A landslide victory is an electoral victory in a political system, when one candidate or party receives an overwhelming majority of the votes or seats in the elected body, thus all but utterly eliminating the opponents. The winning party has reached more voters than usual, and a landslide victory is often seen in hindsight as a turning point in people's views on political matters, as for instance when Tony Blair won a landslide election in 1997 in the U.K. In Denmark, the general election in 1973 was dubbed the landslide election (Danish: Jordskredsvalget) because several new parties enjoyed considerable popularity while the older parties suffered severe losses.
Part of the reason for a landslide victory is sometimes a bandwagon effect, as a significant number of people may decide to vote for the party which is in the lead in the pre-election opinion polls, regardless of its politics.
The term is borrowed from geology, where a landslide takes almost everything with it on its way.
In UK General Elections, a landslide victory involves a large swing from one party to another as well one party winning a large majority in parliament. Landslide victories have usually occurred after a long period of government from one particular party and a change in the popular mood.
Notable landslide election results:
- 1906 General Election - Henry Campbell-Bannerman led his Liberal Party to a huge victory over Arthur Balfour's Conservative Party who lost more than half their seats, including his own seat in Manchester East, as a result of the large national swing to the Liberal Party (The 5.4% swing from the Conservatives to Liberals was at the time the highest ever achieved). The Liberal Party won 397 seats (an increase of 214) while the Conservative Party were left with 156 seats (a decrease of 246).
- 1945 General Election - Clement Attlee led his Labour Party to a huge victory over Winston Churchill's Conservative Party, a 12.0% swing from the Conservatives to Labour. Labour won 393 seats (an increase of 239) while the Conservative Party were left with 197 (a decrease of 190).
- 1997 General Election - Tony Blair's Labour Party won 418 seats (an increase of 145) while the Conservative Party won just 165 seats (a decrease of 178). The swing from the Conservatives to Labour was 10.2%.
- 2015 General Election (Scotland) - The Scottish National Party won 56 out of 59 seats in Scotland, an increase of 50. The SNP, additionally, achieved 50% of the total votes in Scotland, 30% higher than the previous election. The Scottish Labour Party were reduced to one seat, from 41. The overall swing in Scotland was 23.9% from Labour to the SNP, peaking at 39.3% in Glasgow North East.
- Liberal Landslide: The General Election of 1906.
- Labour Landslide, July 5-19, 1945.
- Labour's Landslide: The British General Election 1997.
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