United Kingdom general election, 2005 (England)
All 529 English seats to the House of Commons
These are the English results of the United Kingdom general election, 2005. The election was held on 5 May 2005 and all 529 seats in England were contested. The Labour Party (UK) achieved a complete majority of English seats despite losing the popular vote by 72,544 to the Conservative Party (UK). In addition to its electoral success in Scotland and Wales, the Labour Party went on to form a third term government with a majority of 66 seats.
The average Labour vote in England declined by approximately 6% and by varying amounts in every English Region, but with sharp variations locally. The Labour vote fell sharply in safe Labour seats and in areas with large Muslim populations, yet a few constituencies saw slight Labour increases. In particular, the Labour vote declined dramatically in the northern half of London, where 11% of voters abandoned Labour for other parties; and in Bethnal Green and Bow, London, former Labour MP George Galloway, running as a candidate for the anti-war Respect, defeated Oona King (Labour) who in the previous General Election had a majority of 10,057. Following the result, a hostile interview with Jeremy Paxman attracted press attention. Labour lost the fewest votes in South West England, only 2.5%—but Labour's vote in South West England is historically poor. Notably, the Labour Party failed to take a single seat from another party. Labour polled seventy thousand fewer votes in England than the Conservatives, yet won ninety-two more seats, attributed to the smaller average electorate in urban (usually pro-Labour) constituencies.
The Conservatives made gains in most regions of England, though their vote declined in some areas, notably East Midlands and Yorkshire (2% and 1.5% declines, respectively). However, even in regions where the Conservative vote declined, the Labour vote declined by a greater margin, allowing the Conservatives to make gains against Labour. Overall, the Conservatives gained approximately 1% of the vote in England from 2001. In Enfield Southgate, Conservative David Burrowes ousted Labour Stephen Twigg, who had famously defeated Michael Portillo for that seat in the 1997 elections.
The Liberal Democrats made modest gains in all regions of England, improving by at least 1% in every region. No particular region showed greatly expanded support for the Liberal Democrats though, continuing the trend of approximately equal showings in all regions of England for them and their "decapitation policy" that targeted Conservative front-benchers failed, removing only Tim Collins in Westmorland and Lonsdale.
Former BBC presenter, Robert Kilroy-Silk, who had joined the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) before leaving to set up Veritas, came fourth in Erewash in what was the best performance by Veritas, receiving 2,957 votes. The seat was taken by Labour's Liz Blackman.
There were also regional surges in support for the British National Party, who however failed to win any seats, their highest poll being 16.9% in the Labour stronghold of Barking, East London. The party fielded 119 candidates in seats throughout the country, gaining 0.7% of the total votes cast. The 119 candidates fielded represented a significant rise as in 2001, the BNP only fielded 33 candidates, many of these constituencies such as Elmet no longer attracted UKIP, attracting other parties to take their former share of the vote.
The Green Party came third in Brighton Pavilion (with Keith Taylor as candidate) behind Labour and the Conservatives, taking 21.9% of the votes cast. Despite this unprecedented high share of the vote Taylor was not selected to contest the seat in the 2010 general election, losing his prospective position to Caroline Lucas.
The Independent Working Class Association stood for the first time in a general election, having previously only stood in local council elections. The party gained 2.1% of the vote in Oxford East, while the Official Monster Raving Loony Party took 3.6% of the vote in the same constituency.
Below is a table summarising the results of the UK general election in England.
- "Election 2005 - Results, England". BBC News. 10 May 2005. Retrieved 21 July 2009.