1685 English general election

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1685 English general election

← 1681 1685 1689 →
  First party Second party
Party Tory Whig
Seats won 468 57

The 1685 English general election elected the only parliament of James II of England, known as the Loyal Parliament. This was the first time the words Whig and Tory were used as names for political groupings in the Parliament of England. Party strengths are an approximation, with many MPs' allegiances being unknown.

Elections to the House of Commons, especially in the boroughs, were heavily influenced by the king. Following the Exclusion crisis, ninety-nine boroughs had received new charters, the aim being to eliminate the influence of the Whigs. Partly as a result of this, there were only fifty-seven Whigs in the new House of Commons, in which only four years before they had held a majority.[1] Yet the Whigs also lost seats in county constituencies that weren't liable to charter manipulation, dropping from around sixty county seats in 1681 to only eight.[2] In the new parliament, the Tories now had their own majority in both houses, Commons and Lords.


  1. ^ Clyve Jones, Britain in the first age of party, 1680–1750: essays presented to Geoffrey Holmes (1987), p. 56 online at books.google.com
  2. ^ Speck, W.A. (1990). Reluctant revolutionaries : Englishmen and the revolution of 1688 ([1st pbk ed.]. ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 45. ISBN 0192851209.
  • Henning, Basil, ed. (1983), The House of Commons, 1660–1690, The History of Parliament, Secker & Warburg

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