats|
|Calum MacDonald||Western Isles||Minister for Gaelic||1987||Angus MacNeil||Scottish National Party|
|Roger Casale||Wimbledon||1997||Stephen Hammond||Conservative Party|
|Paul Stinchcombe||Wellingborough||1997||Peter Bone||Conservative Party|
|Kerry Pollard||St Albans||1997||Anne Main||Conservative Party|
|Tony Clarke||Northampton South||1997||Brian Binley||Conservative Party|
|Helen Clark||Peterborough||1997||Stewart Jackson||Conservative Party|
|Tony Colman||Putney||1997||Justine Greening||Conservative Party|
|Lorna Fitzsimons||Rochdale||1997||Paul Rowen||Liberal Democrats|
|Andy King||Rugby and Kenilworth||1997||Jeremy Wright||Conservative Party|
|Lawrie Quinn||Scarborough and Whitby||1997||Robert Goodwill||Conservative Party|
|Brian White||North East Milton Keynes||1997||Mark Lancaster||Conservative Party|
|Huw Edwards||Monmouth||1997||David Davies||Conservative Party|
|Phil Sawford||Kettering||1997||Philip Hollobone||Conservative Party|
|Linda Perham||Ilford North||1997||Lee Scott||Conservative Party|
|John Cryer||Hornchurch||1997||James Brokenshire||Conservative Party|
|Tony McWalter||Hemel Hempstead||1997||Mike Penning||Conservative Party|
|Candy Atherton||Falmouth and Camborne||1997||Julia Goldsworthy||Liberal Democrats|
|Nigel Beard||Bexleyheath and Crayford||1997||David Evenett||Conservative Party|
|Oona King||Bethnal Green & Bow||1997||George Galloway||Respect Party|
|Valerie Davey||Bristol West||1997||Stephen Williams||Liberal Democrats|
|Anne Campbell||Cambridge||1992||David Howarth||Liberal Democrats|
|Jon Owen Jones||Cardiff Central||1992||Jenny Willott||Liberal Democrats|
|Gareth Thomas||Clwyd West||1997||David Jones||Conservative Party|
|Geraint Davies||Croydon Central||1997||Andrew Pelling||Conservative Party|
|John Lyons||Strathkelvin and Bearsden (contested East Dunbartonshire)||2001||Jo Swinson||Liberal Democrats|
|Iain Luke||Dundee East||2001||Stewart Hosie||Scottish National Party|
|Chris Pond||Gravesham||1997||Adam Holloway||Conservative Party|
|Liberal Democrats||Brian Cotter||Weston-super-Mare||Small Business Spokesperson||1997||John Penrose||Conservative Party|
|Sue Doughty||Guildford||2001||Anne Milton||Conservative Party|
|Matthew Green||Ludlow||2001||Philip Dunne||Conservative Party|
|David Rendel||Newbury||1993||Richard Benyon||Conservative Party|
|Conservative||Tim Collins||Westmorland & Lonsdale||Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Skills||1997||Tim Farron||Liberal Democrats|
|Peter Duncan||Galloway and Upper Nithsdale (contested Dumfries & Galloway)||Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland||2001||Russell Brown||Labour Party|
|Adrian Flook||Taunton||2001||Jeremy Browne||Liberal Democrats|
|John Taylor||Solihull||1983||Lorely Burt||Liberal Democrats|
|Ulster Unionist Party||David Trimble||Upper Bann||Parliamentary Leader of the Ulster Unionists||1990||David Simpson||Democratic Unionist Party|
|Roy Beggs||East Antrim||1983||Sammy Wilson||Democratic Unionist Party|
|David Burnside||South Antrim||2001||William McCrea||Democratic Unionist Party|
|Plaid Cymru||Simon Thomas||Ceredigion||2000||Mark Williams||Liberal Democrats|
|Scottish National Party||Annabelle Ewing||Perth (contested Ochil and South Perthshire)||2001||Gordon Banks||Labour Party|
Following the election result, Labour remained in power and Tony Blair remained Prime Minister. The morning after the election Blair travelled to Buckingham Palace seeking The Queen's permission to form his third government and beginning his third term as Prime Minister. Blair reshuffled his Cabinet and junior ministers over the following weekend, with formal announcements made on 9 May 2005. The most senior positions of Chancellor, Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary remained the same (Gordon Brown, Charles Clarke and Jack Straw respectively), but a few new faces were added. Most notably, David Blunkett returned to cabinet as the Work and Pensions Secretary, although he was forced to resign again due to another scandal before the end of the year that spawned a national press and opposition campaign for his dismissal. Patricia Hewitt became the new Health Secretary, Tessa Jowell remained as Culture Secretary, whilst Alan Johnson was promoted to Trade and Industry Secretary. Meanwhile, Ruth Kelly retained the Education job and Margaret Beckett stayed put at Environment.
