United Kingdom general election, 1923

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United Kingdom general election, 1923
United Kingdom
1922 ←
members
6 December 1923 → 1924
members

All 615 seats to the House of Commons
308 seats needed for a majority
Turnout 71.1%
  First party Second party Third party
  Stanley Baldwin ggbain.35233.jpg Ramsay MacDonald ggbain 35734.jpg 1923 Herbert Asquith.jpg
Leader Stanley Baldwin Ramsay MacDonald H. H. Asquith
Party Conservative Labour Liberal
Leader since 23 May 1923 21 November 1922 30 April 1908
Leader's seat Bewdley Aberavon Paisley
Last election 344 seats, 38.5% 142 seats, 29.7% 62 seats, 18.9%
Seats won 258 191 158
Seat change Decrease 86 Increase 49 Increase 96
Popular vote 5,286,159 4,267,831 4,129,922
Percentage 38.0% 30.7% 29.7%
Swing Decrease 0.5% Increase 1.0% Increase 10.8%

PM before election

Stanley Baldwin
Conservative

Subsequent PM

Ramsay MacDonald
Labour

1922 election MPs
1923 election MPs
1924 election MPs
1929 election MPs

The United Kingdom general election of 1923 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 to produce a hung parliament. It was the last election in which a third party (the Liberals) won more than 100 seats, or received more than 26% of the vote.

As the election had been fought on the Conservative proposals for tariff reform, it was inevitable that they could not retain office. As a result, MacDonald formed the first ever Labour government with tacit support from the Liberals. Asquith's motivation for permitting Labour to enter power, rather than trying bring the Liberals back into government, was that he hoped they would prove to be incompetent and quickly lose support. Being in a minority, MacDonald's government only lasted 10 months and another election was held in October 1924.

Overview[edit]

During 1923 the Ruhr crisis led to a growing feeling of German sympathy in Britain, with people increasingly fed up of international crises in Europe. By May 1923 the then Prime Minister Bonar Law fell ill and resigned on 22 May,[1] after just 209 days in office. He was replaced by Baldwin. Having only had an election just the year before, Baldwin's party had a comfortable majority in the Commons and could have waited another four years, but the government was concerned with unemployment and protectionism. He felt the need to receive a mandate from the people,which, if successful, would strengthen his grip on the Conservative party leadership.[2]

The result however backfired on Baldwin, who lost a host of seats to Labour and the Liberals. For the first time in history, Labour would be in government, albeit without a clear mandate or majority.

Results[edit]

258 191 158 8
Conservative Labour Liberal O
UK General Election 1923
Candidates Votes
Party Standing Elected Gained Unseated Net  % of total  % No. Net %
  Conservative 536 258 - 86 41.951 38.0 5,286,159 -0.5
  Labour 427 191 + 49 31.056 30.7 4,267,831 +1.0
  Liberal 457 158 + 96 25.691 29.7 4,129,922 +10.8
  Nationalist 4 3 0 0 0 0.487 0.4 54,157 N/A
  Independent 6 2 0 1 - 1 0.325 0.3 36,802 -0.5
  Communist 4 0 0 1 - 1 0.2 34,258 0.0
  Belfast Labour 1 0 0 0 0 0.2 22,255 N/A
  Independent Labour 4 0 0 1 - 1 0.2 17,331 0.0
  Independent Liberal 3 1 1 1 0 0.1 16,184 0.0
  Constitutionalist 1 0 0 1 - 1 0.1 15,500 0.0
  Independent Conservative 1 0 0 3 - 3 0.1 15,171 -0.8
  Scottish Prohibition 1 1 0 0 0 0.1 12,877 0.0
  Christian Pacifist 1 1 0 0 0 0.0 570 N/A

Total number of votes cast: 13,909,017. Turnout 71.1%[3] All parties shown. Conservatives include Ulster Unionists.

Votes summary[edit]

Popular vote
Conservative
  
38.01%
Labour
  
30.68%
Liberal
  
29.69%
Nationalist
  
0.39%
Independent
  
0.61%
Others
  
0.60%

Seats summary[edit]

Parliamentary seats
Conservative
  
41.95%
Labour
  
31.06%
Liberal
  
25.69%
Nationalist
  
0.5%
Independent
  
0.49%
Others
  
0.31%

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]