1857 United Kingdom general election

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1857 United Kingdom general election

← 1852 27 March – 24 April 1857 (1857-03-27 – 1857-04-24) 1859 →

All 654 seats in the House of Commons
328 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party
  Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston.jpg 14th Earl of Derby (cropped).jpg
Leader Viscount Palmerston Earl of Derby
Party Whig Conservative
Leader since 6 February 1855 July 1846
Leader's seat Tiverton House of Lords
Last election 324 seats, 57.9% 330 seats, 41.9%
Seats won 377 264[1]
Seat change Increase53 Decrease66
Popular vote 464,127 239,712
Percentage 65.9% 34.0%
Swing Increase7.0% Decrease7.9%

1857 UK general election map.svg
Colours denote the winning party—as shown in § Results

Prime Minister before election

Viscount Palmerston
Whig

Appointed Prime Minister

Viscount Palmerston
Whig

In the 1857 United Kingdom general election, the Whigs, led by Lord Palmerston, finally won a majority in the House of Commons as the Conservative vote fell significantly. The election had been provoked by a vote of censure in Palmerston's government over his approach to the Arrow affair which led to the Second Opium War. Aged 72 Palmerston became the oldest person to win a general election for the first time. As of 2019 there has been no person as old as Palmerston to win a general election for the first time.

There is no separate tally of votes or seats for the Peelites. They did not contest elections as an organised party but more as independent Free trade Conservatives with varying degrees of distance from the two main parties.

Results[edit]

UK General Election 1857
Party Candidates Votes
Stood Elected Gained Unseated Net % of total % No. Net %
  Whig 507 377 +53 57.65 64.77 464,127 +7.0
  Conservative 351 264 −66 40.37 33.45 239,712 −7.1
  Chartist 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.1 614 −0.1

Summary[edit]

Popular vote
Whig
64.77%
Conservative
33.45%
Others
1.69%
Chartist
0.09%

Seats summary[edit]

Parliamentary seats
Whig
57.65%
Conservative
40.37%
Others
1.99%

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Including Peelites.
  2. ^ "Others" are mostly Irish Independent Opposition.
  3. ^ The Conservative total votes cast and MPs includes around 26 Peelites—some reference works claim it was as few as 18.

References[edit]

  • Craig, F. W. S. (1989), British Electoral Facts: 1832–1987, Dartmouth: Gower, ISBN 0900178302
  • Rallings, Colin; Thrasher, Michael, eds. (2000), British Electoral Facts 1832–1999, Ashgate Publishing Ltd

External links[edit]