ResultsFor results by county/region and analysis, see Results breakdown of the United Kingdom general election, 2005. For results by constituency, see Constituency results of the United Kingdom general election, 2005. For details by MP, see MPs elected in the UK general election, 2005.
At 04:28 BST, it was announced that Labour had won Corby, giving them 324 seats in the House of Commons out of those then declared and an overall majority, Labour's total reaching 356 seats out of the 646 House of Commons seats. Labour received 35.3% of the popular vote, equating to approximately 22% of the electorate on a 61.3% turnout, up from 59.4% turnout in 2001. Increased turnout was mostly attributed to the extension and promotion of the postal voting system, which has however been criticised by many as being too insecure increasing the risk of electoral fraud.
As expected, voter disenchantment led to an increase of support for many opposition parties, and caused many eligible to vote, not to turn out. Labour achieved a third successive term in office for the first time in their history, though with reduction of the Labour majority from 167 to 67 (as it was before the declaration of South Staffordshire). As it became clear that Labour had won an overall majority, Michael Howard, the leader of the Conservative party, announced his intention to retire from front-line politics. The final seat to declare was the delayed poll in South Staffordshire, at just after 1 a.m. on Friday 24 June.
The election was followed by further criticism of the UK electoral system. Calls for reform came particularly from Lib Dem supporters, citing that they received only just over 10% of the overall seats with 22.1% of the popular vote. The only parties to win a higher percentage of seats than they achieved in votes were Labour, the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Féin, and Health Concern, which ran only one candidate. The results of the election give a Gallagher index of dis-proportionality of 16.76.
The Labour Government claimed that being returned to office for a third term for the first time ever showed the public approval of New Labour's governance and the continued unpopularity of the Conservatives. Nevertheless, Labour's vote declined to 35.3%, the lowest share of the popular vote to have formed a majority government in the history of the UK House of Commons. In many areas the collapse in the Labour vote resulted in a host of seats changing hands. Labour also failed to gain any new seats, almost unique in any election since 1945. As well as losing seats to the Tories and the Liberal Democrats, Labour also lost their safest seat in Wales to Independent Peter Law, and Bethnal Green and Bow to Respect candidate George Galloway.
The Conservatives claimed that their increased number of seats showed disenchantment with the Labour government and was a precursor of a Conservative breakthrough at the next election. Following three consecutive elections of declining representation and then in 2001 a net gain of just one seat, 2005 was the first general election since 1983 where the number of Conservative seats increased appreciably, although the Conservatives' vote share increased only slightly and this election did mark the third successive general election in which the Conservatives polled below 35%. In some areas the Conservative vote actually fell. The Conservatives claimed to have won the General Election in England, since they received more votes than Labour although Labour still won a majority of seats.
The Liberal Democrats claimed that their continued gradual increase in seats and percentage vote showed they were in a position to make further gains from both parties. They pointed in particular to the fact that they were now in second place in roughly one hundred and ninety constituencies and that having had net losses to Labour in the 1992 general election and having not taken a single seat off Labour in 1997, they had held their gains off Labour from the 2001 general election and had actually made further gains from them. The Liberals also managed to take 3 seats from the Conservatives, notably Tim Collins, through the use of a decapitation strategy, which targeted senior Tories.
The Liberal Democrats increased their percentage of the vote by 3.7%, the Conservatives by 0.6%, and Labour's dropped by 5.4%.
The results were interpreted by the UK media as an indicator of a breakdown in trust in the government, and in Prime Minister Tony Blair in particular.
Meanwhile the SNP had a good night in Scotland, regaining the Western Isles from Labour, having lost it 1987. In Wales Plaid Cymru failed to gain any seats, and lost Ceredigion to the Liberal Democrats. In Northern Ireland the Ulster Unionists were all but wiped out, only holding onto North Down, with leader David Trimble losing his seat in Upper Bann. For the first time the DUP became the biggest party in Northern Ireland.
It was the first general election since 1929 in which no party received more than ten million votes. It was the most "three-cornered" election since 1923, though the Liberal Democrats failed to match the higher national votes of the SDP-Liberal Alliance in the 1980s either in absolute or percentage terms. The total combined vote for Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats proved to be the lowest main three party vote since 1922.
|Monster Raving Loony||19||0||0||0||0||0.0||0.0||6,311||0.0||N/A|
|Rainbow Dream Ticket||23||0||0||0||0||0.0||0.0||2,463||N/A||N/A|
|Alliance for Green Socialism||5||0||0||0||0||0.0||0.0||1,978||N/A||N/A|
|Peace and Progress||3||0||0||0||0||0.0||0.0||1,036||N/A||N/A|
|Scottish Senior Citizens||2||0||0||0||0||0.0||0.0||1,017||N/A||N/A|
|Independent Working Class||1||0||0||0||0||0.0||0.0||892||N/A||N/A|
|British Public Party||1||0||0||0||0||0.0||0.0||763||N/A||N/A|
|Pensioners Party Scotland||1||0||0||0||0||0.0||0.0||716||N/A||N/A|
|English Independence Party||1||0||0||0||0||0.0||0.0||654||N/A||N/A|
|Local Community Party||1||0||0||0||0||0.0||0.0||570||N/A||N/A|
|UK Community Issues Party||3||0||0||0||0||0.0||0.0||502||N/A||N/A|
The figure of 355 seats for Labour does not include the speaker Michael Martin. 356 seats would give the majority of 66. See also the list of parties standing in Northern Ireland.
|Government's new majority||66|
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