United Kingdom general election records

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United Kingdom general election records is an annotated list of notable records from United Kingdom general elections.

Prior to 1945, electoral competition in the United Kingdom exhibited features which make meaningful comparisons with modern results difficult.

Among the most significant were:-

  • Frequent interventions and withdrawals of parties in different seats.
  • Frequent Coalitions between parties, splits within parties and floor-crossing by members.
  • Uncontested elections and truces between parties, in particular during both World Wars.
  • Generally more significant competition from independent candidates and minor parties.
  • Multi-member seats and University seats.
  • Higher frequency of general elections, although parliaments were extended during both World Wars.
  • Generally higher turnouts.
  • Generally higher variation in size of constituency electorates.

Since 1945, the evolution of a stable 3-party system has tended to negate each of the above features so that, broadly speaking, elections are more comparable.

In Northern Ireland, as ever, the pattern of party competition is completely different from that on the mainland and comparisons remain problematic.

Hence, unless otherwise stated records are based on results since the 1945 General Election, and earlier exceptional results are listed separately.

For comparison purposes the following definitions have been adopted.

  • Gain - victory by a party which was not victorious at the immediate previous election.
  • Loss - defeat of a party which was victorious at the immediate previous election.
  • Hold - victory by a party which was victorious at the immediate previous election.
  • Win - victory by a party. Ambiguous term that could mean either a gain or a hold.
  • Incumbent - the party which held the seat at the immediate previous election, irrespective of any intervening change of candidate or candidate's change of party.
  • Third Party - In England, since 1922, the "third party" has been the Liberal party through its Alliance with the SDP and their successors up to the present day Liberal Democrats. Additionally, in Scotland and Wales the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru are also considered to be Third Parties. Prior to 1922, the third party was the Labour party.
  • Minor Party - parties smaller than the Third Party
  • Uncontested - an election where only one candidate is put forward. No votes are actually cast and the candidate is by definition the victor.
  • Notional - boundary changes occur about every 10–15 years. Invariably the political composition of many seats is changed as a result, sometimes decisively. Professors Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher have compiled notional results for the last few sets of boundary changes, predicting what the result would have been at the previous election under the new boundaries. While accurate overall, the results in a few seats indicate that they may have been mistaken.

Contents

Numerical records[edit]

For more information about what is meant by the term "swing", see Swing (politics)

Largest swings[edit]

From Conservative to Labour[edit]

From Labour to Conservative[edit]

Largest fall in percentage share of vote[edit]

A party's share of the vote at a general election is not always matched at subsequent general elections, but given the five-year maximum term of a Parliament, reductions of 20% or more are unusual.

Conservative reductions in vote[edit]

Labour reductions in vote[edit]

Liberal/SDP/Liberal Democrat[edit]

Nationalist parties[edit]

Other parties[edit]

Largest increase in percentage share of vote[edit]

These records detail the change in the share of the vote by parties when compared to the same constituency in the previous General Election. In some cases, such as Brent East in 2005 for the Liberal Democrats, the figures should be framed by the context of a by-election in that constituency between the two Elections.

It should also be noted that boundary changes between elections will make comparison between altered seats difficult if not impossible.

Conservative[edit]

Labour[edit]

Liberal/Liberal Democrat[edit]

Nationalist[edit]

Largest winning share of the vote[edit]

Largest share of the vote won by any candidate, since 1918:

Largest number of votes[edit]

The most votes received by a single individual in a general election was Sir Cooper Rawson who polled 75205 votes when being reelected as MP for Brighton in 1931. However Brighton was a two-member constituency with a larger than average electorate.

Largest majority[edit]

The largest majority received by an individual is also Sir Cooper Rawson, reelected with a majority of 62253 at Brighton in 1931. The largest majority received by a woman is 38823 by the Countess of Iveagh elected MP for Southend in 1931.

Lowest winning share of the vote[edit]

All general election victors receiving less than 33.33% of the vote are listed. The list is complete from 1945 onwards. Seats with more than one member are omitted.

