Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
United Kingdom general election, 1918

United Kingdom general election, 1918

Overview


The United Kingdom general election of 1918 was the first to be held after the Representation of the People Act 1918
Representation of the People Act 1918
The Representation of the People Act 1918 was an Act of Parliament passed to reform the electoral system in the United Kingdom. It is sometimes known as the Fourth Reform Act...

, which meant it was the first United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 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
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 under Andrew Bonar Law, the pro-coalition Liberals
Liberal Party (UK)
The Liberal Party was one of the two major political parties of the United Kingdom during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was a third party of negligible importance throughout the latter half of the 20th Century, before merging with the Social Democratic Party in 1988 to form the present day...

 under David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George, 1st Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor OM, PC was a British Liberal politician and statesman...

, and a few independent and former Labour MPs including the ant-socialist National Democratic and Labour Party
National Democratic and Labour Party
The National Democratic and Labour Party, usually abbreviated to National Democratic Party , was a political party in the United Kingdom....

.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'United Kingdom general election, 1918'
Start a new discussion about 'United Kingdom general election, 1918'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
January 1910 election  MPs
December 1910 election  MPs
1918 election MPs
MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election, 1918
This is a list of Members of Parliament elected to the 31st Parliament of the United Kingdom in the 1918 general election. This Parliament was elected on 14 December 1918, assembled on 4 February 1919 and was dissolved on 26 October 1922....

1922 election
United Kingdom general election, 1922
The United Kingdom general election of 1922 was held on 15 November 1922. It was the first election held after most of the Irish counties left the United Kingdom to form the Irish Free State, and was won by Andrew Bonar Law's Conservatives, who gained an overall majority over Labour, led by John...

  MPs
MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election, 1922
This is a list of Members of Parliament elected to the 32nd Parliament of the United Kingdom at the 1922 general election, held on the 15 November 1922....

1923 election
United Kingdom general election, 1923
-Seats summary:-References:*F. W. S. Craig, British Electoral Facts: 1832-1987*-External links:***...

  MPs
MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election, 1923
This is a complete list of Members of Parliament elected to the 33rd Parliament of the United Kingdom at the 1923 general election, held on 5 December 1923....



The United Kingdom general election of 1918 was the first to be held after the Representation of the People Act 1918
Representation of the People Act 1918
The Representation of the People Act 1918 was an Act of Parliament passed to reform the electoral system in the United Kingdom. It is sometimes known as the Fourth Reform Act...

, which meant it was the first United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 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
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 under Andrew Bonar Law, the pro-coalition Liberals
Liberal Party (UK)
The Liberal Party was one of the two major political parties of the United Kingdom during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was a third party of negligible importance throughout the latter half of the 20th Century, before merging with the Social Democratic Party in 1988 to form the present day...

 under David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George, 1st Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor OM, PC was a British Liberal politician and statesman...

, and a few independent and former Labour MPs including the ant-socialist National Democratic and Labour Party
National Democratic and Labour Party
The National Democratic and Labour Party, usually abbreviated to National Democratic Party , was a political party in the United Kingdom....

. It resulted in a government which retained Lloyd George as Prime Minister
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

.

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 election
Khaki Election
In British political history, a khaki election is any national election which is heavily influenced by wartime or postwar sentiment. In the British general election of 1900, the Conservative Party government of Lord Salisbury was returned to office with an increased majority over the Liberal Party...

s, 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
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

, led by William Adamson
William Adamson
William Adamson was a Scottish trade unionist and Labour politician. He was Leader of the Labour Party between 1917 and 1921 and served as Secretary of State for Scotland in 1924 and between 1929 and 1931 in the first two Labour administrations headed by Ramsay MacDonald.-Background:Adamson was...

 vastly increased their share of the vote but only slightly increased their number of seats, losing some of their earlier leaders like Ramsay MacDonald
Ramsay MacDonald
James Ramsay MacDonald, PC, FRS was a British politician who was the first ever Labour Prime Minister, leading a minority government for two terms....

 and Arthur Henderson
Arthur Henderson
Arthur Henderson was a British iron moulder and Labour politician. He was the 1934 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and he served three short terms as the Leader of the Labour Party from 1908–1910, 1914–1917 and 1931-1932....

