December 1910 United Kingdom general election

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December 1910 United Kingdom general election
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
  Jan 1910 3–19 December 1910 (1910-12-03 1910-12-19) 1918  

All 670 seats in the House of Commons
336 seats needed for a majority
 First partySecond party
  H H Asquith 1908 (cropped).jpg Arthur-James-Balfour-1st-Earl-of-Balfour.jpg
Leader H. H. Asquith Arthur Balfour
Party Liberal Conservative and Liberal Unionist
Leader since30 April 190811 June 1902
Leader's seat East Fife City of London
Last election274 seats, 43.5%272 seats, 46.8%
Seats won272271
Seat changeDecrease2.svg2Decrease2.svg1
Popular vote2,157,2562,270,753

 Third partyFourth party
  John Redmond, circa 1909.jpg George Nicoll Barnes.png
Leader John Redmond George Barnes
Party Irish Parliamentary Labour
Leader since6 February 190014 February 1910
Leader's seat Waterford City Glasgow Blackfriars
and Hutchesontown
Last election71 seats, 1.2%40 seats, 7.0%
Seats won7442
Seat changeIncrease2.svg3Increase2.svg2
Popular vote90,416309,963

December 1910 United Kingdom General Election.svg
Colours denote the winning party

Prime Minister before election

H. H. Asquith

Prime Minister after election

H. H. Asquith

The December 1910 United Kingdom general election was held from 3 to 19 December. It was the last general election to be held over several days [1] and the last to be held before the First World War.


The election took place following the efforts of the Liberal government to pass its People's Budget in 1909, which raised taxes on the wealthy to fund social welfare programmes. The 1909 budget was only agreed to by the House of Lords in April 1910 after the January general election in which the Liberals and the Irish Parliamentary Party gained a majority. The Government called a further election in December 1910 to get a mandate for the Parliament Act 1911, which would prevent the House of Lords from permanently blocking legislation linked to money bills ever again, and to obtain King George V's agreement to threaten to create sufficient Liberal peers to pass that act (in the event this did not prove necessary, as the Lords voted to curtail their own powers). [2]

The Conservative Party, led by Arthur Balfour with their Liberal Unionist allies, and the Liberal Party, led by Prime Minister H. H. Asquith, almost exactly repeated the numerical result produced in the January election, with the Conservatives again winning the largest number of votes. The Liberal Party under Asquith remained in government with the support of the Irish Parliamentary Party. This was the last election in which the Liberals won the highest number of seats in the House of Commons. It was also the last United Kingdom general election in which a party other than Labour or the Conservatives won the most seats.


England and Wales seat winners 1910D England & Wales.png
England and Wales seat winners
1910 (2) UK parliament.svg
UK General Election December 1910
PartyLeaderStoodElectedGainedUnseatedNet % of total %No.Net %
  Conservative and Liberal Unionist Arthur Balfour 548271140.446.62,270,7530.3
  Liberal H. H. Asquith 467272240.644.22,157,256+0.7
  Labour George Barnes 564253+26.36.4309,9630.6
  Irish Parliamentary John Redmond 817452+311.01.990,416+0.7
  All-for-Ireland William O'Brien 2182201.20.630,322+0.2
  Social Democratic Federation H. M. Hyndman 200000.15,7330.1
  Ind. Conservative N/A4 1 1 1 00.10.14,647
  Independent Labour N/A400000.13,492
  Independent Liberal N/A 1 00 1 10.01,946
  Scottish Prohibition Edwin Scrymgeour 1 00000.0913
  Independent Nationalist N/A420 1 10.30.0911
  Independent N/A200000.057

Voting summary

Popular vote
Conservative and Liberal Unionist
Irish Parliamentary

Seats summary

Parliamentary seats
Conservative and Liberal Unionist
Irish Parliamentary

See also

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  1. "General Election Dates 1832–2005" (PDF),
  2. Somervell, D. C. (1936), The Reign of King George V
  3. All parties shown.
  4. "General Election Results 1885-1979". Archived from the original on 30 January 2012.

Further reading