Name Party Constituency Election % Share
Johnston, RussellRussell Johnston Liberal Democrat Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber 1992 26.0
Privett, FrankFrank Privett Conservative Portsmouth Central 1922 26.8
McQuade, JohnJohn McQuade Democratic Unionist Belfast North 1979 27.6
Wright, SimonSimon Wright Liberal Democrat Norwich South 2010 29.4
Crook, C. W.C. W. Crook Conservative East Ham North 1922 29.7
Ewing, AnnabelleAnnabelle Ewing Scottish Nationalist Perth 2001 29.7
Reid, AlanAlan Reid Liberal Democrat Argyll and Bute 2001 29.9
McCrea, WilliamWilliam McCrea Democratic Unionist Mid Ulster 1983 30.0
Robertson, AngusAngus Robertson Scottish Nationalist Moray 2001 30.3
Bain, MargaretMargaret Bain Scottish Nationalist East Dunbartonshire 1974 October 31.2
Moore, MichaelMichael Moore Liberal Democrat Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale 1997 31.2
Dafis, CynogCynog Dafis Plaid Cymru Ceredigion and Pembroke North 1992 31.3
Lucas, CarolineCaroline Lucas Green Brighton Pavilion 2010 31.3
Robinson, PeterPeter Robinson Democratic Unionist Belfast East 1979 31.4
Banks, GordonGordon Banks Labour Ochil and South Perthshire 2005 31.4
Thomas, RogerRoger Thomas Labour Carmarthen 1983 31.6
Reid, AlanAlan Reid Liberal Democrat Argyll and Bute 2010 31.6
Woolas, PhilPhil Woolas Labour Oldham East and Saddleworth 2010 31.9
Campbell, GregoryGregory Campbell Democratic Unionist East Londonderry 2001 32.1
McDonnell, AlasdairAlasdair McDonnell Social Democratic and Labour Belfast South 2005 32.3
Johnston, RussellRussell Johnston Liberal Inverness 1974 October 32.4
Cunningham, JimJim Cunningham Labour Coventry South East 1992 32.6
McCurley, AnnaAnna McCurley Conservative Renfrew West and Inverclyde 1983 32.7
Mitchell, AustinAustin Mitchell Labour Great Grimsby 2010 32.7
Jackson, GlendaGlenda Jackson Labour Hampstead and Kilburn 2010 32.8
Godsiff, RogerRoger Godsiff Labour Birmingham Hall Green 2010 32.9
Price-White, DavidDavid Price-White Conservative Caernarfon 1945 32.9
Williamson, ChrisChris Williamson Labour Derby North 2010 33.0
Gray, HamishHamish Gray Conservative Ross and Cromarty 1970 33.2
Griffiths, NigelNigel Griffiths Labour Edinburgh South 2005 33.2

Lowest share of the vote[edit]

Major parties winning 2% or less of the vote[edit]

Since 1918:
Labour's worst vote was 2.2% for S. P. Gordon in Glasgow Bridgeton in 1935. They also received just 2.2% of the vote in 2010 in the constituency of Westmorland and Lonsdale.

Candidates winning fewer than ten votes[edit]

Since 1918:

1: Catherine Taylor-Dawson, Vote For Yourself Rainbow Dream Ticket, Cardiff North (2005)[2]
5: Martin Kyslun, Independent, West Derbyshire (2005)[2]
7: Dorian Vanbraam, Renaissance Democrat, Putney (1997)

Smallest majorities[edit]

Since 1945

Notes:

  • 1 At the election, the sitting Conservative Member, John Wentworth Addison, tied with his Liberal opponent, A.B. Rowley, on 3,049 votes each. The returning officer, acting under the law at the time, gave a casting vote to Addison, giving him an effective majority of one.
  • 2 At the election, the Liberal candidate, Harold St. Maur was declared elected by a majority of 4 votes, but on petition, after a lengthy hearing and several recounts at the High Court, the previous Conservative Member Henry Duke was declared elected by a single vote.
  • 3 The 1997 general election result was declared void, and at the subsequent by-election the Liberal Democrat majority swelled to over 20,000 votes. Consequently the result at Ilkeston in 1931 remains officially the smallest majority since 1918.

Most recounts[edit]

Highest turnout[edit]

Highest turnouts in any general election since 1918:

Lowest turnout[edit]

All turnouts below 35% from 1918:
Until 2001, the lowest turnout after 1918 was 37.4% in Orkney and Shetland in 1922.

Most candidates[edit]

Any number of candidates can be nominated for election under current UK electoral law. The only restrictions are that a candidate must be a Commonwealth or Irish citizen, not legally disqualified, with the valid nomination of ten electors from the constituency. Candidates must pay a £500 deposit which is only refunded if the candidate wins 5% or more of the votes cast.

Only seven constituencies have seen more than ten candidates stand in a general election:

[4]

The two cases from before 2010 were both the constituency of the Prime Minister. Before 1983, the consecutive records were 6 candidates in 1918, 7 in Tottenham in February 1974 and 9 in Devon North in 1979.

Fewest candidates[edit]

The last four seats to be uncontested at a general election were Armagh, Londonderry, North Antrim and South Antrim, at the 1951 general election. The last mainland seats to be uncontested were Liverpool Scotland and Rhondda West, at the 1945 general election.

