1935 United Kingdom general election
The 1935 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday 14 November 1935 and resulted in a large, albeit reduced, majority for the National Government now led by Stanley Baldwin of the Conservative Party. The greatest number of members, as before, were Conservatives, while the National Liberal vote held steady. The much smaller National Labour vote also held steady but the resurge in the main Labour vote caused over a third of their MPs, including National Labour leader Ramsay MacDonald, to lose their seats.
All 615 seats in the House of Commons
308 seats needed for a majority
Colours denote the winning party—as shown in § Results
Labour, under what was then regarded internally as the caretaker leadership of Clement Attlee following the resignation of George Lansbury slightly over a month before, made large gains over their very poor showing at the 1931 general election, and saw their highest share of the vote (until 1945). They made a net gain of over a hundred seats, thus reversing much of the ground lost in 1931. The Liberals continued a slow political decline, with their leader, Sir Herbert Samuel, losing his seat.
The Independent Labour Party stood entirely separately from Labour for the first time since 1895, having stood candidates unendorsed by Labour at the 1931 general election and having disaffiliated fully from Labour in 1932. The Scottish National Party contested their first general election, and the Communist Party gained the West Fife seat, their first in ten years. Major election issues were stubborn unemployment and the role of the League of Nations, particularly regarding the Empire of Japan.
No general elections were held during the Second World War until Allied victory was assured; hence the 1935 House sat until 1945 and a 1939-scheduled election for 1940 was cancelled. This Parliament would see two leadership changes. Neville Chamberlain took over from Stanley Baldwin as Prime Minister and Tory Leader in 1937. He in turn resigned in 1940 in favour of Winston Churchill, who linked the three main parties in Parliament into a unity government for the war.
|Party||Leader||Stood||Elected||Gained||Unseated||Net||% of total||%||No.||Net %|
|Liberal National||John Simon||44||33||5||7||−2||5.4||3.7||784,608||0.0|
|National Labour||Ramsay MacDonald||20||8||1||6||−5||1.3||1.5||321,028||0.0|
|National Government (total)||Stanley Baldwin||583||429||12||139||−125||69.8||51.8||11,183,908||−15.4|
|Ind. Labour Party||James Maxton||17||4||4||0||+4||0.7||0.7||136,208||N/A|
|Nationalist||Thomas J. Campbell||2||2||0||0||0||0.3||0.2||50,747||−0.1|
|Liverpool Protestant||Harry Longbottom||1||0||0||0||0||0.0||0.0||6,677||0.0|
|Social Credit||John Hargrave||3||0||0||0||0||0.0||0.0||10,376||N/A|
|Plaid Cymru||Saunders Lewis||1||0||0||0||0||0.0||0.0||2,534||0.0|
Transfers of seats
- All comparisons are with the 1931 election.
- In some cases the change is due to the MP defecting to the gaining party. Such circumstances are marked with a *.
- In other circumstances the change is due to the seat having been won by the gaining party in a by-election in the intervening years, and then retained in 1935. Such circumstances are marked with a †.
- 1 Sitting MP had defected to National Liberals
- 2 Sitting MP had defected to Liberals
These are available on the Political Science Resources Elections Database, a link to which is given below.
- Tetteh, Edmund (1 February 2008), "Election Statistics: UK 1918–2007", parliament.uk, retrieved 5 May 2018
- Craig, F. W. S. (1989), British Electoral Facts: 1832–1987, Dartmouth: Gower, ISBN 0900178302
- Fry, Geoffrey K. (1991), "A Reconsideration of the British General Election of 1935 and the Electoral Revolution of 1945", History, 76 (246): 43–55, doi:10.1111/j.1468-229X.1991.tb01533.x
- Stannage, Tom (1980), Baldwin Thwarts the Opposition: The British General Election of 1935