Political Life

Vision of Britain holds detailed data on every British election since 1832. The country was divided up geographically into constituencies, and we hold information about all the constituencies within Great Britain, including the different versions of their names. Most votes held in constituencies were as part of General Elections, when the whole country voted, but we also hold information on By-elections, when one or two constituencies voted because MPs had resigned, died, etc. Although today every constituency covers a well-defined geographical area, and elects just one MP, until 1950 there were also University Constituencies, whose voters were people who had graduated from a particular university, wherever they were living now. Until 1950, many constituencies elected two MPs, and some had as many as four. Vision of Britain is currently limited to Great Britain, but our data are all for elections to the UK Parliament at Westminster, so until 1922 the overall result of a General Election depended not just on the British results held here but also on voting in the whole of Ireland; from 1922 onwards, southern Ireland was a separate state but Northern Ireland still sends MPs to Westminster.
Election name: Outcome: Election name: Outcome:
1833 Liberals stay in power 1923 The first ever Labour government comes in
1835 Tories gain but Whigs stay the largest party 1924 Conservatives landslide
1837 Tories gain but Whigs stay in power 1929 Hung parliament and a Labour government
1841 Tories take power 1931 McDonald's National Government elected
1847 Tory divisions let the Whigs stay in power 1935 A reduced majority for the Conservatives
1852 Tory divisions let the Whigs stay in power 1945 A famous Labour landslide victory
1857 Whigs win majority 1950 Labour cling on to power
1859 Liberals maintain majority and take power 1951 The Conservatives return to office
1865 Liberals increase their majority 1955 The Conservatives increase their majority
1868 Liberals increase their majority 1959 The Conservatives stay in power
1874 Conservatives regain power 1964 Labour gain a slim majority
1880 Liberal landslide 1966 Labour return with an increased majority
1885 Liberals stay in power 1970 The Conservatives win a surprise victory
1886 Conservatives and Unionist landslide 1974 Feb A hung parliament, so Labour govern with Liberal support
1892 Liberal minority government formed 1974 Oct Labour gain a slim majority of 3
1895 Conservatives defeat Liberals 1979 Margaret Thatcher leads the Tories to victory
1900 Conservatives stay in power 1983 A Tory landslide as Labour tears itself apart
1906 Landslide victory for Lib-Lab Coalition over Conservatives 1987 Thatcher wins again but Labour regain credibility
1910 Feb Lib-Lab Coalition holds on to power 1992 John Major clings on to power
1910 Dec Lib-Lab Coalition stays in power 1997 A landslide victory for Labour
1918 Victory for Lloyd-George Coalition 2001 A quiet landslide for Labour, repeating 1997
1922 Conservative victory 2005 Labour return for their first-ever third term