1979 United Kingdom general election

election for members of the British House of Commons

An election was held on 3 May 1979 to elect all 635 seats of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. The Conservative Party won the election and Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister. She was the first female Prime Minister of the UK.

1979 United Kingdom general election

← Oct 1974 3 May 1979 1983 →
← List of MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election, October 1974
List of MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election, 1979 →

All 635 seats in the House of Commons
318 seats needed for a majority
Turnout76.0%, Increase3.2%
  First party Second party Third party
  Margaret Thatcher (1983).jpg James Callaghan ppmsca.53218 (cropped).tif David Steel crop.jpg
Leader Margaret Thatcher James Callaghan David Steel
Party Conservative Labour Liberal
Leader since 11 February 1975 5 April 1976 7 July 1976
Leader's seat Finchley Cardiff South East Roxburgh, Selkirk & Peebles
Last election 277 seats, 35.8% 319 seats, 39.2% 13 seats, 18.3%
Seats won 339 269 11
Seat change Increase62 Decrease50 Decrease2
Popular vote 13,697,923 11,532,218 4,313,804
Percentage 43.9% 36.9% 13.8%
Swing Increase8.1% Decrease2.3% Decrease4.5%

UK General Election, 1979.svg
Colours show the winning party—as shown in § Results

House of Commons elected members, 1979.svg
Composition of the House of Commons after the election

Prime Minister before election

James Callaghan
Labour

Prime Minister after election

Margaret Thatcher
Conservative

The election happened because of a vote of no confidence in the James Callaghan passing by one vote in the House of Commons on the 28 March. This vote happened because Thatcher had brought it forward. It forced the election to happen.

ReferencesEdit