United Kingdom general election, 1918


United Kingdom general election, 1918
United Kingdom general election, 1918
United Kingdom
1910 ←
members
14 December 1918
Members elected
→ 1922
members

All 707 seats to the House of Commons
354 (or, after 73 Sinn Féin absences, 318) seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
  Andrew Bonar Law 02.jpg David Lloyd George.jpg Eamon de Valera c 1922-30.jpg
Leader Andrew Bonar Law David Lloyd George Éamon de Valera
Party Coalition Conservative Coalition Liberal Sinn Féin
Leader since 1916 7 December 1916 1917
Leader's seat Glasgow Central Caernarvon Boroughs Clare East and Mayo East
Last election 271 seats, 40.4% N/A N/A
Seats won 332 127 73
Seat change increase 61 N/A N/A
Popular vote 3,472,738 1,396,590 497,107
Percentage 33.3% 13.4% 4.8%

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
  WilliamAdamson.jpg Herbert Henry Asquith.jpg
Leader William Adamson   H. H. Asquith
Party Labour Conservative Liberal
Leader since 24 October 1917   30 April 1908
Leader's seat West Fife   East Fife (defeated)
Last election 42 seats, 7.1% N/A 272 seats, 40.5%
Seats won 57 47 36
Seat change increase 15 N/A decrease 236
Popular vote 2,245,777 610,681 1,388,784
Percentage 21.5% 5.9% 13.3%

PM before election

David Lloyd George
Coalition Liberal

Subsequent PM

David Lloyd George
Coalition Liberal

January 1910 election MPs
December 1910 election MPs
1918 election MPs
1922 election MPs
1923 election MPs

The United Kingdom general election of 1918 was the first to be held after the Representation of the People Act 1918, which meant it was the first United Kingdom general election in which nearly all adult men and some women could vote. Polling was held on 14 December 1918, although the count did not begin until 28 December. The election was won by a coalition of the Conservatives under Andrew Bonar Law, the pro-coalition Liberals under David Lloyd George, and a few independent and former Labour MPs including the ant-socialist National Democratic and Labour Party. It resulted in a government which retained Lloyd George as Prime Minister.

Candidates which had the official support of the coalition were issued a letter of endorsement from Lloyd George and Bonar Law, known as a "coupon", and so this election is often called the coupon election. Coupons were issued to 159 Liberal candidates and 364 Conservatives though in some cases, they were rejected. It was also known as one of the khaki elections, due to the immediate postwar setting and the role of the demobilized soldiers.

The coalition parties won the election easily, with the Conservatives the big winners. They were the largest party in the governing majority. An additional 47 Conservatives won without the coupon but didn't act as a separate block or oppose the government except on the issue of Irish independence.

Labour, led by William Adamson vastly increased their share of the vote but only slightly increased their number of seats, losing some of their earlier leaders like Ramsay MacDonald and Arthur Henderson. The Labour vote surpassed the total votes of either Liberal party (although Labour's share was less than both combined and the Coalition Liberals alone had more seats). The anti-coalition Liberals under former Prime Minister Herbert Henry Asquith, won about 36 seats but lost all their leaders from parliament including Asquith. However nine of these subsequently joined the Coalition Liberal group.

In Ireland, Sinn Féin under Éamon de Valera won 73 seats, including the UK's first ever woman MP, Constance Markievicz. The Sinn Féin members did not take their seats in the Commons, but sat in an Irish revolutionary assembly, Dáil Éireann. This convened on 21 January 1919, at the same time as the Irish War of Independence broke out.

Contents

Ireland

In Ireland, the Irish Parliamentary Party lost almost all their seats, most of which were won by Sinn Féin under Éamon de Valera. The 73 Sinn Féin elected members declined to take their seat in the British House of Commons, sitting instead in the Irish revolutionary assembly, Dáil Éireann. On 17 May 1918 almost the entire leadership of Sinn Féin, including de Valera and Arthur Griffith, had been arrested. In total 47 of the Sinn Féin MPs were elected from jail. The Dáil first convened on 21 January 1919, which is also the day on which the Irish War of Independence is considered to have begun.

It was in this election also that the UK's first ever woman MP was elected: Constance Markievicz (Sinn Féin, Dublin St Patrick's). Like the other Sinn Féin MPs, Markievicz did not take her seat.

