1868 United Kingdom general election


The 1868 United Kingdom general election was the first after passage of the Reform Act 1867, which enfranchised many male householders, thus greatly increasing the number of men who could vote in elections in the United Kingdom. It was the first election held in the United Kingdom in which more than a million votes were cast; nearly triple the number of votes were cast compared to the previous election of 1865.

1868 United Kingdom general election

 1865 17 November – 7 December 1868 (1868-11-17 1868-12-07) 1874 
 outgoing members

All 658 seats in the House of Commons
327 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party
 
Leader William Ewart Gladstone Benjamin Disraeli
Party Liberal Conservative
Leader since 3 December 1868 27 February 1868
Leader's seat South West Lancashire (defeated)
Greenwich
Buckinghamshire
Last election 369 seats, 59.5% 289 seats, 40.5%
Seats won 387 271
Seat change 18 18
Popular vote 1,428,776 903,318
Percentage 61.2% 38.7%
Swing 1.7% 1.8%

Colours denote the winning party

Prime Minister before election

Benjamin Disraeli
Conservative

Prime Minister after
election

William Ewart Gladstone
Liberal

The result saw the Liberals, led by William Ewart Gladstone, again increase their large majority over Benjamin Disraeli's Conservatives to more than 100 seats.

This was the last general election at which all the seats were taken by only the two leading parties, although the parties at the time were loose coalitions and party affiliation was not listed on registration papers.

Results


Largest party in each constituent country
387 271
Liberal Conservative
UK General Election 1868
Party Candidates Votes
Stood Elected Gained Unseated Net % of total % No. Net %
  Liberal 600 387 +18 58.81 61.24 1,428,776 +2.0
  Conservative 436 271 18 41.19 38.71 903,318 2.1
  Others 3 0 0 0 0 0 0.05 1,157 N/A

Voting summary

Popular vote
Liberal
61.24%
Conservative
38.71%
Others
0.05%

Seats summary

Parliamentary seats
Liberal
58.81%
Conservative
41.19%
Others
0.0%

Regional results

Great Britain
Party Candidates Unopposed Seats Seats change Votes % % change
Liberal 515 80 321 7 1,374,315 61.4
Conservative 383 65 234 10 864,551 38.6
Other 1 0 0 969 0.0
Total 899 145 555 3 2,239,835 100
England
Party Candidates Unopposed Seats Seats change Votes % % change
Liberal 412 46 244 7 1,192,098 59.7
Conservative 334 54 211 2 803,637 40.2
Other 1 0 0 969 0.1
Total 747 100 455 9 1,996,704 100
Scotland
Party Candidates Unopposed Seats Seats change Votes % % change
Liberal 70 23 51 9 125,356 82.5
Conservative 20 3 7 4 23,985 17.5
Total 90 26 58 5 149,341 100
Wales
Party Candidates Unopposed Seats Seats change Votes % % change
Liberal 29 10 23 5 52,256 62.1
Conservative 20 4 10 4 29,866 37.9
Total 49 14 33 1 82,122 100
Ireland
Party Candidates Unopposed Seats Seats change Votes % % change
Liberal 85 41 66 8 54,461 57.9 +2.3
Irish Conservative 53 26 37 8 38,765 41.9 2.5
Other 2 0 0 188 0.2 +0.2
Total 140 67 103 149,341 100
Universities
Party Candidates Unopposed Seats Seats change Votes % % change
Conservative 9 4 6 7,063 55.4
Liberal 4 1 3 3 4,605 44.6
Total 13 5 9 11,668 100

References


  • 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