1918 United Kingdom general election

The 1918 United Kingdom general election was called immediately after the Armistice with Germany which ended the First World War, and was held on Saturday 14 December 1918. The governing coalition, under Prime Minister David Lloyd George, sent letters of endorsement to candidates who supported the coalition government. These were nicknamed "Coalition Coupons", and led to the election being known as the "coupon election". The result was a massive landslide in favour of the coalition, comprising primarily the Conservatives and Coalition Liberals, with massive losses for Liberals who were not endorsed.[1] Nearly all the Liberal M.P.s without coupons were defeated, although party leader H.H. Asquith managed to return to Parliament in a by-election. [2]

It was the first general election to include on a single day all eligible voters of the United Kingdom, although the vote count was delayed until 28 December so that the ballots cast by soldiers serving overseas could be included in the tallies.[3]

It resulted in a landslide victory for the coalition government of David Lloyd George, who had replaced H. H. Asquith as Prime Minister in December 1916. They were both Liberals and continued to battle for control of the party, which was fast losing popular support and never regained power.[4]

It was the first general election to be held after enactment of the Representation of the People Act 1918. It was thus the first election in which women over the age of 30, and all men over the age of 21, could vote. Previously, all women and many poor men had been excluded from voting. Women showed enormous patriotism, and generally supported the coalition candidates.[5]

The election was also noted for the dramatic result in Ireland, which showed clear disapproval of government policy. The Irish Parliamentary Party were almost completely wiped out by the Irish republican party Sinn Féin, who vowed in their manifesto to establish an independent Irish Republic. They refused to take their seats in Westminster, instead forming a breakaway government and declaring Irish independence. The Irish War of Independence began soon after the election.

1918 United Kingdom general election

14 December 1918

All 707 seats in the House of Commons
354 seats needed for a majority
Turnout57.2%
  Andrew Bonar Law 01 LloydGeorge Éamon de Valera
Leader Bonar Law David Lloyd George Éamon de Valera
Party Conservative Coalition Liberal Sinn Féin
Leader since 1911 7 December 1916 1917
Leader's seat Glasgow Central Caernarvon Boroughs East Mayo
Last election 271 seats, 46.6 Did not contest Did not contest
Seats won 382 127 73[a]
Seat change Increase111 Increase127 Increase73
Popular vote 4,003,848 1,396,590 476,458
Percentage 38.4% 13.4% 4.6%
Swing Decrease8.2% New party New party

  Cropped photograph of William Adamson The mirrors of Downing street; some political reflections (1921) (14595514940) Geo. N. Barnes LCCN2014708351
Leader William Adamson H. H. Asquith George Barnes
Party Labour Liberal National Democratic
Leader since 24 October 1917 30 April 1908 1918
Leader's seat West Fife East Fife (defeated) Glasgow Gorbals
Last election 42 seats, 6.4% 272 seats, 44.2% Did not contest
Seats won 57 36 9
Seat change Increase15 Decrease236 Increase9
Popular vote 2,171,230 1,355,398 156,834
Percentage 20.8% 13.0% 1.3%
Swing Increase14.5% Decrease31.2% New party

1918 UK General Election Results
Colours denote the winning party—as shown in § Results

Prime Minister before election

David Lloyd George
Coalition Liberal

Appointed Prime Minister

David Lloyd George
Coalition Liberal

Background

Lloyd George's coalition government was supported by the majority of the Liberals and Bonar Law's Conservatives. However, the election saw a split in the Liberal Party between those who were aligned with Lloyd George and the government and those who were aligned with Asquith, the party's official leader.

On 14 November it was announced that Parliament, which had been sitting since 1910 and had been extended by emergency wartime action, would dissolve on 25 November, with elections on 14 December.[6]

Following confidential negotiations over the summer of 1918, it was agreed that certain candidates were to be offered the support of the Prime Minister and the leader of the Conservative Party at the next general election. To these candidates a letter, known as the Coalition Coupon, was sent, indicating the government's endorsement of their candidacy. 159 Liberal, 364 Conservative, 20 National Democratic and Labour, and 2 Coalition Labour candidates received the coupon. For this reason the election is often called the Coupon Election.[7]

80 Conservative candidates stood without a coupon. Of these, 35 candidates were Irish Unionists. Of the other non-couponed Conservative candidates, only 23 stood against a Coalition candidate; the remaining 22 candidates stood in areas where there were no coupons, or refused the offer of a coupon.[8]

The Labour Party, led by William Adamson, fought the election independently, as did those Liberals who did not receive a coupon.

