The Liberal Party were split between the "National Liberals" following David Lloyd George and the "Liberals" following H. H. Asquith. However, some candidates stood calling for a reunited Liberal party whilst others appear to have backed both Asquith and Lloyd George. Few sources are able to agree on exact numbers, and even in contemporary records held by the two groups some MPs were claimed for both sides. It was the first election where Labour surpassed the combined strength of both Liberal parties in votes and seats.
Until the previous month the Conservatives had been in coalition with the Lloyd George Liberals and some Lloyd George Liberals were not opposed by Conservative candidates (e.g. Winston Churchill, who was defeated at Dundee nonetheless) whilst many leading Conservatives (e.g. former leaders Sir Austen Chamberlain, Arthur Balfour and Lord Birkenhead) were not members of Bonar Law's government and hoped to hold the balance of power after the election; this was not to be, as Bonar Law won an overall majority.