United Kingdom general election, 1857

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United Kingdom general election, 1857
United Kingdom
← 1852 27 March–24 April 1857 1859 →

All 654 seats in the House of Commons
328 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party
  Palmerston.jpg 14th Earl of Derby.jpg
Leader The Viscount Palmerston The Earl of Derby
Party Whig Conservative
Leader since 6 February 1855 July 1846
Leader's seat Tiverton Earl of Derby
Last election 324 seats, 57.9% 330 seats, 41.9%
Seats won 377 264
(Including Peelites)
Seat change Increase 53 Decrease 66
Popular vote 464,127 239,712
Percentage 65.9% 34.0%
Swing Increase 7.0% Decrease 7.9%

Prime Minister before election

Lord Palmerston
Whig

Subsequent Prime Minister

Lord Palmerston
Whig

In the 1857 United Kingdom general election, the Whigs, led by Lord Palmerston, finally won a majority in the House of Commons as the Conservative vote fell significantly. The election had been provoked by a vote of censure in Palmerston's government over his approach to the Arrow affair which led to the Second Opium War.

Results

United Kingdom General Election 1857
Candidates Votes
Party Standing Elected Gained Unseated Net  % of total  % Net %
  Whig 507 377 + 53 64.9 464,127 + 7.0
  Conservative 351 264 - 66 33.5 239,712 - 7.1
  Independent Irish Party ~19 13 13 -8 + 13 N/A N/A N/A
  Chartist 1 0 0 0 0 0.1 614 - 0.1

Total votes cast: 716,552. "Others" are mostly Irish Independent Opposition. The Conservative total votes cast and MPs includes around 26 Peelites - some reference works claim it was as few as 18.

Summary

Popular vote
Whig
  
64.77%
Conservative
  
33.45%
Others
  
1.69%
Chartist
  
0.09%

Seats summary

Parliamentary seats
Whig
  
57.65%
Conservative
  
40.37%
Others
  
1.99%

References

  • F. W. S. Craig, British Electoral Facts: 1832-1987
  • British Electoral Facts 1832-1999, compiled and edited by Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher (Ashgate Publishing Ltd 2000)
  • 1857 General Election / Spartacus: Political Parties and Election Results
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