May 4th

On May 4th, 1979, the results of the previous day’s general election revealed a Conservative majority of 43 seats in the House of Commons.

Margaret Thatcher 1979 victory.jpg

Thatcher outside 10 Downing Street in 1979, following her election victory.

The results of 1979 general election saw Britain’s first ever female Prime Minister invited to form a government; this was the beginning of Margaret Thatcher’s 11 years in office and the beginning of an 18 year period of Conservative government.

1979 Conservative Party Labour Party Liberal Party
Seats Won 339 269 11
Seat Gain/Loss 62 -50 -2
Seats Before 277 319 13

In the election on the 3rd, the Conservatives won 43.9% of the popular vote, a swing of over 8%, whereas Labour’s share of the vote dropped by 2.3% to 37% of the vote.

Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher in 1983.

The turnout at this general election was exactly 76%. From the mid-1950s, until the beginning of the 21st century, turnout hardly fluctuated, with it remaining between 71% and 79% in all general elections. In 2001, turnout dropped by a shocking 12% (to just 59%!). Since then, turnout has gradually recovered; 66.4% of the electorate turned out to the polls in 2015.

In regards to the upcoming snap election, we implore readers to; firstly, ensure you are on the electoral register by May 22nd; secondly, educate and inform yourself; thirdly, vote on June 8th.

Read more on Why you must vote


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