Three seats were contested only by Labour and Conservative candidates at the 1979 general election: Birmingham Handsworth, Dudley West and Salford East.

Birkenhead was the only seat contested by only three candidates at the 2010 general election.

Candidate records[edit]

Durable general election candidates[edit]

A selection of politicians who have contested seats in at least thirteen general elections are listed:

Name Parties Contests Successful First Last Notes
Winston Churchill Liberal, Conservative, Constitutionalist 16 14 1900 1959 Stood in five by-elections, first in 1899
Charles Pelham Villiers Liberal, Liberal Unionist 15 15 1835 1895
Edward Heath Conservative 14 14 1950 1997
T. P. O'Connor Nationalist 14 14 1885 1929
Peter Tapsell Conservative 14 13 1959 2010 Also stood in 1957 by-election
Manny Shinwell Labour 14 12 1918 1966 Also stood in 1928 by-election
Michael Foot Labour 14 11 1935 1987 Also stood in 1960 by-election
David Lloyd George Liberal 13 13 1892 1935 Also stood in 1890 by-election
Edward Turnour Conservative 13 13 1906 1950 Also stood in 1904 by-election
Tony Benn Labour 13 12 1951 1997 Stood in four by-elections, first in 1950
Kenneth Clarke Conservative 13 11 1964 2010
Gerald Kaufman Labour 13 11 1955 2010 Did not stand 1964 or 1966

MPs defeated at consecutive general elections[edit]

On rare occasions an MP has been defeated at a general election, returned at a by-election, only to be defeated again at the subsequent general election. Shirley Williams is distinguished by achieving this while in two different parties.

Notes:

  • a returned to Parliament at a subsequent general election
  • b returned to Parliament at a subsequent by-election

Former MPs unsuccessful at subsequent general elections[edit]

Attempts[edit]

It is unusual for a defeated MP to pursue more than a couple of attempts at re-election.

Notes:

  • a in various seats
  • b in the same seat

Interval[edit]

Attempts at a comeback usually occur almost immediately

Future MPs unsuccessful at previous general elections[edit]

It is unusual for a candidate who has been unsuccessful on more than a couple of occasions to finally win a seat.

Former MPs making a comeback at a general election[edit]

Shortest-serving general election victors[edit]

For a comprehensive list of MPs with total service of less than 365 days see List of United Kingdom MPs with the shortest service

Since 1945[edit]

Candidate Party Constituency Year Days
Alfred Dobbs Labour Smethwick 1945 11
John Sunderland Labour Preston 1945 1221
John Whittaker Labour Heywood and Radcliffe 1945 1371
Philip Clarke Sinn Féin Fermanagh and South Tyrone 1955 1523x
Thomas Mitchell Sinn Féin Mid-Ulster 1955 1523x
Harry West UUP Fermanagh and South Tyrone February 1974 2242
Michael Ancram Conservative Berwick and East Lothian February 1974 2242a
Barry Henderson Conservative East Dunbartonshire February 1974 2242a
Paul Tyler Liberal Bodmin February 1974 2242a
Michael Winstanley Liberal Hazel Grove February 1974 2242b
James Godfrey MacManaway UUP Belfast West 1950 2383
Judith Chaplin Conservative Newbury 1992 3161
Peter Law Independent Blaenau Gwent 2005 3551

Pre-1945[edit]

Candidate Party Constituency Year Days
Thomas Higgins Irish Parliamentary Galway North 1906 01
James Annand Liberal East Aberdeenshire 1906 161
Joseph Nicholas Bell Labour Newcastle East 1922 321
Harry Wrightson Conservative Leyton West 1918 321
Hugh Alfred Anderson Irish Unionist Londonderry North 1918 664
Pierce McCan Sinn Féin East Tipperary 1918 681
Alexander Theodore Gordon Conservative Aberdeen and Kincardine Central 1918 681
Charles James Mathew Labour Whitechapel and St. George's 1922 851
Robert Climie Labour Kilmarnock 1929 1261b
George Henry Williamson Conservative Worcester 1906 1283
Harold St. Maur Liberal Exeter December 1910 1293
John Gibb Thom Conservative Dunbartonshire 1931 1424b
Richard Mathias Liberal Cheltenham December 1910 1443
George Brown Hillman Conservative Wakefield 1931 1441
John Barker Liberal Maidstone 1900 1473a
Edward George Clarke Conservative City of London 1906 1504b
Frederick Guest Liberal East Dorset January 1910 1543a
Eugene O'Sullivan Irish Parliamentary East Kerry January 1910 1703
David Henderson MacDonald Conservative Bothwell 1918 1761
Thomas Agar-Robartes Liberal Bodmin 1906 1833a
Herbert Sparkes Conservative Tiverton 1922 1881
Hilton Philipson National Liberal Berwick-on-Tweed 1922 1973
Armine Wodehouse Conservative Saffron Walden 1900 2001
Frederick Rutherfoord Harris Conservative Monmouth 1900 2103a
Moreton Frewen All-for-Ireland Cork North-East December 1910 2204
Arthur Wellesley Willey Conservative Leeds Central 1922 2291
Ellis Ellis-Griffith Liberal Carmarthen 1923 2524b
William Ward Conservative Wednesbury 1931 2735b
Alfred Holland Labour Clay Cross 1935 2901
Charles Harvey Dixon Conservative Rutland and Stamford 1922 3111b
Arthur Henniker-Hughan Conservative Galloway 1924 3401
George Ernest Spero Labour Fulham West 1929 3414b
Martin Morris Conservative Galway Borough 1900 3425

