7 largest Conservative majorities of the last 100 years

Theresa May's snap election returned the country to a state of no overall control in parliament, but which Tory PMs have won staggering majorities?

David Cameron led his party to win its first majority since the 1992 election back in 2015. Theresa May called a snap election with the anticipation that it would lead to an increase in the number of Conservative MPs, but her plan failed spectacularly.

Here are the seven largest Conservative majorities since 1917.

7. 1979

The election of 1979 put an end to half a decade of Labour-rule when Margaret Thatcher came to power with a moderate majority of 44. That year's vote led to the election of Michael Foot as Labour leader, a result that contributed to the Labour infighting that led to the formation of the Social Democratic Party, led by the so-called “Gang of Four.”

6. 1955

The sixth largest Conservative majority of the last century was won in 1955. In 1945, wartime prime minister Winston Churchill was pushed into opposition, which led to five years of Labour government. The 1950 election resulted in a small Labour majority, which Prime Minister Clement Attlee tried to boost in 1951. His attempt failed, and Churchill became prime minister once again. But due to illness, Churchill soon left the top-job, and was replaced by his deputy, Anthony Eden. Britain's newest Conservative prime minister soon called an election in 1955 and was rewarded with a bigger majority of 60 seats.

Eden’s legacy looked set to be sealed by that election win, but he is more often than not associated with his disastrous mission into Suez, which ultimately sealed his fate.

Sir Anthony Eden

5. 1922

In 1922, the first of three elections in fewer than three years took place. The previous election was the last to deliver a Liberal prime minister. Then in 1922, the country voted for a Conservative majority led by new prime minister Andrew Bonar Law. His party won a majority of 74 seats.

4. 1959

After Antony Eden’s departure, following the Suez crisis in 1957, Harold MacMillan became party leader and prime minister. Two years later, he led his party to a striking election victory, winning 365 seats, and with it majority of 100. Labour won 258 seats while the Liberals won just 6.

3. 1987

In this election, Margaret Thatcher won her third election in a row, winning a majority of 102 seats. The election would be her last as prime minister as she was replaced by John Major in 1990.

2. 1983

Four years before Thatcher’s 1987 landslide, the Conservatives won an even great victory, gaining a majority of 144 seats. Thatcher's win was undoubtedly helped by the split in the left (the newly created SDP almost supplanted Labour as Britain’s second-largest party) and the 1982 Falklands war, in which Britain emerged victorious.

1. 1924

The Conservative majority won in 1924 was even greater than the victory Tony Blair won for Labour in 1997.

After the 1922 election, an election was called in 1923, which led to the first Labour administration. Labour leader Ramsay MacDonald became the UK’s prime minister with support from the Liberals in the hung parliament. The administration soon collapsed, leading to the election of 1924.

At this election, the Conservatives, led by Stanley Baldwin, won a whopping 412 seats. The result was a 210-seat majority for the Conservatives, which puts them right in first place in this list. However, the Conservatives failed to hold on to their massive majority, losing it to a hung parliament in 1929.

Can the Conservatives ever reach these staggering election heights or are they doomed to repeat an endless cycle of coalitions, puny majorities and minority administrations?

All majority figures in this list are based off figures on this UK General Elections Wikipedia page.

Have something to tell us about this article?