United Kingdom general election, 1959


United Kingdom general election, 1959

Infobox Election
election_name = United Kingdom general election, 1959
country = United Kingdom
type = parliamentary
ongoing = no
previous_election = United Kingdom general election, 1955
previous_year = 1955
previous_mps = MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election, 1955
next_election = United Kingdom general election, 1964
next_year = 1964
next_mps = MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election, 1964
seats_for_election = All 630 seats to the House of Commons
election_date = 8 October 1959



leader1 = Harold Macmillan
leader_since1 = 10 January 1957
party1 = Conservative Party (UK)
leaders_seat1 = Bromley
last_election1 = 345 seats, 49.7%
seats1 = 365
seat_change1 = +20
popular_vote1 = 13,750,875
percentage1 = 49.4%
swing1 = %



leader2 = Hugh Gaitskell
leader_since2 = 14 December 1955
party2 = Labour Party (UK)
leaders_seat2 = Leeds (S)
last_election2 = 277 seats, 46.4%
seats2 = 258
seat_change2 = -19
popular_vote2 = 12,216,172
percentage2 = 43.8%
swing2 = %



leader3 = Jo Grimond
leader_since3 = 5 November 1956
party3 = Liberal Party (UK)
leaders_seat3 = Orkney and Shetland
last_election3 = 6 seats, 2.7%
seats3 = 6
seat_change3 = 0
popular_vote3 = 1,640,760
percentage3 = 5.9%
swing3 = %
title = PM
before_election = Harold Macmillan
before_party = Conservative Party (UK)
after_election = Harold Macmillan
after_party = Conservative Party (UK)
This United Kingdom general election was held on 8 October 1959. It marked a third successive victory for the ruling Conservative Party, led by Harold Macmillan. The Conservatives increased their overall majority again, to 100 seats over the Labour Party under Hugh Gaitskell.

Background

Following the Suez Crisis in 1956, Anthony Eden the Conservative Prime Minister became unpopular and resigned the following year. At this stage, the Labour Party, with its new leader Hugh Gaitskell enjoyed large opinion poll leads over the Conservatives, and it looked as if they could win. However Anthony Eden's successor Harold Macmillan revived the Conservatives fortunes as the economy improved, and his personal approval ratings remained high. By September 1958 the Conservatives had moved ahead of Labour in the opinion polls.

Campaign

The Conservatives fought under the slogan "Life is better with the Conservatives, don't let Labour ruin it" and were aided by a pre-election economic boom. The Labour Party fought a generally effective campaign, with television broadcasts masterminded by Anthony Wedgewood Benn. Hugh Gaitskell made a mistake by declaring that a Labour government would not raise taxes if it came to power. This being despite the fact that the Labour manifesto contained pledges to increase spending, especially with regard to raising pensions. This led voters to doubt Labour's spending plans, and is usually cited as a key reason for their defeat. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/politics97/background/pastelec/ge59.shtml] ]

Results

Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidates = 625
seats = 365
gain = 29
loss = 9
net = + 20
votes = 13,750,875
votes % = 49.4
seats % =
plus/minus =
government = yes
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Labour Party (UK)
candidates = 621
seats = 258
gain = 5
loss = 24
net = - 19
votes = 12,216,172
votes % = 43.8
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidates = 216
seats = 6
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 1,640,760
votes % = 5.9
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Plaid Cymru
candidates = 20
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 77,571
votes % = 0.3
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Sinn Féin
candidates = 12
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 2
net = - 2
votes = 63,415
votes % = 0.2
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Communist Party of Great Britain
candidates = 18
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 30,896
votes % = 0.1
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Scottish National Party
candidates = 5
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 21,738
votes % = 0.1
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Independent Labour Group
candidates = 1
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 20,062
votes % = 0.1
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Independent Conservative
candidates = 2
seats = 1
gain = 1
loss = 0
net = + 1
votes = 14,118
votes % = 0.1
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Independent (politician)
candidates = 5
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 7,492
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary with Candidates
party = Fife Socialist League
candidates = 1
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 4,886
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Independent Liberal
candidates = 2
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 4,473
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Union Movement
candidates = 1
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 2,821
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary with Candidates
party = Lancastrian
candidates = 1
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 1,889
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary with Candidates
party = National Labour
candidates = 1
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 1,685
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 = 1,189
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Independent Labour Party
candidates = 2
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 923
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Socialist Party of Great Britain
candidates = 1
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 899
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus =
Election Summary with Candidates
party = Alert Party
candidates = 1
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 788
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus =

"Total votes cast: 27,862,652. All parties shown. Conservatives include the National Liberal Party, Scottish Unionist Party and Ulster Unionists."

Votes summary

bar box
title=Popular vote
titlebar=#ddd
width=600px
barwidth=350px
bars=

Headline Swing: 1.32% to Conservative

eats summary

bar box
title=Parliamentary seats
titlebar=#ddd
width=600px
barwidth=350px
bars=

eats Changing Hands

From Conservative to Labour (6 seats): Ayrshire Central, Glasgow Craigton, Glasgow Scotstoun, Lanark, Oldham East and Rochdale
From Conservative to Liberal (1 seat): Devon North
From Conservative to Independent (1 seat): Caithness and Sutherland
From Labour to Conservative (28 seats): Acton, Barons Court, Birmingham All Saints, Birmingham Sparkbrook, Birmingham Yardley, Brierley Hill, Bristol North East, Bristol North West, Clapham, Cleveland, Coventry South, Derbyshire South East, Holborn and St Pancras South, Keighley, Lowestoft, Meriden, Newcastle upon Tyne East, Nottingham West, Reading, Rochester and Chatham, Rowley Regis and Tipton, Rugby, Swansea West, The Hartlepools, Uxbridge, Wellingborough, Willesden East and Willesden West
From Liberal to Labour (1 seats): Carmarthen

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]
*Thorpe, Andrew. (2001) "A History Of The British Labour Party", Palgrave, ISBN 0-333-92908-x

ee also

*MPs elected in the UK general election, 1959

Manifestos

* [http://www.psr.keele.ac.uk/area/uk/man/con59.htm The Next Five Years] - 1959 Conservative manifesto.
* [http://www.psr.keele.ac.uk/area/uk/man/lab59.htm Britain Belongs to You: The Labour Party's Policy for Consideration by the British People] - 1959 Labour Party manifesto.
* [http://www.psr.keele.ac.uk/area/uk/man/lib59.htm People Count] - 1959 Liberal Party manifesto.


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