Notes

  • 1 died
  • 2 defeated at next general election
  • 3 disqualified
  • 4 resigned
  • 5 succeeded to the Peerage
  • a returned to Parliament at a subsequent election
  • b had served previously as an MP
  • x Since Clarke and Mitchell were elected on abstentionist tickets, and were serving jail sentences at the time, their calculated length of service is somewhat theoretical.

Youngest general election victors[edit]

Babies of the House elected at general elections[edit]

See Baby of the House of Commons

Youngest to leave the House[edit]

Notes:
1 Defeated
2 Constituency abolished
3 Retired
x did not take his seat

Oldest to lose their seats[edit]

Oldest general election victors[edit]

At first election[edit]

1 Khabra's exact age has been the subject of some disagreement. He claimed a birth year of 1924, which would have made him 67 years old at first election, but his marriage certificate gives a birth year of 1921, and it is this figure which has been used above.

At last election[edit]

1 Davies was suspected of being considerably older than he claimed. There is evidence to suggest he was born in 1879, not 1886; if true, this would indicate he was 90 at his last election.
Note: All men aged 79 or over since 1945 and over 85 since 1900 are listed, as are all women aged 70 or over.

Returning to the house after a gap[edit]

  • Robert Carden was 78 when he returned to the house, after a 21-year absence, as the member for Barnstaple. He had sat for Gloucester from 1857-59.
  • John Potts was 74 when he returned to the house, after a four-year absence. He had sat for Barnsley from 1922-31.
  • George Edwards was 73 when he returned to the House of Commons, after a year's absence, as member for South Norfolk. He had sat for the same constituency 1920-22.
  • Cahir Healy was 72 when he returned to the House of Commons, after a 15-year voluntary absence, as member for Fermanagh and South Tyrone. He had sat for the predecessor constituency between 1922–24 and 1931-35.
  • Tommy Lewis was 71 when he returned after a 14-year absence, as member for Southampton. He had sat previously for the seat between 1929-31.
  • John Kinley was 67 when he returned after a 14-year absence, as member for Bootle. He had sat previously for the seat between 1929-31.

First women general election victors[edit]

Notes: x did not take her seat

First ethnic minority general election victors[edit]

First general election victors from specific religions[edit]

When the UK Parliament was established in 1801, non-Anglicans were prevented from taking their seats as MPs under the Test Act 1672. However, Methodists took communion at Anglican churches until 1795, and some continued to do so, and many Presbyterians were prepared to accept Anglican communion, thus ensuring that members of these creeds were represented in the Parliament.[5] Some Unitarians were also elected.

The first Roman Catholic general election victors in the UK Parliament were at the 1830 general election. They included Daniel O'Connell and James Patrick Mahon in Clare.

The first Quaker general election victor was Edward Pease, at the 1832 general election.

Lionel de Rothschild was the first Jewish general election victor, at the 1847 general election. He was not permitted to take his seat.

The first declared atheist to win a general election was Charles Bradlaugh at the 1880 general election. He was not permitted to take his seat.

Dadabhai Naoroji was the first Parsi general election victor at the 1892 general election.

Piara Khabra became the first Sikh general election victor, at the 1992 general election.

Terry Rooney became the first Mormon general election victor at the 1992 general election (previously taking his seat at a by-election in 1990).

The first Muslim general election victor was Mohammed Sarwar at the 1997 general election.

The first Hindu general election victor was Shailesh Vara at the 2005 general election.

General elections losers awarded seats on disqualification of winner[edit]

Lord Robert Grosvenor: Fermanagh and South Tyrone, 1955

Two or more sitting MPs contest general election[edit]

It is of course common for former (defeated) MPs to seek re-election, often in their old constituencies, especially if they are marginal or bellwether seats. What is quite unusual is for two MPs both sitting in the same parliament to seek re-election in the same seat. This usually occurs by reason of boundary changes or party splits.

