British Governments and Elections since 1945

British Governments and Elections
since 1945
British Governments and Elections
since 1945

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This table is a summary of British general election results since 1945, and gives the seats and percentage votes obtained by the major party groupings, together with the current party leaders and number of lost deposits. Fuller, disaggregated, information, together with detailed constituency results, is available by clicking on the election date. There is also a link to the manifestos for each election.

LD = Lost deposits

Monarch: King George VI, 1936-1952
Thu 5th July 1945PartySeats - %Candidates% VoteParty leaders
Labour govtLab39561.7607(3 LD)48.1 (+10.4) C. Attlee
Con+UU215
inc S
33.6627(12 LD)40.1 (-13.9)W. Churchill
Turnout = 72.6%Lib121.9306(72 LD)9.0 (+0.8)A. Sinclair
C. Davies
Cabinet membersOthers183.4143(88 LD)2.8
Total6401683(175 LD)¤Manifestos
Thu 23rd Feb 1950PartySeats - %Candidates% VoteParty leaders
Labour govtLab31550.4623(8 LD)46.2 (-1.9)C. Attlee
Con+UU29847.7623(5 LD)43.5 (+3.4)W. Churchill
Turnout = 83.6%Lib91.4475(319 LD)9.1 (+0.1)C. Davies
Cabinet membersOthers3
inc S
0.5147(129 LD)1.2 (-1.6)
Total6251868(461 LD)Manifestos
Thu 25th Oct 1951PartySeats - %Candidates% VoteParty leaders
Conservative govtCon+UU32151.4618(3 LD)48.0 (+4.5)W. Churchill
A. Eden
Lab29547.2617(1 LD)48.8 (+2.6)C. Attlee
Turnout = 81.9%Lib60.96109(66 LD)2.6 (-6.5)C. Davies
Cabinet membersOthers30.4832(26 LD)0.6 (-0.6)
Total6251376(96 LD)Manifestos
Monarch: Queen Elizabeth II (1952- )
Thu 26th May 1955PartySeats - %Candidates% VoteParty leaders
Conservative govtCon+UU345
inc S
54.8625(4 LD)49.7 (+1.7)A. Eden
H. Macmillan
Lab27744.0619(2 LD)46.3 (-2.5)C. Attlee
H. Gaitskell
Turnout = 76.8%Lib61.0110(59 LD)2.7 (+0.1)C. Davies
J. Grimond
Cabinet membersOthers20.355(34 LD)1.3 (+0.7)
Total6301409(99 LD)Manifestos
Thu 8th Oct 1959PartySeats - %Candidates% VoteParty leaders
Conservative govtCon+UU36557.9625(3 LD)49.3 (-0.4)H. Macmillan
A. Home
Lab25841.0621(1 LD)43.8 (-2.5)H. Gaitskell
H. Wilson
Turnout = 78.7%Lib61.0216(55 LD)5.9 (+3.2)J. Grimond
Cabinet membersOthers10.074(57 LD)1.0 (-0.3)
Total6301536(116 LD)Manifestos
Thu 15th Oct 1964PartySeats - %Candidates% VoteParty leaders
Labour govtLab31750.3618(4 LD)44.1 (+0.3)H. Wilson
Con+UU303
+S
48.1633(8 LD)43.4 (-6.0)A. Home
E. Heath
Turnout = 77.1%Lib91.4365(52 LD)11.1 (+5.3)J. Grimond
Cabinet membersOthers0-141(122 LD)1.3 (+0.4)
Total6301757(186 LD)Manifestos
Thu 31st Mar 1966PartySeats - %Candidates% VoteParty leaders
Labour govtLab363
+S
57.6617(4 LD)47.7 (+3.6)H. Wilson
Con+UU25340.2632(12 LD)41.8 (-1.6)E. Heath
Turnout = 75.8%Lib121.9312(105 LD)8.5 (-2.6)J. Grimond
J. Thorpe
Cabinet membersOthers10.2146(117 LD)2.0 (+0.7)
Total6301707(238 LD)Manifestos
Thu 18th June 1970PartySeats - %Candidates% VoteParty leaders
Conservative govtCon+UU33052.4630(12 LD)46.0 (+4.2)E. Heath
Lab287
+S
45.6619(6 LD)42.7 (-4.9)H. Wilson
Turnout = 72.0%Lib61.0332(184 LD)7.5 (-1.1)J. Thorpe
Cabinet membersOthers61.0256(206 LD)3.8 (+1.8)
Total6301837(408 LD)Manifestos
Thu 28th Feb 1974PartySeats - %Candidates% VoteParty leaders
Labour govtLab30147.4626(27 LD)37.2 (-5.6)H. Wilson
Minority govtCon296
+S
46.6635(21 LD)37.8 (-8.1)E. Heath
Turnout = 78.8%Lib142.2517(23 LD)19.3 (+11.8)J. Thorpe
Cabinet membersOthers233.8358(250 LD)5.7 (+1.9)
Total6352135(321 LD)Manifestos
Thu 10th Oct 1974PartySeats - %Candidates% VoteParty leaders
Labour govtLab31950.2623(13 LD)39.3 (+2.1)H. Wilson
J. Callaghan
Con276
+S
43.5623(29 LD)35.7 (-2.1)E. Heath
M. Thatcher
Turnout = 72.8%Lib132.1619(125 LD)18.3 (-1.0)J. Thorpe
J. Grimond
D. Steel
Cabinet membersOthers264.2387(275 LD)6.7 (+1.0)
Total6352252(442 LD)Manifestos