The election was not chiefly fought over what peace to make with Germany, although those issues played a role. More important was the voters' evaluation of Lloyd George in terms of what he had accomplished so far and what he promised for the future. His supporters emphasised that he had won the Great War. Against his strong record in social legislation, he called for making "a country fit for heroes to live in".[9]

This election was known as a khaki election, due to the immediate postwar setting and the role of the demobilised soldiers.

Coalition victory

The coalition won the election easily, with the Conservatives the big winners. They were the largest party in the governing majority. Lloyd George remained Prime Minister, despite the Conservatives outnumbering his pro-coalition Liberals. The Conservatives welcomed his leadership on foreign policy as the Paris Peace talks began a few weeks after the election.[10]

An additional 47 Conservatives, 23 of whom were Irish Unionists, won without the coupon but did not act as a separate block or oppose the government except on the issue of Irish independence.

While most of the pro-coalition Liberals were re-elected, Asquith's faction was reduced to just 36 seats and lost all their leaders from parliament; Asquith himself lost his own seat. Nine of these MPs subsequently joined the Coalition Liberal group. The remainder became bitter enemies of Lloyd George.[11]

The Labour Party greatly increased its vote share, surpassing the total votes of either Liberal party, and became the Official Opposition for the first time. However, they only slightly increased their number of seats, and lost some of their earlier leaders like Ramsay MacDonald and Arthur Henderson. Labour won the most seats in Wales (which had previously been dominated by the Liberals) for the first time, a feat it has continued to the present day.[12]

The Conservative MPs included record numbers of corporate directors, bankers and businessmen, while Labour MPs were mostly from the working class. Bonar Law himself symbolised the change in the type of a Conservative MP as Bonar Law was a Presbyterian Canadian-born Scottish businessman who became in the words of his biographer, Robert Blake, the leader of "the Party of Old England, the Party of the Anglican Church and the country squire, the party of broad acres and hereditary titles".[13] Bonar Law's ascent as leader of the Conservatives marked a shift in Conservative leaders from the aristocrats who generally led the party in the 19th century to a more middle class leadership who usually led the party in the 20th century.[14] Many young veterans reacted against the harsh tone of the campaign and became disillusioned with politics.[15]

Ireland

Countess Markiewicz
Constance Markievicz was the first woman elected to the House of Commons, but as an Irish nationalist she did not take her seat at Westminster.

In Ireland, the Irish Parliamentary Party, which favoured Home Rule within the United Kingdom, lost almost all their seats, most of which were won by Sinn Féin under Éamon de Valera, which called for independence. The executions of many of the leaders of the Easter uprising of 1916, the force-feeding of those imprisoned in connection with the uprising who had gone on a hunger strike in 1917, and the Conscription Crisis of 1918 all served to alienate Irish Catholic opinion from the United Kingdom.[16] The Sinn Féin candidates had promised on the campaign trail to win an Irish republic "by any means necessary", which was a code-word for violence, though it is not entirely clear if all Irish voters understood what the phrase meant.[17] The 73 Sinn Féin elected members declined to take their seats in the British House of Commons, sitting instead in the Irish revolutionary assembly, the Dáil Éireann. On 17 May 1918 almost the entire leadership of Sinn Féin, including de Valera and Arthur Griffith, had been arrested. In total 47 of the Sinn Féin MPs were elected from jail. The Dáil first convened on 21 January 1919, which marks the beginning of the Irish War of Independence.

In the six Ulster counties that became Northern Ireland, Unionists consolidated their position by winning 23 out of the 30 seats. Cardinal Logue brokered a pact in eight seats (one, East Donegal, not in the six counties), after nominations closed, where Catholic voters were instructed to vote for one particular nationalist party. Split evenly, the Irish Parliamentary Party won three of those seats and Sinn Féin three. (The pact failed in East Down). Joe Devlin, memorably, also won Belfast (Falls) for the Irish Parliamentary Party in a straight fight with Éamon de Valera of Sinn Féin.

Constance Markievicz became the first woman elected to Parliament. She was a Sinn Féin member elected for Dublin St Patrick's, and like the other Sinn Féin MPs, did not take her seat.