Notes: 1after announcing his retirement as member for Central Fife, long-serving Scottish Labour MP Willie Hamilton obtained his party's nomination in the hopeless prospect of South Hams in southern England. Hamilton insisted that he knew local parties often found themselves without candidates shortly before nominations closed, and was offering because it would help them out of difficulty; however by standing again and being "defeated" he qualified for an additional allowance.

* Winner

Frequency and duration records[edit]

Longest period without a general election[edit]

The longest possible duration of a Parliament is currently five years. All period of six years or more between general elections are listed:

10 years: 1935 - 1945
8 years: December 1910 - 1918
6 years: 1812 - 1818
6 years: 1820 - 1826
6 years: 1841 - 1847
6 years: 1859 - 1865
6 years: 1868 - 1874
6 years: 1874 - 1880
6 years: 1886 - 1892
6 years: 1900 - 1906

Shortest period between general elections[edit]

All period of less than a year between general elections are listed:

7 months: November 1806 - June 1807
7 months: November/December 1885 - July 1886
8 months: September 1830(?) - April/May/June 1831
8 months: February - October 1974
10 months: December 1923 - October 1924
11 months: January - December 1910

Longest period without a change in government[edit]

The longest continuous Conservative government was in office for almost 18 years, between 4 May 1979 and 2 May 1997.

The longest continuous Labour government was in office for over 13 years, between 2 May 1997 and 11 May 2010.

The longest continuous Liberal government was in office for over 9 years, between 5 December 1905 and 25 May 1915.

The longest continuous coalition government was in office for almost 14 years, between 24 August 1931 and 26 July 1945, although its components changed significantly during that period.

Election days[edit]

Currently, all British Parliamentary elections are invariably held on a Thursday. The last general election not held on a Thursday was the 1931 election, which was held on Tuesday 27 October. Prior to this, it was common to hold general elections on any day of the week (other than Sunday), and until the 1918 general election, polling (and the declaration of results) was held over a period of several weeks.

Suspended Elections[edit]

On rare occasions, polling in an individual constituency may be suspended, usually as a result of the death of a candidate. The last occasion was at Thirsk and Malton in 2010, where polling was delayed for three weeks owing to the death of the UKIP candidate.

Previous examples occurred at

Causes of general elections[edit]

Loss of a vote of confidence[edit]

  • 1979
  • 1924

New Prime Minister seeks a mandate[edit]

  • 1955

Prime Minister without a working majority seeks to gain one[edit]

  • October 1974
  • 1966
  • 1951

Prime Minister's choice of date[edit]

  • 2005
  • 2001
  • 1987
  • 1983
  • February 1974
  • 1970
  • 1959
  • 1950

Parliament had run its course[edit]

  • 2010
  • 1997
  • 1992
  • 1964

End of World War[edit]

  • 1945
  • 1918

Miscellaneous records[edit]

Incumbents fall directly from first place to fourth place[edit]

1 UUP had been unopposed by DUP at previous elections.
2 SDP had been unopposed by the Liberals at previous elections.
3 The sitting Independent Labour Party MP had defected to Labour.

Incumbents fall directly from first place to third place[edit]

1 The sitting Labour MP had defected to the SDP in 1981.
2 The sitting Ulster Unionist Party MP had defected to sit as an Independent Unionist.
3 The sitting Independent Labour Party MP had defected to Labour.

Outgoing Government gains seats[edit]

When there is a decisive change in electoral sentiment, a tiny number of seats will not only buck the trend by not moving as expected, but may actually move in the opposite direction. Only elections that saw a change of government are listed, since it is fairly common for a few seats to move in divergent directions when an incumbent government is re-elected; 2005 was an exception to this case, when the Labour party scored no gains.

Conservative[edit]

1997[edit]
By-election losses regained[edit]
February 1974[edit]
Gains[edit]
By-election losses regained[edit]
1964[edit]
Gains[edit]
By-election losses regained[edit]
1945[edit]
Gains[edit]
By-election losses regained[edit]
1929[edit]
Gains[edit]
By-election losses regained[edit]

Labour[edit]

2010[edit]
Gains[edit]
By-election losses regained[edit]
1979[edit]
Gains[edit]
By-election losses regained[edit]
1970[edit]
Gains[edit]
By-election losses regained[edit]
1951[edit]
Gains[edit]

Incoming Government loses seats[edit]

Conservative[edit]

Labour[edit]

Liberal Democrats[edit]

Notes: 1 by-election loss confirmed at the General Election

Seats gained from fourth place*[edit]

Seats gained from third place*[edit]

Notes:
* only includes examples of genuine three-or-more party competition; does not include seats gained as a result of pacts
1 sitting member had defected from UUP to DUP
2 Liberal Democrats had won a by-election in predecessor constituency in which Labour finished second
3 by-election gain confirmed at General Election.
4 SDP candidate ran for the Alliance in seat with strong Liberal tradition.