. 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
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

, Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin is a left wing, Irish republican political party in Ireland. The name is Irish for "ourselves" or "we ourselves", although it is frequently mistranslated as "ourselves alone". Originating in the Sinn Féin organisation founded in 1905 by Arthur Griffith, it took its current form in 1970...

 under Éamon de Valera
Éamon de Valera
Éamon de Valera was one of the dominant political figures in twentieth century Ireland, serving as head of government of the Irish Free State and head of government and head of state of Ireland...

 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
Dáil Éireann (1919-1922)
Dáil Éireann was the revolutionary, unicameral parliament of the unilaterally declared Irish Republic from 1919–1922. The Dáil was first formed by 73 Sinn Féin MPs elected in the 1918 United Kingdom general election. Their manifesto refused to recognise the British parliament at Westminster and...

. This convened on 21 January 1919, at the same time as the Irish War of Independence
Irish War of Independence
The Irish War of Independence , Anglo-Irish War, Black and Tan War, or Tan War was a guerrilla war mounted by the Irish Republican Army against the British government and its forces in Ireland. It began in January 1919, following the Irish Republic's declaration of independence. Both sides agreed...

 broke out.

Ireland



In Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

, the Irish Parliamentary Party
Irish Parliamentary Party
The Irish Parliamentary Party was formed in 1882 by Charles Stewart Parnell, the leader of the Nationalist Party, replacing the Home Rule League, as official parliamentary party for Irish nationalist Members of Parliament elected to the House of Commons at...

 lost almost all their seats, most of which were won by Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin is a left wing, Irish republican political party in Ireland. The name is Irish for "ourselves" or "we ourselves", although it is frequently mistranslated as "ourselves alone". Originating in the Sinn Féin organisation founded in 1905 by Arthur Griffith, it took its current form in 1970...

 under Éamon de Valera
Éamon de Valera
Éamon de Valera was one of the dominant political figures in twentieth century Ireland, serving as head of government of the Irish Free State and head of government and head of state of Ireland...

. 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
Dáil Éireann (1919-1922)
Dáil Éireann was the revolutionary, unicameral parliament of the unilaterally declared Irish Republic from 1919–1922. The Dáil was first formed by 73 Sinn Féin MPs elected in the 1918 United Kingdom general election. Their manifesto refused to recognise the British parliament at Westminster and...

. On 17 May 1918 almost the entire leadership of Sinn Féin, including de Valera and Arthur Griffith
Arthur Griffith
Arthur Griffith was the founder and third leader of Sinn Féin. He served as President of Dáil Éireann from January to August 1922, and was head of the Irish delegation at the negotiations in London that produced the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921.-Early life:...

, 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
Irish War of Independence
The Irish War of Independence , Anglo-Irish War, Black and Tan War, or Tan War was a guerrilla war mounted by the Irish Republican Army against the British government and its forces in Ireland. It began in January 1919, following the Irish Republic's declaration of independence. Both sides agreed...

 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
Dublin St Patrick's (UK Parliament constituency)
Dublin St Patrick's, a division of Dublin, was a UK parliamentary constituency in Ireland. It returned one Member of Parliament to the British House of Commons 1885–1922. It had three wards – Merchant's Quay, Usher's Quay and Wood Quay....

). Like the other Sinn Féin MPs, Markievicz did not take her seat.

Maps



Votes by party



|}

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



Seats summary



See also

  • United Kingdom general elections
    United Kingdom general elections
    This is a list of United Kingdom general elections since the first in 1802. The members of the 1801–1802 Parliament had been elected to the former Parliament of Great Britain and Parliament of Ireland, before being co-opted to serve in the first Parliament of the United Kingdom, so that Parliament...

  • MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election, 1918
    MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election, 1918
    This is a list of Members of Parliament elected to the 31st Parliament of the United Kingdom in the 1918 general election. This Parliament was elected on 14 December 1918, assembled on 4 February 1919 and was dissolved on 26 October 1922....

  • The Parliamentary Franchise in the United Kingdom 1885-1918 gives details of the franchises replaced by the ones used in 1918

External links