Results

Seats by party

382 127 73 57 36 35
Conservative Coal Lib SF Lab Lib O
UK General Election 1918
Candidates Votes
Party Leader Stood Elected Gained Unseated Net % of total % No. Net %
Coalition Government[b]
  Conservative Bonar Law 445 382 +111 54.0 38.4 4,003,848 −8.2
  Coalition Liberal David Lloyd George 145 127 +127 18.0 12.6 1,318,844 N/A
  Coalition National Democratic George Nicoll Barnes 18 9 +9 1.3 1.5 156,834 N/A
  Coalition Labour N/A 5 4 +4 0.1 0.4 40,641 N/A
  Coalition Independent N/A 1 1 +1 0.1 0.1 9,274 N/A
Coalition Government (total) David Lloyd George 614 523 +249 74.0 53.0 5,529,441 +6.4
Non-Coalition parties
  Labour William Adamson 361 57 +15 8.1 20.8 2,171,230 +14.5
  Liberal H. H. Asquith 277 36 −236 5.1 13.0 1,355,398 −31.2
  Sinn Féin Éamon de Valera 102 73 +73 10.3 4.6 476,458 N/A
  Irish Parliamentary John Dillon 57 7 −67 1.0 2.2 226,498 −0.3
  Independent Labour N/A 29 2 +2 0.3 1.1 116,322 +1.0
  Independent N/A 42 2 +2 0.3 1.0 105,261 +1.0
  National Henry Page Croft 26 2 +2 0.3 0.9 94,389 N/A
  Independent NFDSS James Hogge 30 0 0 0.0 0.6 58,164 N/A
  Co-operative Party William Henry Watkins 10 1 +1 0.1 0.6 57,785 N/A
  Ind. Conservative N/A 17 1 0 0.1 0.4 44,637 +0.3
  Labour Unionist Edward Carson 3 3 +3 0.4 0.3 30,304 N/A
  Independent Liberal N/A 8 0 0 0.1 0.2 24,985 +0.2
  Agriculturalist Edward Mials Nunneley 7 0 0 0.0 0.2 19,412 N/A
  National Democratic George Nicoll Barnes 8 0 0 0.0 0.2 17,991 N/A
  NFDSS James Hogge 5 0 0 0.0 0.1 12,329 N/A
  Belfast Labour N/A 4 0 0 0.0 0.1 12,164 N/A
  National Socialist Party H. M. Hyndman 3 1 +1 0.1 0.1 11,013 N/A
  Highland Land League N/A 4 0 0 0.0 0.1 8,710 N/A
  Women's Party Christabel Pankhurst 1 0 0 0.0 0.1 8,614 N/A
  British Socialist Party Albert Inkpin 3 0 0 0.0 0.1 8,394 N/A
  Independent Democratic N/A 4 0 0 0.0 0.1 8,351 N/A
  NADSS James Howell 1 1 +1 0.1 0.1 8,287 N/A
  Independent Nationalist N/A 6 0 0 0.0 0.1 8,183 +0.1
  Socialist Labour Tom Bell 3 0 0 0.0 0.1 7,567 N/A
  Scottish Prohibition Edwin Scrymgeour 1 0 0 0.0 0.0 5,212 N/A
  Independent Progressive N/A 3 0 0 0.0 0.0 5,077 N/A
  Ind. Labour and Agriculturalist N/A 1 0 0 0.0 0.0 1,927 N/A
  Christian Socialist N/A 1 0 0 0.0 0.0 597 N/A

Votes summary

Popular vote
Conservative
38.4%
Coalition Liberal
12.6%
Coalition National Democratic
1.5%
Coalition Labour
0.4%
Coalition Independent
0.1%
All Coalition parties
53.0%
Labour
20.8%
Liberal
13.0%
Sinn Féin
4.6%
Irish Parliamentary
2.2%
Independent
1.0%
Others
3.2%

Seats summary

Parliamentary seats
Conservative
54.03%
Coalition Liberal
17.96%
Coalition National Democratic
1.27%
Coalition Labour
0.57%
Coalition Independent
0.14%
All Coalition parties
73.97%
Labour
8.06%
Liberal
5.09%
Sinn Féin
10.33%
Irish Parliamentary
0.99%
Independent
0.28%
Others
1.27%

Maps

Irish UK election 1918

Results in Ireland. The Sinn Féin MPs did not take their seats in the House of Commons, and instead formed the Dáil Éireann (English: Assembly of Ireland).

