October 1974 United Kingdom general election

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October 1974 United Kingdom general election

← Feb 1974 10 October 1974 1979 →
← List of MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election, February 1974
List of MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election, October 1974 →

All 635 seats in the House of Commons
318 seats needed for a majority
Turnout72.8%, Decrease6.0%
  First party Second party
Leader Harold Wilson Edward Heath
Party Labour Conservative
Leader's seat Huyton Sidcup
Last election 301 seats, 37.2% 297 seats, 37.9%
Seats won 319 277
Seat change Increase18 Decrease20
Popular vote 11,457,079 10,462,565
Percentage 39.2% 35.8%
Swing Increase2.0% Decrease2.1%

  Third party Fourth party
Leader Jeremy Thorpe William Wolfe
Party Liberal SNP
Leader's seat North Devon Stood in West Lothian (lost)
Last election 14 seats, 19.3% 7 seats, 2.0%
Seats won 13 11
Seat change Decrease1 Increase4
Popular vote 5,346,704 839,617
Percentage 18.3% 2.9%
Swing Decrease1.0% Increase0.9%

Colours show the winning party—as shown in § Results

Composition of the House of Commons after the election

Prime Minister before election

Harold Wilson

Prime Minister after election

Harold Wilson

A general election was held on the 10 October 1974 to elect all 635 members of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. The Labour Party won the election with a very small majority of 3 seats and Harold Wilson stayed as Prime Minister.

This was the second general election to happen in 1974. The last election in February ended in a hung parliament and no parties wanted to start a coalition government. This meant Labour had to start a minority government. This is why a second election was held, because governments are very hard to run if they do not have a majority.[1][2]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1974 Oct: Wilson makes it four, BBC News, 5 April 2005, retrieved 8 June 2018
  2. "10 October 1974", BBC Politics 97, retrieved 8 June 2018