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United Kingdom general election, 1950

 

United Kingdom general election, 1950

United Kingdom general election, 1950

23 February 1950

All 625 seats in the House of Commons
313 seats needed for a majority
Turnout 83.9%
  First party Second party Third party
 
Leader Clement Attlee Winston Churchill Clement Davies
Party Labour Conservative Liberal
Leader since 25 October 1935 9 October 1940 2 August 1945
Leader's seat Walthamstow West Woodford Montgomeryshire
Last election 393 seats, 49.7% 197 seats, 36.2% 12 seats, 9.0%
Seats won 315 282* 9
Seat change Decrease 78 Increase 85 Decrease 3
Popular vote 13,226,176 11,507,061 2,621,487
Percentage 46.1% 40.0% 9.1%
Swing Decrease 1.6% Increase 3.8% Increase 0.1%

PM before election

Clement Attlee
Labour

Subsequent PM

Clement Attlee
Labour

1935 election MPs
1945 election MPs
1950 election MPs
1951 election MPs

The 1950 United Kingdom general election was the first ever general election to be held after a full term of a Labour government. Despite polling over one and a half million votes more than the Conservatives, the election, held on 23 February 1950, resulted in Labour receiving a slim majority of just five seats, a stark contrast to the previous election in 1945, where they had achieved a massive 146-seat majority,[1] although Labour in fact received more votes than they had during the 1945 election.[2] The party would call another general election in 1951.

Significant changes since the House of Commons (Redistribution of Seats) Act 1949. Eleven new English seats were created, six abolished, and there were over 170 major alterations to constituencies across the country. Turnout increased to 83.9%, the highest turnout in an election under universal suffrage. It was also the first election to be covered on TV, although the footage was not recorded.

Both the Conservative and Labour parties entered the campaign positively. The Conservatives, now having recovered from their heavy election defeat in 1945, accepted most of the nationalisation that had taken place under the Attlee government, (which included the NHS and the mixed economy). The campaign essentially focused therefore on the potential future nationalisation of other sectors and industries, which was supported by the Labour party, and opposed by the Tories. The Liberals essentially viewed the struggle between the two parties on this issue as a class struggle.[3]

Results

UK general election 1950
Candidates Votes
Party Standing Elected Gained Unseated Net % of total % No. Net %
  Labour 617 315 - 78 50.4 46.1 13,266,176
  Conservative 495 246 + 81 39.4 35.2 10,140,818
  Unionist 57 26 + 2 4.2 3.5 1,013,909
  UUP 12 10 + 2 1.6 1.2 352,334
  Liberal 475 9 3 6 - 3 1.4 9.1 2,621,487
  Liberal National 55 16* + 5 2.6 3.4 985,343
  Communist 100 0 0 2 - 2 0.3 91,765
  Nationalist 2 2 0 0 0 0.2 65,211
  Irish Labour 2 0 0 0 0 0.2 52,715
  Independent 15 0 0 0 0 0.2 50,299
  Independent Labour 6 0 0 0 0 0.1 26,395
  Independent Conservative 3 0 0 0 0 0.1 24,732
  Sinn Féin 2 0 0 0 0 0.1 23,362
  Plaid Cymru 7 0 0 0 0 0.1 17,580
  Independent Liberal 2 1 0 1 - 1 0.1 15,066
  SNP 3 0 0 0 0 0.0 9,708
  Anti-Partition 4 0 0 0 0 0.1 5,084
  Ind. Labour Party 4 0 0 3 - 3 0.0 4,112
  Independent Liberal and Conservative 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 1,551
  National Independent 1 0 0 2 -2 0.0 1,380
  Mudiad Gweriniaethol Cymru 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 613
  Social Credit 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 551
  United Socialist 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 485
  Socialist (GB) 2 0 0 0 0 0.0 448

Total votes cast: 28,771,124. Turnout 83.9%.[4] All parties shown. * The National Liberal results are sometimes included with the Conservatives, which in this case would bring total Conservative strength to 298 seats; votes total 12,492,404 (43.4%), however, as they were not in government, the total makes little difference.

Votes summary

Popular vote
Labour
  
46.1%
Conservative
  
40.0%
Liberal
  
9.1%
Liberal National
  
3.4%
Nationalist
  
0.2%
Others
  
1.1%

Seats summary

Parliamentary seats
Labour
  
50.40%
Conservative
  
47.68%
Liberal
  
1.44%
Nationalist
  
0.32%
Others
  
0.16%

See also

References

  • F. W. S. Craig, British Electoral Facts: 1832-1987
  • Nicholas, H. (1951). The British general election of 1950. London: Macmillan.  

External links

  • United Kingdom election results - summary results 1885-1979

Manifestos

  • This is the Road: The Conservative and Unionist Party's Policy- 1950 Conservative manifesto.
  • Let Us Win Through Together: A Declaration of Labour Policy for the Consideration of the Nation - 1950 Labour Party manifesto.
  • No Easy Way: Britain's Problems and the Liberal Answers - 1950 Liberal Party manifesto.

Notes

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/vote_2005/basics/4393273.stm
  4. ^ http://www.ukpolitical.info/Turnout45.htm
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