United Kingdom general election, 1885

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United Kingdom general election, 1885
United Kingdom
← 1880 24 November–18 December 1885 1886 →

All 670 seats in the House of Commons
336 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
  William Ewert Gladstone in later life.jpg Photo of Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury.jpg Charles Stewart Parnell.jpg
Leader William Gladstone Lord Salisbury Charles Stewart Parnell
Party Liberal Conservative Irish Parliamentary
Leader since April 1880 April 1881 17 October 1882
Leader's seat Midlothian House of Lords Cork City
Last election 352 seats, 54.7% 237 seats, 42.5% 63 seats, 2.8%
Seats won 319 247 86
Seat change Decrease33 Increase10 Increase23
Popular vote 2,071,868 1,869,560 299,178
Percentage 47.4% 43.4% 6.8%
Swing Decrease7.3% Increase0.9% Increase4.0%

United Kingdom general election 1885.svg
Colours denote the winning party.

Prime Minister before election

Lord Salisbury
Conservative

Subsequent Prime Minister

William Ewart Gladstone
Liberal

The 1885 United Kingdom general election was from 24 November to 18 December 1885. This was the first general election after an extension of the franchise and redistribution of seats. For the first time a majority of adult males could vote and most constituencies by law returned a single member to Parliament fulfilling one of the ideals of Chartism to provide direct single-member, single-electorate accountability. It saw the Liberals, led by William Ewart Gladstone, win the most seats, but not an overall majority. As the Irish Nationalists held the balance of power between them and the Conservatives who sat with an increasing number of allied Unionist MPs (referring to the Union of Great Britain and Ireland), this exacerbated divisions within the Liberals over Irish Home Rule and led to a Liberal split and another general election the following year.

Results[edit]

UK General Election 1885
Candidates Votes
Party Standing Elected Gained Unseated Net  % of total  % Net %
  Liberal 575 319 -33 47.6 47.4 2,071,868 -7.3
  Conservative 597 247 +10 36.9 43.4 1,869,560 +0.9
  Irish Parliamentary 91 86 +23 12.8 6.8 299,178 +4.0
  Independent Liberal 35 11 +11 1.6 1.3 55,652 N/A
  Ind. Liberal and Crofters Party 6 4 +4 0.6 0.4 16,551 N/A
  Independent Conservative 8 2 +2 0.3 0.3 12,599 N/A
  Lib-Lab 4 1 +1 0.1 0.2 8,232 N/A
  Independent 6 0 0 0.1 6,570 N/A
  Independent Nationalist 2 0 0 0.1 2,889 N/A
  Scottish Land Restoration 5 0 0 0.0 2,359 N/A
  Irish Loyalist 6 0 0 0.0 1,869 N/A
  Social Democratic Federation 3 0 0 0.0 657 N/A

Total votes cast: 4,374,984 100.0. All parties shown.

Voting summary[edit]

Popular vote
Liberal
47.41%
Conservative
43.57%
Irish Parliamentary
6.7%
Independent
2.03%
Others
0.29%

Seats summary[edit]

Parliamentary seats
Liberal
47.61%
Conservative
36.87%
Irish Parliamentary
12.84%
Lib-Lab
0.15%
Independent
2.54%

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Walker, Brian. "The 1885 and 1886 General Elections in Ireland," History Ireland 13#6 (2005), pp. 36–40 in JSTOR

References[edit]