7 biggest UK election landslides since 1945

The current prime minister could have made it to this list had her plan not backfired.

Since 1945 there have been twenty elections, three of which have resulted in hung parliaments. The rest have all been majority governments, seven of which led to the biggest landslides since the end of the war. Here they are:

 7th biggest majority since 1945: 1966 (98 seat majority)

Just two years after Harold Wilson won Labour a slim majority, as prime minister he called a snap election, which ultimately strengthened Labour’s majority. This election was the first of four between Wilson and the Conservatives' Edward Heath.

6th biggest majority since 1945: 1959 (100 seat majority)

After Churchill won the 1951 election, Anthony Eden went on to lead the Conservative party and win the 1955 election. Then, after Eden’s failed premiership, Harold Macmillan took over as prime minister and led his party to victory in 1959, winning them a grand majority of 100 seats.

5th biggest majority since 1945: 1987 (102 seat majority)

Thatcher’s first victory did not make this list, but her second and third ones did. In 1987 her seat-count fell, but her party continued to remain in power for a further ten years, first under her then John Major.

4th biggest majority since 1945: 1983 (144 seat majority)

Four years after coming to power, the 1983 election saw Margaret Thatcher significantly boost her majority, following success in the Falklands and a divided left, due to the rise of the SDP-Liberal Alliance.

3rd biggest majority since 1945: 1945 (146 majority)

The 1945 election led to a massive electoral landslide for Labour, bringing Clement Atlee and his radical, transformative agenda into the control-seat. His government is known for creating the NHS, strengthening the welfare state, and rebuilding Britain after a devastating war. While the government was one of significant change, its majority fell to just five seats after the 1950 election.

One year after that another vote further weakened Labour and returned Winston Churchill’s Conservatives to power.

2nd biggest majority since 1945: 2001 (167 majority)

Tony Blair

The 2001 election was significant for two reasons. It solidified New Labour’s place as a dominant, governing force, and it also had the lowest election turnout rate in modern times, falling below 60% for the first time; just four years earlier it had stood at over 70%. The election was Tony Blair’s second victory, allowing him to continue with his political agenda.

1st biggest majority since 1945: 1997 (179 seat majority)

The biggest majority in British politics since 1945 was, unsurprisingly, Blair’s first victory in what can only be described as a tremendous landslide. After eighteen years in government, the Conservatives were significantly weakened and New Labour came to power on a wave of optimism and hope.

Do you think the next election will get on this list?

 Note: The number of seats in each election has fluctuated over time from a low of 625 to a high of 659, however for the sake of simplicity, largest majorities are calculated using the raw seat numbers. All figures are based off this list Wikipedia election results.

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