United Kingdom general election, 1964


United Kingdom general election, 1964

Infobox Election
election_name = United Kingdom general election, 1964
country = United Kingdom
type = parliamentary
ongoing = no
previous_election = United Kingdom general election, 1959
previous_year = 1959
previous_mps = MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election, 1959
next_election = United Kingdom general election, 1966
next_year = 1966
next_mps = MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election, 1966
seats_for_election = All 630 seats to the House of Commons
election_date = 15 October 1964



leader2 = Alec Douglas-Home
leader_since2 = 18 October 1963
party2 = Conservative Party (UK)
leaders_seat2 = Kinross & Western Perthshire
last_election2 = 365 seats, 49.4%
seats2 = 304
seat_change2 = -61
popular_vote2 = 12,002,642
percentage2 = 43.4%
swing2 = %



leader1 = Harold Wilson
leader_since1 = 14 February 1963
party1 = Labour Party (UK)
leaders_seat1 = Huyton
last_election1 = 258 seats, 43.8%
seats1 = 317
seat_change1 = +59
popular_vote1 = 12,205,808
percentage1 = 44.1%
swing1 = %



leader3 = Jo Grimond
leader_since3 = 5 November 1956
party3 = Liberal Party (UK)
leaders_seat3 = Orkney and Shetland
last_election3 = 6 seats, 5.9%
seats3 = 9
seat_change3 = +3
popular_vote3 = 3,099,283
percentage3 = 11.2%
swing3 = %
title = PM
before_election = Alec Douglas-Home
before_party = Conservative Party (UK)
after_election = Harold Wilson
after_party = Labour Party (UK)

The United Kingdom general election of 1964 was held on 15 October 1964, more than five years after its predecessor, and thirteen years after the Conservative Party had first taken power. Both major parties had changed leaders in 1963: after the sudden death of Hugh Gaitskell, Labour chose Harold Wilson (who was then thought of as being on the party's centre left), and the Conservatives had unexpectedly chosen the Earl of Home as their new leader after Harold Macmillan announced his resignation (Home shortly after disclaimed his title under the Peerage Act 1963 in order to lead the party from the Commons). Macmillan's government had been increasingly unpopular in the mid-term, and Douglas-Home faced a difficult task in rebuilding the party's popularity. Wilson had begun to try to tie the Labour Party to the growing confidence of Britain in the 1960s, arguing that the technological revolution would sweep away restrictive practices on either side of industry.

Campaign

The pre-election campaign was prolonged as Douglas-Home delayed calling a general election in order to try to give himself the maximum time to improve the prospects of his party. The starting gun of the campaign was fired on 15 September 1964 when Douglas-Home saw the Queen and asked for a dissolution of Parliament. The campaign was dominated by some of the more voluble characters on the political scene: George Brown, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, toured the country making energetic speeches and the occasional gaffe, and Quintin Hogg for the Conservatives responded in kind. The image of Hogg lashing out at a Harold Wilson poster with his walking stick was one of the most striking of the campaign. Many party speakers, especially at televised rallies, had to deal with hecklers: Sir Alec Douglas-Home in particular was treated very roughly in a meeting at Birmingham.

National opinion poll summary

NOP: Lab swing 3.5% (Lab majority of 12)
Gallup: Lab swing 4% (Lab majority of 23)
Research Services: Lab swing 2.75% (Con majority of 30)
Daily Express: Lab swing of 1.75% (Con majority of 60)

Results

The election resulted in a very slim majority for the Labour Party, of four seats, and led to their first government since 1951. Labour achieved a swing of just over 3% although its own vote rose by only 0.2%. The Liberal Party won nearly twice as many votes as in 1959, but did so partly by nominating 150 more candidates. Harold Wilson became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, replacing Sir Alec Douglas-Home. The majority was not sustainable for a full Parliament and Wilson called another general election in 1966. In particular, the small majority of Wilson's government resulted in its being unable to implement the party's policy of nationalising the steel industry, due to the opposition of two of its back benchers: Woodrow Wyatt and Desmond Donnelly.

The election also saw the only time in the UK's recent history where all seats were divided between only the three main parties; that is, no minor parties, independents or splinter groups were able to obtain a seat.

Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Labour Party (UK)
candidates = 628
seats = 317
gain = 65
loss = 6
net = + 59
votes = 12,205,808
votes % = 44.1
seats % = 50.317
plus/minus =
government = yes
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidates = 630
seats = 304
gain = 5
loss = 66
net = - 61
votes = 12,002,642
votes % = 43.4
seats % = 48.253
plus/minus =
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidates = 365
seats = 9
gain = 5
loss = 2
net = + 3
votes = 3,099,283
votes % = 11.2
seats % = 1.428
plus/minus =
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Independent Republican (Ireland)
candidates = 12
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 101,628
votes % = 0.4
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Plaid Cymru
candidates = 23
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 69,507
votes % = 0.2
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Scottish National Party
candidates = 15
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 64,044
votes % = 0.2
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Communist Party of Great Britain
candidates = 36
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 46,442
votes % = 0.2
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Independent (politician)
candidates = 20
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 18,677
votes % = 0.1
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Independent Liberal
candidates = 4
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 16,064
votes % = 0.1
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Republican Labour Party
candidates = 1
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 14,678
votes % = 0.1
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Independent Conservative
candidates = 5
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 6,459
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = British National Party (1960)
candidates = 1
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 3,410
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary with Candidates
party = Ind. Nuclear Disarmament
candidates = 2
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 1,534
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Fellowship Party
candidates = 1
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 1,112
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary with Candidates
party = Patriotic Party
candidates = 2
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 1,108
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary with Candidates
party = League of Empire Loyalists
candidates = 3
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 1,046
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary with Candidates
party = Independent Communist
candidates = 1
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 899
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary with Candidates
party = True Conservative
candidates = 1
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 709
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary with Candidates
party = Agriculturalist
candidates = 1
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 534
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary with Candidates
party = National Democratic
candidates = 1
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 349
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Socialist Party of Great Britain
candidates = 2
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 322
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary with Candidates
party = World Government
candidates = 1
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 318
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary with Candidates
party = British and Commonwealth
candidates = 1
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 310
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary with Candidates
party = Christian Socialist
candidates = 1
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 265
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus =

"Total votes cast on 15 October 1964: 27,657,148. All parties are shown. Conservative total includes Ulster Unionists and National Liberals."

Votes summary

bar box
title=Popular vote
titlebar=#ddd
width=600px
barwidth=390px
bars=

Headline Swing: 3.10% to Labour

eats summary

bar box
title=Parliamentary seats
titlebar=#ddd
width=600px
barwidth=390px
bars=

eats Changing Hands

From Conservative to Labour (63 seats): Battersea South, Bolton East, Bradford North, Brighton Kemptown, Buckingham, Bury and Radcliffe, Carlisle, Darlington, Doncaster, Dover, Dulwich, Ealing North, Epping, Glasgow Kelvingrove, Glasgow Pollok, Glasgow Woodside, Gravesend, Halifax, Heywood and Royton, Hitchin, King's Lynn, Kingston upon Hull North, Liverpool Kirkdale, Liverpool Toxteth, Liverpool Walton, Liverpool West Derby, Luton, Manchester Blackley, Manchester Wythenshawe, Middlesbrough West, Norwich South, Nottingham Central, Preston South, Putney, Renfrewshire West, Rutherglen, Stockport North, Stockport South, Sunderland South, Wandsworth Central, Watford, Woolwich West, Acton, Barons Court, Birmingham All Saints, Birmingham Sparkbrook, Birmingham Yardley, Clapham, Cleveland, Coventry South, Derbyshire South East, Holborn and St Pancras South, Keighley, Meriden, Newcastle upon Tyne East, Nottingham West, Rochester and Chatham, Rowley Regis and Tipton, Swansea West, The Hartlepools, Wellingborough, Willesden East and Willesden West
From Conservative to Liberal (4 seats): Bodmin, Inverness, Orpington and Ross and Cromarty
From Labour to Conservative (4 seats): Birmingham Perry Barr, Eton and Slough, Norfolk South West and Smethwick
From Liberal to Labour (2 seats): Bolton West and Huddersfield West
From Independent to Liberal (1 seat): Caithness and Sutherland

Televised declarations

These declarations were covered live by the BBC where the returning officer was heard to say "duly elected".
* Orpington was won by the Liberals in a by-election in 1962 and held in the general election. When this happens, it is described as a "win" as opposed to a "gain" or "hold".

References

*F. W. S. Craig, "British Electoral Facts: 1832-1987"
* [http://www.election.demon.co.uk/geresults.html United Kingdom election results - summary results 1885-1979]

ee also

*MPs elected in the UK general election, 1964

Manifestos

* [http://www.psr.keele.ac.uk/area/uk/man/con64.htm "PROSPERITY WITH A PURPOSE"] - 1964 Conservative manifesto.
* [http://www.psr.keele.ac.uk/area/uk/man/lab64.htm "THE NEW BRITAIN"] - 1964 Labour Party manifesto.
* [http://www.psr.keele.ac.uk/area/uk/man/lib64.htm "THINK FOR YOURSELF"] - 1964 Liberal Party manifesto.


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