United Kingdom general election, 1929

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United Kingdom general election, 1929
United Kingdom
1924 ←
members
30 May 1929
Members elected
→ 1931
members

All 615 seats to the House of Commons
308 seats needed for a majority
Turnout 76.3%
  First party Second party Third party
  Ramsay MacDonald ggbain.37952.jpg Stanley Baldwin ggbain.35233.jpg David Lloyd George.jpg
Leader Ramsay MacDonald Stanley Baldwin David Lloyd George
Party Labour Conservative Liberal
Leader since 21 November 1922 23 May 1923 14 October 1926
Leader's seat Seaham Bewdley Caernarvon Boroughs
Last election 151 seats, 33.3% 412 seats, 46.8% 40 seats, 17.8%
Seats won 287 260 59
Seat change Increase 136 Decrease 152 Increase 19
Popular vote 8,048,968 8,252,527 5,104,638
Percentage 37.1% 38.1% 23.6%
Swing Increase 3.8% Decrease 8.7% Increase 5.8%

PM before election

Stanley Baldwin
Conservative

Subsequent PM

Ramsay MacDonald
Labour

1923 election MPs
1924 election MPs
1929 election MPs
1931 election MPs
1935 election MPs

The 1929 United Kingdom general election was held on 30 May 1929, and resulted in a hung parliament. It was the second of four general elections under the secret ballot and the first of three under universal suffrage in which a party lost the popular vote (i.e. gained fewer popular votes than another party) but gained a plurality of seats (the others being 1874, 1951 and February 1974). In 1929 that party was Ramsay MacDonald's Labour, which won the most seats in the Commons for the first time ever but failed to get an overall majority. The Liberals led by David Lloyd George regained some of the ground they had lost in the 1924 election, and held the balance of power.

The election was often referred to as the "Flapper Election" in that it was the first election in which women over the age of 21 were allowed to vote, under the provisions of the Fifth Reform Act.

The election was fought against a background of rising unemployment with the memory of the 1926 General Strike still fresh in voters' minds. By 1929 the Cabinet was being described by many as "old and exhausted".[1]

The Liberals campaigned on a comprehensive programme of public works under the title "We Can Conquer Unemployment". The Conservatives campaigned on the theme of "Safety First".

Results[edit]

UK General Election 1929
Candidates Votes
Party Standing Elected Gained Unseated Net  % of total  % No. Net %
  Conservative 590 260 - 152 42.227 38.1 8,252,527 -8.7
  Labour 569 287 + 136 46.666 37.1 8,048,968 +3.8
  Liberal 513 59 + 19 9.593 23.6 5,104,638 +5.8
  Independent 11 4 3 1 + 2 0.650 0.4 94,742 +0.2
  Communist 25 0 0 1 - 1 0.2 47,554 -0.1
  Independent Conservative 8 0 0 0 0.2 46,278
  Scottish Prohibition 1 1 0 0 0 0.1 25,037 +0.1
  Nationalist 4 3 0 0 + 2 0.1 24,177 +0.1
  Independent Labour 4 1 1 0 + 1 0.1 20,825 +0.1
  Independent Liberal 2 0 0 0 0 0.1 17,110 +0.1
  National (Scotland) 2 0 0 0 0 0.0 3,313 N/A
  Plaid Cymru 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 609 N/A

Total votes cast: 21,685,779. Turnout 76.3%.[2] All parties shown. Conservatives include Ulster Unionists.

Votes summary[edit]

Popular vote
Conservative
  
38.06%
Labour
  
37.12%
Liberal
  
23.54%
Independent
  
0.83%
Others
  
0.46%

Seats summary[edit]

Parliamentary seats
Conservative
  
42.28%
Labour
  
46.67%
Liberal
  
9.59%
Independent
  
0.81%
Others
  
0.16%

References[edit]

  1. ^ Paul W. Doerr British foreign policy 1919-1939 p.104-5
  2. ^ http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons/lib/research/rp2008/rp08-012.pdf

Further reading[edit]

  • F. W. S. Craig, British Electoral Facts: 1832-1987
  • Howell, David. MacDonald’s Party: Labour Identities and Crisis, 1922–1939 (Oxford, 2002)
  • Redvaldsen, David. "'Today is the Dawn': The Labour Party and the 1929 General Election," Parliamentary History (2010) 29#3 pp 395-415.
  • Williamson, Philip. "'Safety First': Baldwin, the Conservative Party and the 1929 General Election," Historical Journal (1982) 25: 385–409.

External links[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]