The map above shows the results of the 1931 UK General Election. The number of seats won out of 615 by the major parties (and % vote share) were as follows:
Conservatives: 470 (no, really). Leader: Stanley Baldwin.
Labour: 52. Leader: Arthur Henderson.
Liberal National: 35. Leader: John Simon.
Liberal: 33. Leader: Herbert Samuel.
National Labour: 13. Leader and Prime Minister: Ramsay MacDonald
Notable things about the 1931 election include:
- Holy hell, look at that enormous Tory majority! Labour lost 80% of the seats it held in the last government and contested the election as two separate factions, following the collapse of its previous government two months earlier.
- Astonishingly, Ramsay MacDonald remained Prime Minister after the election, leading the national government.
- The Liberals split into three factions for this election: The “Liberal National” group, who supported the national government, the Liberals and the Independent Liberals – the latter led by Lloyd George. (The latter two eventually reunited, but the Liberal Nationals eventually merged into the Tories.)
- The election took place against a backdrop of economic crisis – and a big debate about whether to pursue protectionist or free trade policies. Immediately prior the election, the “national government” that took over from Labour took the Pound Sterling off of the gold standard.
- The Catholic Church played an influential role in Labour’s catastrophic defeat, scaring supporters about the party’s connections to Soviet Russia and pro-birth control policies.
- This was the last UK general election not to take place on a Thursday.
- 1929 UK Election Map: The One With Universal Suffrage, At Last
- 1935 UK Election Map: The Last Election Before WWII
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