United Kingdom general election, 1885

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United Kingdom general election, 1885

← 1880 24 November – 18 December 1885 (1885-11-24 – 1885-12-18) 1886 →

All 670 seats in the House of Commons
336 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
  The Great war (1915) (14781959884).jpg Photo of Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury.jpg Charles Stewart Parnell (Portrait).jpg
Leader William Ewart Gladstone Marquess of Salisbury Charles Stewart Parnell
Party Liberal Conservative Irish Parliamentary
Leader since April 1880 April 1881 17 October 1882
Leader's seat Midlothian House of Lords Cork City
Last election 352 seats, 54.7% 237 seats, 42.5% 63 seats, 2.8%
Seats won 319 247 86
Seat change Decrease33 Increase10 Increase23
Popular vote 2,071,868 1,869,560 299,178
Percentage 47.4% 43.4% 6.8%
Swing Decrease7.3% Increase0.9% Increase4.0%

United Kingdom general election 1885.svg
Colours denote the winning party

Prime Minister before election

Marquess of Salisbury
Conservative

Appointed Prime Minister

William Ewart Gladstone
Liberal

The 1885 United Kingdom general election was held from 24 November to 18 December 1885. This was the first general election after an extension of the franchise and redistribution of seats, for the first time a majority of adult males could vote and most constituencies by law returned a single member to Parliament fulfilling one of the ideals of Chartism to provide direct single-member, single-electorate accountability. It saw the Liberals, led by William Ewart Gladstone, win the most seats, but not an overall majority, as the Irish Nationalists held the balance of power between them and the Conservatives who sat with an increasing number of allied Unionist MPs (referring to the Union of Great Britain and Ireland), this exacerbated divisions within the Liberals over Irish Home Rule and led to a Liberal split and another general election the following year.

The 1885 election saw the first socialist party participate, with the Social Democratic Federation lead by H. M. Hyndman running three candidates.

Results[edit]

UK General Election 1885
Candidates Votes
Party Stood Elected Gained Unseated Net % of total % Net %
  Liberal 575 319 −33 47.61 47.65 2,071,868 −7.3
  Conservative 597 247 +10 36.87 43.00 1,869,560 +0.9
  Irish Parliamentary 91 86 +23 12.84 6.88 299,178 +4.0
  Independent Liberal 35 11 +11 1.64 1.28 55,652 N/A
  Crofters 6 4 +4 0.60 0.38 16,551 N/A
  Independent Conservative 8 2 +2 0.30 0.29 12,599 N/A
  Lib-Lab 4 1 +1 0.15 0.19 8,232 N/A
  Independent 6 0 0 0 0.15 6,570 N/A
  Independent Nationalist 2 0 0 0 0.07 2,889 N/A
  Scottish Land Restoration 5 0 0 0 0.05 2,359 N/A
  Irish Loyalist 6 0 0 0 0.04 1,869 N/A
  Social Democratic Federation 3 0 0 0 0.02 657 N/A

Voting summary[edit]

Popular vote
Liberal
47.65%
Conservative
43.00%
Irish Parliamentary
6.88%
Independent Liberal
1.28%
Crofters
0.38%
Independent Conservative
0.29%
Lib-Lab
0.19%
Independent
0.15%
Others
0.18%

Seats summary[edit]

Parliamentary seats
Liberal
47.61%
Conservative
36.87%
Irish Parliamentary
12.84%
Independent Liberal
1.64%
Crofters
0.60%
Independent Conservative
0.30%
Lib-Lab
0.15%

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ All parties shown.

References[edit]

  • Craig, F. W. S. (1989), British Electoral Facts: 1832–1987, Dartmouth: Gower, ISBN 0900178302 
  • Rallings, Colin; Thrasher, Michael, eds. (2000), British Electoral Facts 1832–1999, Ashgate Publishing Ltd 

Further reading[edit]

  • Walker, Brian (2005), "The 1885 and 1886 General Elections in Ireland", History Ireland, 13 (6): 36–40, JSTOR 27725365 

External links[edit]