General election victors had not contested previous election[edit]

It is unusual for a party that had not contested the seat at the previous election to win it. Since the major mainland parties now routinely contest all seats, except the Speaker's, such rare victories tend to come from independents or splinter-parties.

Notes:

  • 1 Vanguard broke up in the late 1970s; the sitting MP joined the Ulster Unionists.
  • 2 Vanguard broke up in the late 1970s; the sitting MP joined the United Ulster Unionists.
  • 3 By-election gain confirmed at the General Election.
  • 4 The Protestant Unionist Party merged into the Democratic Unionist Party in 1970.
  • 5 Sitting MP Gerry Fitt had left the Republican Labour Party for the SDLP in 1970; by 1974 Republican Labour had disintegrated.

Incumbent party did not contest[edit]

The rare occasions where the party which won the previous election did not contest the seat. Independent candidates are not included, nor are Speakers of the House or Commons. Also excluded are occasions where the party had merged into an organisation which did contest the election, such as when the Social Democratic Party and Liberal Party formed the Liberal Democrats, or the Vanguard Unionist Progressive Party merged into the Ulster Unionist Party.

Election Constituency Incumbent party Notes
1997 North Down Ulster Popular Unionist Sole UPUP MP had died and party had subsequently collapsed.
1983 Mid Ulster UUUP UUUP had dissolved and former MP stood down.
1974 February Belfast West Republican Labour MP had defected to the Social Democratic and Labour Party and RLP had dissolved.
1959 Caithness and Sutherland Conservative Stood aside for Independent Conservative David Robertson.
1955 Fermanagh and Tyrone Nationalist Stood aside for Sinn Féin candidate.
1950 Chelmsford Common Wealth MP had defected to Labour and party decided not to contest any further elections.
1950 Glasgow Camlachie Ind. Labour Party MP had defected to Labour, then the ILP had performed badly in the 1948 by-election.

Major party did not run[edit]

Conservative[edit]

Labour[edit]

Liberal Democrats[edit]

1: An occasion where a major party stood aside against the Speaker of the British House of Commons.

Victories by minor parties[edit]

Victories by independent and minor party candidates since 1945. For a complete list, see the list of UK minor party and independent MPs elected.

  • Belfast East, 2010
  • Brighton Pavilion, 2010
  • Blaenau Gwent, 2005
  • Bethnal Green and Bow, 2005
  • Wyre Forest, 2005
  • Wyre Forest, 2001
  • Tatton, 1997
  • Lincoln, February 1974
  • Blyth, February 1974
  • Merthyr Tydfil, 1970

Minor parties other strong performance[edit]

Parties without representation in Parliament which won 10% or more of the votes cast:

