All 670 seats in the House of Commons
336 seats needed for a majority
Colours denote the winning party
The January 1910 United Kingdom general election was held from 15 January to 10 February 1910. The government called the election in the midst of a constitutional crisis caused by the rejection of the People's Budget by the Conservative-dominated House of Lords, in order to get a mandate to pass the budget.
The general election resulted in a hung parliament, with the Conservative Party led by Arthur Balfour and their Liberal Unionist allies receiving the most votes, but the Liberals led by H. H. Asquith winning the most seats, returning two more MPs than the Conservatives. Asquith's government remained in power with the support of the Irish Parliamentary Party, led by John Redmond. Another general election was soon held in December.
The Labour Party, led by Arthur Henderson, returned 40 MPs. Much of this apparent increase (from the 29 Labour MPs elected in 1906) came from the defection, a few years earlier, of Lib Lab MPs from the Liberal Party to Labour.
|Party||Leader||Stood||Elected||Gained||Unseated||Net||% of total||%||No.||Net %|
|Conservative and Liberal Unionist||Arthur Balfour||594||272||130||14||+116||40.6||46.8||2,919,236||+3.4|
|Liberal||H. H. Asquith||511||274||12||135||−123||40.9||43.5||2,712,511||−5.4|
|Irish Parliamentary||John Redmond||85||71||0||11||−11||10.6||1.2||74,047||+0.6|
|Social Democratic Federation||H. M. Hyndman||9||0||0||0||0||0.2||13,479||−0.1|
|Free Trader||John Eldon Gorst||4||0||0||0||0||0.2||11,553|
|Scottish Prohibition||Edwin Scrymgeour||1||0||0||0||0||0.0||756|
The Liberal Party was one of the two major political parties in the United Kingdom with the opposing Conservative Party in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The party arose from an alliance of Whigs and free trade–supporting Peelites and the reformist Radicals in the 1850s. By the end of the 19th century, it had formed four governments under William Gladstone. Despite being divided over the issue of Irish Home Rule, the party returned to government in 1905 and then won a landslide victory in the following year's general election.
The 1987 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday, 11 June 1987, to elect 650 members to the House of Commons. 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.
The February 1974 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday, 28 February 1974. The Labour Party, led by Leader of the Opposition and former Prime Minister Harold Wilson, gained 14 seats, but was seventeen short of an overall majority. The Conservative Party, led by incumbent Prime Minister Edward Heath, lost 28 seats; but achieved a higher share of the vote than Labour. This resulted in a hung parliament, the first since 1929. Heath sought a coalition with the Liberals, but the two parties failed to come to an agreement and then Wilson became Prime Minister for a second time, his first under a minority government. Because Labour was unable to form a majority coalition with another party, Wilson called another early election in September, which was held in October and resulted in a Labour majority. This was also the first general election to be held with the United Kingdom as a member state of the European Communities (EC)—widely known as the "Common Market".
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.
The Unionist Party was the main centre-right political party in Scotland between 1912 and 1965.
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, as he died the following year on 6 February and was succeeded by his daughter, Elizabeth II. This was also the last election in which the Conservatives did better in Scotland than in England.
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.
The 1931 United Kingdom general election was held on Tuesday 27 October 1931 and saw a landslide election victory for the National Government which had been formed two months previously after the collapse of the second Labour government. Collectively, the parties forming the National Government won 67% of the votes and 554 seats out of 615. The bulk of the National Government's support came from the Conservative Party, and the Conservatives won 470 seats. The Labour Party suffered its greatest defeat, losing four out of every five seats compared with the previous election. The Liberal Party, split into three factions, continued to shrink and the Liberal National faction never reunited. Ivor Bulmer-Thomas said the results "were the most astonishing in the history of the British party system". It is the most recent election in which one party received an absolute majority of the votes cast, and the last UK general election not to take place on a Thursday. It would be the last election until 1997 in which a party won over 400 seats in the House of Commons.
The 1929 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday, 30 May 1929 and resulted in a hung parliament. It stands as the fourth of six instances under the secret ballot, and the first of three under universal suffrage, in which a party has lost on the popular vote but won the highest number of seats versus all other parties. In 1929, Ramsay MacDonald's Labour Party won the most seats in the House of Commons for the first time. The Liberal Party led again by former Prime Minister David Lloyd George regained some ground lost in the 1924 general election and held the balance of power.
The 1924 United Kingdom general election was held on Wednesday 29 October 1924, as a result of the defeat of the Labour minority government, led by Ramsay MacDonald, in the House of Commons on a motion of no confidence. It was the third general election to be held in less than two years.
The 1923 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday 6 December 1923. The Conservatives, led by Stanley Baldwin, won the most seats, but Labour, led by Ramsay MacDonald, and H. H. Asquith's reunited Liberal Party gained enough seats to produce a hung parliament. It is the most recent UK general election in which a third party won over 100 seats. The Liberals' percentage of the vote, 29.7%, has not been exceeded by a third party at any general election since.
The 1922 United Kingdom general election was held on Wednesday 15 November 1922. It was won by the Conservative Party, led by Bonar Law, which gained an overall majority over the Labour Party, led by J. R. Clynes, and a divided Liberal Party.
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.
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 and the last to be held before the First World War.
The 1906 United Kingdom general election was held from 12 January to 8 February 1906.
The 1900 United Kingdom general election was held between 26 September and 24 October 1900, following the dissolution of Parliament on 25 September. Also referred to as the Khaki Election, it was held at a time when it was widely believed that the Second Boer War had effectively been won.
The 1895 United Kingdom general election was held from 13 July to 7 August 1895. It was won by the Conservatives led by Lord Salisbury who formed an alliance with the Liberal Unionist Party and had a large majority over the Liberals, led by Lord Rosebery. The Irish Parliamentary Party was split at this time; most of its MPs followed John Dillon, while a rump followed John Redmond.
The 1892 United Kingdom general election was held from 4 to 26 July 1892. It saw the Conservatives, led by Lord Salisbury again win the greatest number of seats, but no longer a majority as William Ewart Gladstone's Liberals won 80 more seats than in the 1886 general election. The Liberal Unionists who had previously supported the Conservative government saw their vote and seat numbers go down.
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 second Labour leader after 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.
In parliamentary politics, balance of power is a situation in which one or more members of a parliamentary or similar chamber can by their uncommitted vote enable a party to attain and remain in minority government. The term may also be applied to the members who hold that position. The members holding the balance of power may guarantee their support for a government by either joining it in a coalition government or by an assurance that they will vote against any motion of no confidence in the government or will abstain in such a vote. In return for such a commitment, such members may demand legislative or policy commitments from the party they are to support. A person or party may also hold a balance of power in a chamber without any commitment to government, in which case both the government and opposition groupings may on occasion need to negotiate for that person's or party's support.