Greater-London-1918-election

Results in London

United Kingdom general election 1918 in Scotland

Results in Scotland

Transfers of seats

  • All comparisons are with the December 1910 election.
    • In some cases the change is due to the MP defecting to the gaining party. Such circumstances are marked with a *.
    • In other circumstances the change is due to the seat having been won by the gaining party in a by-election in the intervening years, and then retained in 1918. Such circumstances are marked with a †.
From To No. Seats
Labour Labour (HOLD) Burslem (replaced Staffordshire North West), Deptford, Plaistow (replaced West Ham South), Woolwich East (replaced Woolwich)
Coalition Labour Norwich (1 of 2), Stockport (1 of 2)
Coalition National Democratic Hanley
Liberal
National Liberal
Conservative Bow and Bromley†, Nuneaton
Sinn Féin Nationalist
abolished
Nationalist Nationalist
abolished
Lib-Lab Coalition Liberal Battersea North (replaced Battersea)
Liberal Labour Forest of Dean, Leek, Wellingborough (replaced Northamptonshire Mid)
National Democratic Walthamstow W (replaced Walthamstow)
Liberal (HOLD) Bermondsey West (replaced Bermondsey), Camborne, Cornwall North (replaced Launceston), Newcastle-under-Lyme, Norwich (1 of 2), Saffron Walden, Whitechapel and St Georges (replaced Whitechapel), Wolverhampton East
National Liberal Banbury, Barnstaple, Bedford, Bethnal Green NE, Bristol East, Bristol North, Bristol South, Cambridgeshire (replaced Chesterton), Crewe, Dartford, Dorset East, Eye, Hackney Central, Isle of Ely (replaced Wisbech), Kennington, Lichfield, Stepney Limehouse (replaced Limehouse), Lowestoft, Luton, Norfolk South, Norfolk South West, Northampton (1 of 2), Peckham, Poplar South (replaced Poplar), Romford, St Ives, Shoreditch (replaced Hoxton), South Molton, Southampton (both seats), Southwark Central (replaced Newington West), Southwark North (replaced Southwark West), Southwark South East (replaced Walworth), Stockport (1 of 2), Stoke-upon-Trent, Stroud, Thornbury, Wellington (Salop)
Coalition Independent Norfolk North
Independent Hackney South
Conservative Bedfordshire Mid (replaced Biggleswade), Bethnal Green South-West†, Buckingham, Camberwell North, Cheltenham†, Coventry, Exeter†, Frome, Gillingham (replaced Rochester), Ipswich (1 of 2)†, Islington East, Islington South, Islington West, Macclesfield, Norfolk East, Northwich, Peterborough, Reading†, Rotherhithe, St Pancras North, Stafford, Swindon (replaced Cricklade), Tottenham South (replaced Tottenham), Upton (replaced West Ham North), Westbury, Yeovil (replaced Somerset Southern)†
abolished Finsbury East, Haggerston, Hyde, Ipswich (1 of 2), Newmarket, Norfolk North West, Northampton (1 of 2), Northamptonshire East, St Austell, St George, Tower Hamlets, St Pancras East, Stepney, Truro, Worcestershire North
Speaker Liberal
Liberal Unionist Conservative Aylesbury*, Birmingham West*, Bodmin*, Burton*, Birmingham Handsworth*, Hythe*, Ludlow*, Portsmouth North (replaced 1 of 2 Portsmouth seats)*, Stepney Mile End (replaced Mile End)*, Birmingham Sparkbrook (replaced Birmingham South)*, Stone (replaced Staffordshire West)*, Torquay*, Totnes*, Westminster St George's (replaced St George, Hanover Square)*
abolished Ashburton, Birmingham Central, Birmingham North, Birmingham Bordesley, Droitwich, Norfolk Mid, Ross, Somerset Eastern, Worcestershire East
Conservative Communist
Labour Kettering (replaced Northamptonshire North), Kingswinford, Wednesbury, West Bromwich
Liberal Lambeth North, Weston-super-Mare (replaced Somerset Northern)
Coalition Liberal Sudbury
