1895 United Kingdom general election

1895 United Kingdom general election

← 1892 13 July – 7 August 1895 (1895-07-13 – 1895-08-07) 1900 →

All 670 seats in the House of Commons
336 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
Leader Marquess of Salisbury Earl of Rosebery John Dillon
Party Conservative and Liberal Unionist Liberal Irish National Federation
Leader since April 1881 5 March 1894 1892
Leader's seat House of Lords House of Lords East Mayo
Last election 313 seats, 47.0% 272 seats, 45.4% 72 seats, 5.2%
Seats won 411 177 70
Seat change Increase97 Decrease94 Decrease2
Popular vote 1,759,484 1,628,405 92,556
Percentage 49.3% 45.6% 2.6%
Swing Increase2.3% Increase0.2% Decrease2.6%

Colours denote the winning party

Prime Minister before election

Marquess of Salisbury

Prime Minister after

Marquess of Salisbury

The 1895 United Kingdom general election was held from 13 July to 7 August 1895. The result was a Conservative parliamentary majority of 153.

William Gladstone had retired as Prime Minister the previous year, and Queen Victoria, disregarding Gladstone's advice to name Lord Spencer as his successor, appointed the Earl of Rosebery as the new Prime Minister. Rosebery's government found itself largely in a state of paralysis due to a power struggle between him and William Harcourt, the Liberal leader in the Commons. The situation came to a head on 21 June, when Parliament voted to dismiss Secretary of State for War Henry Campbell-Bannerman; Rosebery, realising that the government would likely not survive a motion of no confidence were one to be brought, promptly resigned as Prime Minister. Conservative leader Lord Salisbury was subsequently re-appointed for a third spell as Prime Minister, and promptly called a new election.

The election was won by the Conservatives, who continued their alliance with the Liberal Unionist Party and won a large majority. The Liberals, in contrast, went down to what at the time was their worst result since the party's foundation, winning just 177 seats. The Irish Parliamentary Party was split at this time; most of its MPs (the "Anti-Parnellites") followed John Dillon, while a rump (the "Parnellites") followed John Redmond. The Independent Labour Party, having only previously existed as a loose grouping of left-wing politicians, formally organized into a party led by Keir Hardie in 1893 and contested their first election. They earned relatively little attention at this election, winning slightly less than one per cent of the popular vote and no seats, but would enjoy greater success five years later, when they ran under the banner of the Labour Representation Committee.


UK General Election 1895
Candidates Votes
Party Leader Stood Elected Gained Unseated Net % of total % No. Net %
  Conservative and Liberal Unionist Lord Salisbury 588 411 114 17 +97 61.34 49.25 1,759,484 +2.2
  Liberal Lord Rosebery 447 177 18 112 −94 26.42 45.58 1,628,405 +0.2
  Irish National Federation John Dillon 77 70 −2 10.45 2.59 92,556 −2.6
  Irish National League John Redmond 26 12 +3 1.79 1.34 47,698 −0.2
  Ind. Labour Party Keir Hardie 28 0 0 0 0.96 34,433 N/A
  Independent Liberal N/A 3 0 −1 0 0.10 3,733
  Social Democratic Federation H. M. Hyndman 4 0 0 0 0.09 3,122 +0.1
  Independent Lib-Lab N/A 2 0 0 0 0.07 2,348
  Independent Labour N/A 1 0 −3 0 0.02 608
  Independent N/A 2 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 52

Voting summary

Popular vote
Conservative and Liberal Unionist
Irish National Federation
Irish National League
Independent Labour Party

Seats summary

Parliamentary seats
Conservative and Liberal Unionist
Irish National Federation
Irish National League

See also

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