Thu 3rd May 1979PartySeats - %Candidates% VoteParty leaders
Conservative govtCon33953.4622(3 LD)43.9 (+8.2)M. Thatcher
Lab268
+S
42.2622(22 LD)36.9 (-2.4)J. Callaghan
M. Foot
Turnout = 76.0%Lib111.7577(304 LD)13.8 (-4.5)D. Steel
Cabinet membersOthers162.7754(672 LD)5.4 (-1.3)
Total6352575(1001 LD)Manifestos
Thu 9th June 1983PartySeats - %Candidates% VoteParty leaders
Conservative govtCon39761.1633(5 LD)42.4 (-1.5)M. Thatcher
Lab20932.2633(119 LD)27.6 (-9.3)M. Foot
N. Kinnock
Turnout = 72.7%All.233.5633(11 LD)25.4 (+11.6)Owen/Steel
Cabinet membersOthers213.2678(604 LD)4.6 (-0.7)
Total6502577(739 LD)Manifestos
Thu 11th June 1987PartySeats - %Candidates% VoteParty leaders
Conservative govtCon375
+S
57.7632(0 LD)42.2 (-0.2)M. Thatcher
J. Major
Lab22935.2633(0 LD)30.8 (+3.2)N. Kinnock
Turnout = 75.3%All.223.4632(1 LD)22.5 (-2.9)D. Steel
P. Ashdown
Cabinet membersOthers233.7427(288 LD)4.5 (-0.1)
Total6502325(289 LD)Manifestos
Thu 9th April 1992PartySeats - %Candidates% VoteParty leaders
Conservative govtCon33651.6645(4 LD)41.9 (-0.3)J. Major
§Lab27141.6634(1 LD)34.4 (+3.6)Neil Kinnock
John Smith
Margaret Beckett
Tony Blair
Turnout = 77.7%LibDem203.1632(11 LD)17.8 (-4.7)P. Ashdown
Cabinet membersOthers243.71040(884 LD)5.9 (+1.4)
Total6512948(900 LD)Manifestos
Thu 1st May 1997PartySeats - %Candidates% VoteParty leaders
Labour govtLab418
+S
63.4639-43.2 (+8.8)Tony Blair
Con165 25.0640(1 LD)30.7 (-11.2)John Major
William Hague
Turnout = 71.3%LibDem46 7.0639(13 LD)16.8 (-1.0)P.Ashdown
Cabinet membersOthers29 4.61806(1555 LD)9.3 (+3.4)
Total6593724(1569 LD)Manifestos
Thu 7th June 2001PartySeats - %Candidates% VoteParty leaders
Labour govtLab412
+S
62.5640-40.7 (-2.5)Tony Blair
Con166 25.2643(5 LD)31.7 (+1.0)William Hague
I. Duncan Smith
Michael Howard
Turnout = 59.4%LibDem52 7.9639(1 LD)18.3 (+1.5)Charles Kennedy
Cabinet membersOthers28 4.41396(1171 LD)9.3 (-)
Total6593319(1177 LD)Manifestos
Thu 5th May 2005PartySeats - %Candidates% VoteParty leaders
Labour govtLab355
+S
55.0627 -35.2 (-5.5)Tony Blair
Gordon Brown
Con198 30.7630(5 LD)32.4 (+0.7)Michael Howard
David Cameron
Turnout = 61.4%LibDem62 9.6626(1 LD)22.0 (+3.7)Charles Kennedy
Menzies Campbell
Nick Clegg
Others30 4.71667(1379 LD)10.4 (+1.1)
Total6463554(1385 LD)Manifestos
Thu 6th May 2010PartySeats - %Candidates% VoteParty leaders
Con/LibDem
coalition
Con306
+S
47.2631(2 LD)36.1 (+3.7)David Cameron
Lab258 39.8631(5 LD)29.0 (-6.2)Gordon Brown
H Harman
E Miliband
Turnout = 65.1%LibDem57 8.863123.0 (+1.0)Nick Clegg
Cabinet membersOthers28 4.22257(1886 LD)11.9 (+1.5)
Total6504150(1893 LD)Manifestos
Thu 7th May 2015PartySeats - %Candidates% VoteParty leaders
Conservative govtCon331 50.936.9 (+0.8)David Cameron
Lab23235.7 30.4 (+1.4)E Miliband
Jeremy Corbyn
Turnout = 66.1%LibDem81.2 7.9 (-15.2)Nick Clegg
Tim Farron
Others79 12.224.8 (+12.9)
Total650Manifestos

S denotes 'Speaker'. Majorities are 'working' majorities: that is a sitting Speaker has been excluded from the calculation
 No sitting Speaker contested the election: a Conservative MP became Speaker after the election, thus reducing the effective majority by one.
§ No sitting Speaker contested the election: a Labour MP became Speaker after the election, thus increasing the effective majority by one.
¤ this differs from the usually quoted figure of 163 — see discussion.
LD denotes 'lost deposits'
Up to 1970 Conservative data includes associates where relevant. Labour data includes Labour Independents, but not ILP or NI Labour. Disaggregated figures are available in the detailed results for each year.
The listed party leaders do not include temporary acting leaders while permanent leaders are being selected.

Last Modified: 10/02/15

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