Conservative (HOLD) Abingdon, Altrincham, Ashford, Birmingham Aston (replaced Aston Manor), Basingstoke, Bath (1 of 2), Bewdley, Bilston (replaced Wolverhampton South), Birkenhead East (replaced Birkenhead), Brentford and Chiswick (replaced Brentford), Bridgwater, Brighton (both seats), Bristol West, Brixton, Bury St Edmunds, Cambridge, Chatham, Chelmsford, Chelsea, Chertsey, Chester, Chichester, Chippenham, Cirencester and Tewkesbury (replaced Tewkesbury), Clapham, Colchester, Croydon South (replaced Croydon), Daventry (replaced Northamptonshire South), Devizes, Plymouth Devonport (replaced 1 of 2 Devonport seats), Dorset North, Dorset South, Dorset West, Dover, Plymouth Drake (replaced 1 of 2 Plymouth seats), Dudley, Dulwich, Ealing, East Grinstead, Eastbourne, Eddisbury, Birmingham Edgbaston, Enfield, Epping, Epsom, Birmingham Erdington (replaced Birmingham East), Essex South East, Evesham, Fareham, Faversham, Finsbury (replaced Finsbury Central), Fulham East (replaced Fulham), Gloucester, Gravesend, Great Yarmouth, Greenwich, Guildford, Hackney North, Hammersmith South (replaced Hammersmith), Hampstead, Harrow, Harwich, Hastings, Henley, Hereford, Hitchin, Holborn, Honiton, Hornsey, Horsham and Worthing (replaced Horsham), Huntingdonshire (replaced Huntingdon), Isle of Thanet, Isle of Wight, Islington North, Kensington North, Kensington South, Kidderminster, King's Lynn, Kingston upon Thames, Knutsford, Leominster, Lewes, Lewisham West (replaced Lewisham), City of London (both seats), Maidstone, Maldon, New Forest & Christchurch (replaced New Forest), Newbury, Norwood, Oswestry, Oxford, Paddington North, Paddington South, Penryn and Falmouth, Petersfield, Portsmouth South (replaced 1 of 2 Portsmouth seats), Reigate, Rugby, Rye, St Albans, St Marylebone (replaced Marylebone West), St Pancras South East (replaced St Pancras South), St Pancras South West (replaced St Pancras West), Salisbury, Sevenoaks, Shrewsbury, Stalybridge and Hyde (replaced Stalybridge), Plymouth Sutton (replaced 1 of 2 Plymouth seats), Tamworth, Taunton, Tavistock, Tiverton, Tonbridge (replaced Tunbridge), Uxbridge, Wandsworth Central (replaced Wandsworth), Warwick and Leamington, Watford, Wells, Westminster Abbey (replaced Westminster), Wimbledon, Winchester, Windsor, Wirral, Wolverhampton West, Woodbridge, Worcester, Wycombe
National Bournemouth (replaced Christchurch)†, Walsall
Silver Badge Hertford
abolished Andover, Bath (1 of 2), Cirencester, Devonport (1 of 2), Marylebone East, Medway, Newport (Shropshire), Ramsey, St Augustine's, Stowmarket, Strand, Stratford upon Avon, Wellington (Somerset), Wilton, Wokingham, Woodstock
Ind. Conservative Conservative Canterbury
UUP UUP
abolished
Irish Unionist abolished
Seat created Labour Smethwick
Coalition Labour Cannock
National Socialist Party Silvertown
National Democratic Birmingham Duddeston, East Ham South
Liberal Portsmouth Central, Stourbridge
Coalition Liberal Camberwell North-West, East Ham North, Leyton East
Conservative Acton, Aldershot, Balham and Tooting, Battersea South, Birkenhead West, Bristol Central, Bromley, Chislehurst, Croydon North, Birmingham Deritend, Edmonton, Farnham, Finchley, Fulham West, Hammersmith North, Hemel Hempstead, Hendon, Ilford, Birmingham King's Norton, Birmingham Ladywood, Lewisham East, Leyton West, Mitcham, Birmingham Moseley, Putney, Richmond (Surrey), Southend, Spelthorne, Stoke Newington, Stratford, Streatham, Surrey East, Tottenham North, Twickenham, Wallasey, Walthamstow East, Willesden East, Willesden West, Wood Green, Woolwich West, Birmingham Yardley
UUP