The new Parliament met on 11 May for the election of the Speaker of the House of Commons.
On 6 May, Michael Howard announced he would be standing down as leader of the Conservative Party, but not before a review of the leadership rules. The formal leadership election began in October, and was ultimately won by David Cameron. On 7 May, David Trimble resigned as leader of the Ulster Unionist Party; Sir Reg Empey was elected as his successor at an Ulster Unionist Council meeting on 24 June.
Blair's successor as Prime Minister, Gordon Brown (who came to office as Prime Minister on 27 June 2007) visited Buckingham Palace on 6 April 2010 and asked the Queen to dissolve Parliament on 12 April. The next election was held on 6 May 2010.
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. 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 United Kingdom is a unitary state with devolution that is governed within the framework of a parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy in which the monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II, is the head of state while the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, currently Boris Johnson, is the head of government. Executive power is exercised by the British government, on behalf of and by the consent of the monarch, and the devolved governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Legislative power is vested in the two chambers of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, the House of Commons and the House of Lords, as well as in the Scottish and Welsh parliaments and the Northern Ireland Assembly. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. The highest court is the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.
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.
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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 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 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 Scottish Conservatives, officially the Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in Scotland. It is the second-largest party in the Scottish Parliament and Scottish local government. The party has the second largest number of Scottish MPs in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom.
The 2007 UK local government elections were held on 3 May 2007. These elections took place in most of England and all of Scotland. There were no local government elections in Wales though the Welsh Assembly had a general election on the same day. There were no local government elections in Northern Ireland. Just over half of English councils and almost all the Scottish councils began the counts on Friday, rather than Thursday night, because of more complex arrangements regarding postal votes.
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.
In the run-up to the general election of 2010, several polling organisations carried out opinion polling in regards to voting intention in Great Britain. Results of such polls are displayed below.
This is the results breakdown of the 2010 United Kingdom general election.
This is the results breakdown of the 2005 United Kingdom general election.
These are the results of the 2010 United Kingdom general election in Scotland. The election was held on 6 May 2010 and all 59 seats in Scotland were contested. There were no seat changes from the 2005 general election, although the Labour Party took back two seats that it had lost in by-elections. This was the last general election at which the Labour Party won a majority of seats in Scotland.
The events surrounding the formation of the United Kingdom's government in 2010 took place between 7 May and 12 May 2010, following the 2010 general election, which failed to produce an overall majority for any of the country's two main political parties. The election, held on 6 May, resulted in the first hung parliament in the UK in 36 years, sparking a series of negotiations which would form the first coalition government since the Second World War.
In the run up to the general election of 2005, several polling organisations carried out opinion polling in regards to voting intention in Great Britain. Results of such polls are displayed below.
The 2015 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday, 7 May 2015 to elect 650 members to the House of Commons. It was the first and, as of 2021, the only general election at the end of a fixed-term Parliament. Local elections took place in most areas on the same day.
The 2019 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday, 12 December 2019. The Conservative Party, having failed to obtain a majority in the 2017 general election, had faced prolonged parliamentary deadlock over Brexit while it governed in minority with the support of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), a situation which had forced the resignation of the previous Prime Minister, Theresa May.