Results

Maps

The results in London
Results in Ireland. The Sinn Féin MPs did not take their seats in the House of Commons, and instead formed the Dáil Éireann.


Votes by party

UK General Election 1918
Candidates Votes
Party Standing Elected Gained Unseated Net  % of total  % No. Net %
  Coalition Conservative 362 332 N/A N/A + 61 47.0 32.5 3,393,167
  Labour 361 57 N/A N/A + 15 8.1 20.8 2,171,230
  Liberal 276 36 N/A N/A - 236 5.1 13.0 1,355,398
  Coalition Liberal 145 127 127 0 + 127 18.0 12.6 1,318,844 N/A
  Conservative 80 47 47 0 + 47 6.6 5.9 610,681 N/A
  Sinn Féin 102 73 73 0 + 73 10.3 4.6 476,458 N/A
  Irish Parliamentary 57 7 2 69 - 67 1.0 2.2 226,498
  Coalition National Democratic 18 9 9 0 + 9 1.3 1.5 156,834 N/A
  Independent Labour 29 2 2 0 + 2 0.3 1.1 116,322
  Independent 42 2 2 0 + 2 0.3 1.0 105,261
  National Party 26 2 2 0 + 2 0.3 0.9 94,389 N/A
  Independent NFDSS 26 1 0 0 0 0.1 0.6 66,451 N/A
  Co-operative Party 10 1 1 0 + 1 0.1 0.6 57,785 N/A
  Independent Conservative 17 1 1 1 0 0.1 0.4 44,637
  Coalition Labour 5 4 4 0 + 4 0.1 0.4 40,641 N/A
  Labour Unionist 3 3 3 0 + 3 0.4 0.3 30,304 N/A
  Independent Liberal 9 1 1 0 + 1 0.1 0.2 24,985
  Agriculturalist 7 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.2 19,412 N/A
  National Democratic 8 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.2 17,991 N/A
  NFDSS 5 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.1 12,329 N/A
  Belfast Labour 4 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.1 12,164 N/A
  National Socialist Party 3 1 1 0 + 1 0.1 0.1 11,013 N/A
  Independent Coalition 1 1 1 0 + 1 0.1 0.1 9,274 N/A
  Highland Land League 4 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.1 8,710
  Women's Party 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.1 8,614 N/A
  British Socialist Party 3 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.1 8,394
  Independent Democratic 4 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.1 8,351 N/A
  Independent Nationalist 6 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.1 8,183
  Socialist Labour 3 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.1 7,567
  Scottish Prohibition 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 5,212
  Independent Progressive 3 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 5,077
  Independent Labour and Agriculturalist 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 1,927
  Christian Socialist 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 597

Total votes cast: 10,434,700. All parties shown. Coalition Conservative vote is compared with Conservative vote in previous election. In each other case, the non-coalition vote is compared with the party's previous vote. The Independent NFDSS entry includes an Independent NADSS candidate, who gained a seat with 8,287 votes.

Votes summary

Popular vote
All Coalition Parties
  
47.14%
Coalition Conservative
  
32.52%
Labour
  
20.81%
Liberal
  
12.99%
Coalition Liberal
  
12.64%
Conservative
  
5.85%
Sinn Féin
  
4.57%
Irish Parliamentary
  
2.17%
Coalition National Democratic
  
1.5%
Independent
  
3.74%
Others
  
3.21%
  
 
All Conservative Parties
  
39.09%
All Labour Parties
  
22.43%
All Liberal Parties
  
25.87%
All Irish Nationalist Parties
  
6.82%

Seats summary

Parliamentary seats
All Coalition Parties
  
66.9%
Coalition Conservative
  
46.96%
Labour
  
8.06%
Liberal
  
5.09%
Coalition Liberal
  
17.96%
Conservative
  
6.65%
Sinn Féin
  
10.33%
Irish Parliamentary
  
0.99%
Coalition National Democratic
  
1.27%
Independent
  
1.98%
Others
  
0.71%
  
 
All Conservative Parties
  
53.75%
All Labour Parties
  
8.91%
All Liberal Parties
  
23.2%
All Irish Nationalist Parties
  
11.32%

See also

References

External links


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