Party Constituency Election Candidate Votes Percentage Position Notes
Alliance Belfast East 1983 Oliver Napier 9,373 24.1 3
Alliance Belfast East 1987 John Alderdice 10,574 32.1 2
Alliance Belfast East 1992 John Alderdice 10,650 29.8 2
Alliance Belfast East 1997 Jim Hendron 9,288 23.8 3
Alliance Belfast East 2001 David Alderdice 5,832 15.8 3
Alliance Belfast East 2005 Naomi Long 3,746 12.2 3
Alliance Belfast South 1983 David Cook 8,945 23.9 2
Alliance Belfast South 1987 David Cook 6,963 21.3 2
Alliance Belfast South 1992 John Montgomery 5,054 15.0 3
Alliance Belfast South 1997 Steve McBride 5,112 12.9 4
Alliance Belfast South 2010 Anna Lo 5,114 15.0 4
Alliance East Antrim 1983 Séan Neeson 7,620 20.0 3
Alliance East Antrim 1987 Séan Neeson 8,582 25.6 2
Alliance East Antrim 1992 Séan Neeson 9,132 23.3 3
Alliance East Antrim 1997 Séan Neeson 6,929 20.2 2
Alliance East Antrim 2001 John Matthews 4,483 12.5 3
Alliance East Antrim 2005 Séan Neeson 4,869 15.3 3
Alliance East Antrim 2010 Gerry Lynch 3,377 11.1 3
Alliance Lagan Valley 1983 Seamus Close 4,593 11.3 3
Alliance Lagan Valley 1987 Seamus Close 5,728 13.8 2
Alliance Lagan Valley 1992 Seamus Close 6,207 12.7 2
Alliance Lagan Valley 1997 Seamus Close 7,635 17.2 2
Alliance Lagan Valley 2001 Seamus Close 7,624 16.6 2
Alliance Lagan Valley 2005 Seamus Close 4,316 10.1 3
Alliance Lagan Valley 2010 Trevor Lunn 4,174 11.4 3
Alliance North Antrim 1987 Gareth Williams 5,140 12.4 3
Alliance North Down 1983 John Cushnahan 9,015 22.1 2
Alliance North Down 1987 John Cushnahan 7,932 19.4 3
Alliance North Down 1992 Addie Morrow 6,611 14.7 3
Alliance North Down 1997 Oliver Napier 7,554 20.7 3
Alliance South Antrim 1983 Gordon Mawhinney 4,612 11.9 3
Alliance South Antrim 1987 Gordon Mawhinney 5,808 16.0 2
Alliance South Antrim 1992 John Blair 5,244 12.4 3
Alliance South Antrim 1997 David Ford 4,668 11.6 3
Alliance Strangford 1983 Addie Morrow 6,171 15.8 3
Alliance Strangford 1987 Addie Morrow 7,553 20.3 2
Alliance Strangford 1992 Kieran McCarthy 7,585 16.9 3
Alliance Strangford 1997 Kieran McCarthy 5,467 13.1 3
BNP Barking 2005 Richard Barnbrook 4,916 16.9 3
BNP Barking 2010 Nick Griffin 6,620 14.8 3
BNP Burnley 2001 Steve Smith 4,151 11.3 4
BNP Burnley 2005 Len Starr 4,003 10.1 5
BNP Dewsbury 2005 David Exley 5,066 13.1 4
BNP Oldham West and Royton 2001 Nick Griffin 6,552 16.4 3
BNP Rotherham 2010 Marlene Guest 3,906 10.4 4
Buckinghamshire Campaign for Democracy Buckingham 2010 John Stevens 10,331 21.4 2 Standing against the then Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow
Burnley First Burnley 2005 Harry Brooks 5,786 14.8 3
Green Brighton Pavilion 2005 Keith Taylor 9,571 22.0 3
Green Lewisham Deptford 2005 Darren Johnson 3,367 11.4 4
Green Norwich South 2010 Adrian Ramsay 7,095 14.9 4
Independent Fermanagh and South Tyrone 2010 Rodney Connor 21,300 41.5 2 Supported by the DUP and UUP
Independent Ealing Southall 2001 Avtar Lit 5,764 12.3 3
Independent Fermanagh and South Tyrone 2001 Jim Dixon 6,843 13.2 4
Independent Sedgefield 2005 Reg Keys 4,252 10.3 4 Staning against the then Prime Minister Tony Blair
Independent West Tyrone 2005 Kieran Deeny 11,905 27.4 2
Independent Labour West Bromwich West 1997 Richard Silvester 8,546 23.3 2 Standing against the then Speaker of the House of Commons, Betty Boothroyd
Liberal Liverpool West Derby 2001 Steve Radford 4,601 14.9 2
Liberal Liverpool West Derby 2005 Steve Radford 3,606 11.8 3
National Democrats West Bromwich West 1997 Steve Edwards 4,181 11.4 3 Standing against the then Speaker of the House of Commons, Betty Boothroyd
Labour (NI) Belfast East 1974 Oct David Bleakley 8,122 14.1 3
Orkney and Shetland Movement Orkney and Shetland 1987 John Goodlad 3,095 14.5 4
People's Justice Birmingham Sparkbrook and Small Heath 2001 Shafaq Hussain 4,770 13.0 3
PUP Belfast East 2001 David Ervine 3,669 10.0 4
PUP Belfast South 1997 David Ervine 5,687 14.4 3
Protestant Unionist Belfast North 1987 George Seawright 5,671 15.4 3
Real Unionist North Down 1987 Bob McCartney 14,467 35.4 2
Respect Birmingham Sparkbrook and Small Heath 2005 Salma Yaqoob 10,498 27.5 2
Respect East Ham 2005 Abdul Khaliq Mian 8,171 20.7 2
Respect Poplar and Canning Town 2005 Oliur Rahman 6,573 17.2 3
Respect West Ham 2005 Lindsey German 6,039 19.5 2
Scottish Militant Labour Glasgow Pollok 1992 Tommy Sheridan 6,287 19.3 2
Scottish Socialist Glasgow Pollok 1997 Tommy Sheridan 3,639 11.1 3
Sinn Féin Belfast North 1997 Gerry Kelly 8,375 20.2 3
Sinn Féin Fermanagh and South Tyrone 1997 Gerry McHugh 11,174 23.1 2
Sinn Féin Foyle 1997 Mitchel McLaughlin 11,445 23.9 2
Sinn Féin Newry and Armagh 1997 Pat McNamee 11,218 21.1 3
Sinn Féin South Down 1997 Mick Murphy 5,127 10.4 3
Sinn Féin Upper Bann 1997 Bernadette O'Hagan 5,773 12.1 3
Sinn Féin West Tyrone 1997 Pat Doherty 14,280 30.9 3
Socialist Labour Glasgow North East 2005 Doris Kelly 4,036 14.2 3 Standing against the then Speaker of the House of Commons, Michael Martin
TUV North Antrim 2010 Jim Allister 7,114 16.8 2
UKIP Buckingham 2010 Nigel Farage 8,410 17.4 3 Standing against the then Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow
UKIP South Staffordshire 2005 Malcolm Hurst 2,675 10.4 4 Polling day delayed following death of Liberal Democrat candidate from original ballot.

