1847 United Kingdom general election

The 1847 United Kingdom general election was conducted between 29 July 1847 and 26 August 1847 and resulted in the Whigs in control of government despite candidates calling themselves Conservatives winning the most seats. The Conservatives were divided between Protectionists, led by Lord Stanley, and a minority of free-trade Tories, known also as the Peelites for their leader, former prime minister Sir Robert Peel. This left the Whigs, led by Prime Minister Lord John Russell, in a position to continue in government.

1847 United Kingdom general election

 1841 29 July – 26 August 1847 (1847-07-29 1847-08-26) 1852 

All 656 seats in the House of Commons
329 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
 
Leader Lord Stanley Lord John Russell John O'Connell
Party Conservative Whig Irish Repeal
Leader since July 1846 October 1842 15 May 1847
Leader's seat House of Lords City of London Limerick City
Last election 367 seats, 51.6% 271 seats, 46.2% 20 seats, 1.9%
Seats won 325[1] 292 36
Seat change 42 21 16
Popular vote 205,481 259,311 14,128
Percentage 42.6% 53.8% 2.9%
Swing 9.0% 7.6% 1.0%

Prime Minister before election

Lord John Russell
Whig

Prime Minister after election

Lord John Russell
Whig

The Irish Repeal group won more seats than in the previous general election, while the Chartists gained the only seat they were ever to hold, Nottingham's second seat, held by Chartist leader Feargus O'Connor.

The election also witnessed the election of Britain's first Jewish MP, the Liberal Lionel de Rothschild in the City of London. Members being sworn in were however required to swear the Christian Oath of Allegiance, meaning Rothschild was unable actually to take his seat until the passage of the Jews Relief Act in 1858.