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 1929 Hung parliament and a Labour government
1835 Tories gain but Whigs stay the largest party 1931 McDonald's National Government elected
1837 Tories gain but Whigs stay in power 1935 A reduced majority for the Conservatives
1841 Tories take power 1945 A famous Labour landslide victory
1847 Tory divisions let the Whigs stay in power 1950 Labour cling on to power
1852 Tory divisions let the Whigs stay in power 1951 The Conservatives return to office
1857 Whigs win majority 1955 The Conservatives increase their majority
1859 Liberals maintain majority and take power 1959 The Conservatives stay in power
1865 Liberals increase their majority 1964 Labour gain a slim majority
1868 Liberals increase their majority 1966 Labour return with an increased majority
1874 Conservatives regain power 1970 The Conservatives win a surprise victory
1880 Liberal landslide 1974 Feb A hung parliament, so Labour govern with Liberal support
1885 Liberals stay in power 1974 Oct Labour gain a slim majority of 3
1886 Conservatives and Unionist landslide 1979 Margaret Thatcher leads the Tories to victory
1892 Liberal minority government formed 1983 A Tory landslide as Labour tears itself apart
1895 Conservatives defeat Liberals 1987 Thatcher wins again but Labour regain credibility
1900 Conservatives stay in power 1992 John Major clings on to power
1906 Landslide victory for Lib-Lab Coalition over Conservatives 1997 A landslide victory for Labour
1910 Feb Lib-Lab Coalition holds on to power 2001 A "quiet landslide" for Labour, repeating 1997
1910 Dec Lib-Lab Coalition stays in power 2005 Labour return for their first-ever third term
1918 Victory for Lloyd-George Coalition 2010 Labour replaced by a Conservative/LibDem coalition
1922 Conservative victory 2015 A surprise overall majority for the Tories
1923 The first ever Labour government comes in 2017 A hung parliament, Conservatives govern with DUP support
1924 Conservatives landslide 2019 Landslide majority for the Conservatives