United Kingdom general election, 1950
|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, although Labour received more votes than they had during the 1945 election. The party would call another general election in 1951.
Significant changes since the 1945 general election included the abolition of plural voting by the Representation of the People Act 1948, and a major reorganisation of constituencies by 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.
|UK general election 1950|
|Party||Standing||Elected||Gained||Unseated||Net||% of total||%||No.||Net %|
|Liberal National||55||16*||+ 5||2.6||3.4||985,343|
|Independent Liberal||2||1||0||1||- 1||0.1||15,066|
|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|
|Mudiad Gweriniaethol Cymru||1||0||0||0||0||0.0||613|
Total votes cast: 28,771,124. Turnout 83.9%. 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.
- F. W. S. Craig, British Electoral Facts: 1832-1987
- Nicholas, H. (1951). The British general election of 1950. London: Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-77865-0.
- 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.