Miscellaneous notable results[edit]

Party Leaders or Deputy Leaders losing their seats[edit]

Constituency Election MP Position Party
Belfast East 2010 Peter Robinson Leader DUP
Upper Bann 2005 David Trimble Leader UUP
North Down 2001 Robert McCartney Leader UK Unionist
Belfast West 1992 Gerry Adams Leader Sinn Féin
Glasgow Govan 1992 Jim Sillars Deputy Leader SNP
Dundee East 1987 Gordon Wilson Leader SNP
Carmarthen 1979 Gwynfor Evans Leader Plaid Cymru
Cornwall North 1979 John Pardoe Deputy Leader Liberal
Fermanagh and South Tyrone 1974 October Harry West Leader UUP
Belper 1970 George Brown Deputy Leader Labour
Carmarthen 1970 Gwynfor Evans Leader Plaid Cymru
Huddersfield West 1964 Donald Wade Deputy Leader Liberal
Anglesey 1951 Megan Lloyd George Deputy Leader Liberal
Caithness and Sutherland 1945 Archibald Sinclair Leader Liberal
Edinburgh Leith 1945 Ernest Brown Leader Liberal National
Darwen 1935 Herbert Samuel Leader Liberal
Seaham 1935 Ramsay MacDonald Leader National Labour
Burnley 1931 Arthur Henderson Leader Labour
Manchester Platting 1931 John Robert Clynes Deputy Leader Labour
Paisley 1924 H. H. Asquith Leader Liberal
East Fife 1918 H. H. Asquith Leader Liberal
East Mayo 1918 John Dillon Leader Irish Parliamentary
Manchester East 1906 Arthur Balfour Leader Conservative
West Ham South 1895 Keir Hardie Leader Ind. Labour Party
Londonderry City 1892 Justin McCarthy1 Leader Irish National Federation
South Lancashire 1868 William Ewart Gladstone2 Leader Liberal
1: McCarthy was defeated in Londonderry City, the seat for which he had sat in the previous Parliament. He also stood in North Longford, where he was elected.
2: Gladstone was defeated in South Lancashire, the seat for which he had sat in the previous Parliament. He also stood in Greenwich, where he was elected.

General elections having historic significance[edit]

  • 2010: the first Coalition government to arise from a general election result.
  • 1997: Blair, New Labour
  • 1979: Thatcher, end of the post-war consensus
  • 1945: Labour, Welfare State
  • 1931: National Government presides over the Great Depression and Appeasement
  • 1923: First Labour government emerges
  • 1910 (two Liberal general election victories) Establishment of supremacy of the Commons. The Parliament Act 1911.
  • 1906: Liberal landslide

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ David Boothroyd
  2. ^ a b c d e f Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher, British electoral facts (Parliamentary Research Services)
  3. ^ As well as being the smallest majority at this election only 429 votes separated the top three candidates.
  4. ^ Research Paper 05/33: General Election 2005, House of Commons Library
  5. ^ Chris Pond, Parliament and Religious Disabilities
  • Who's Who of British MPs: Volume IV, 1945-1979 by Michael Stenton and Stephen Lees (Harvester, Brighton, 1979) ISBN 0-85527-335-6
  • British Parliamentary Constituencies - A Statistical Compendium by Ivor Crewe and Anthony Fox (Faber and Faber, London, 1984) ISBN 0-571-13236-7
  • British Political Facts 1900-1994 by David Butler and Gareth Butler (St. Martin's Press, New York, 1994) ISBN 0-312-12147-4