See also

Notes

  1. ^ The Sinn Féin MPs did not take their seats in the House of Commons, and instead formed the Dáil Éireann.
  2. ^ The Conservative total includes 47 Conservative candidates elected without the Coalition Coupon, of whom 23 were Irish Unionists.
  3. ^ All parties shown.

References

  1. ^ J. M. McEwen, "The coupon election of 1918 and Unionist Members of Parliament." Journal of Modern History 34.3 (1962): 294-306.
  2. ^ Stuart R. Ball, "Asquith's Decline and the General Election of 1918." Scottish Historical Review 61.171 (1982): 44-61.
  3. ^ Barry McGill, "Lloyd George's Timing of the 1918 Election." Journal of British Studies 14.1 (1974): 109-124.
  4. ^ Paul Adelman, The decline of the Liberal Party 1910-1931 (2014).
  5. ^ Mary Hilson, "Women voters and the rhetoric of patriotism in the British general election of 1918" Women's History Review 10.2 (2001): 325-347.
  6. ^ Mowat 1955, p. 3.
  7. ^ Trevor Wilson, "The Coupon and the British General Election of 1918." Journal of Modern History 36.1 (1964): 28-42.
  8. ^ McEwen 1962, p. 295.
  9. ^ Taylor 1976, pp. 127–128.
  10. ^ Inbal Rose, Conservatism and foreign policy during the Lloyd George coalition 1918-1922 (2014).
  11. ^ Edward David, "The Liberal Party Divided 1916–1918." Historical Journal 13.3 (1970): 509-532.
  12. ^ Chris Wrigley, Lloyd George and the challenge of Labour: The post-war coalition, 1918-1922 (Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1990).
  13. ^ Blake, Robert The Unknown Prime Minister: The Life and Times of Andrew Bonar Law, 1858-1923, London: Faber and Faber, 2011 p.86.
  14. ^ Blake, Robert The Unknown Prime Minister: The Life and Times of Andrew Bonar Law, 1858-1923, London: Faber and Faber, 2011 p.86.
  15. ^ Mowat 1955, p. 9.
  16. ^ Cottrell, Peter The Anglo-Irish War: The Troubles of 1913–1922, London: Osprey, 2006 page 39.
  17. ^ Cottrell, Peter The Anglo-Irish War: The Troubles of 1913–1922, London: Osprey, 2006 page 29.
  18. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 July 2014. Retrieved 23 May 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

Further reading

  • Adelman, Paul. The decline of the Liberal Party 1910-1931 (2014).
  • Ball, Stuart R. (1982), "Asquith's Decline and the General Election of 1918", Scottish Historical Review, 61 (171): 44–61, JSTOR 25529447
  • Craig, F. W. S. (1989), British Electoral Facts: 1832–1987, Dartmouth: Gower, ISBN 0900178302
  • Hilson, Mary. "Women voters and the rhetoric of patriotism in the British general election of 1918" Women's History Review 10.2 (2001): 325-347.
  • McEwen, J. M. (1962), "The Coupon Election of 1918 and Unionist Members of Parliament", Journal of Modern History, 34 (3): 294–306, JSTOR 1874358
  • McGill, Barry. "Lloyd George's Timing of the 1918 Election." Journal of British Studies 14.1 (1974): 109-124.
  • Mowat, Charles Loch (1955), Britain between the wars, 1918–1940, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, pp. 2–9
  • Taylor, A. J. P. (1976), English History, 1914–1945, New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 127–128, ISBN 0198217153
  • Turner, John (1992), British Politics and the Great War: Coalition and Conflict, 1915–1918, New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 317–333, 391–436, ISBN 0300050461, covers the campaign as well as a statistical analysis of the vote
  • Wilson, Trevor (1964), "The Coupon and the British General Election of 1918", Journal of Modern History, 36 (1): 28–42, JSTOR 1874424

External links

Manifestos

1918 Irish general election

The Irish general election of 1918 was that part of the 1918 United Kingdom general election which took place in Ireland. It is now seen as a key moment in modern Irish history because it saw the overwhelming defeat of the moderate nationalist Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP), which had dominated the Irish political landscape since the 1880s, and a landslide victory for the radical Sinn Féin party. It had never stood in a general election, but had won six seats in by-elections in 1917–18. Sinn Féin had vowed in its manifesto to establish an independent Irish Republic. In Ulster, however, the Unionist Party was the most successful party.

The election was held in the aftermath of World War I, the Easter Rising and the Conscription Crisis. It was the first general election to be held after the Representation of the People Act 1918. It was thus the first election in which women over the age of 30, and all men over the age of 21, could vote. Previously, all women and most working-class men had been excluded from voting.

In the aftermath of the elections, Sinn Féin's elected members refused to attend the British Parliament in Westminster (London), and instead formed a parliament in Dublin, the First Dáil Éireann ("Assembly of Ireland"), which declared Irish independence as a republic. The Irish War of Independence was conducted under this revolutionary government which sought international recognition, and set about the process of state-building.

Aftermath of World War I

The Aftermath of World War I saw drastic political, cultural, economic, and social change across Eurasia (Europe and Asia), Africa, and even in areas outside those that were directly involved. Four empires collapsed due to the war, old countries were abolished, new ones were formed, boundaries were redrawn, international organizations were established, and many new and old ideologies took a firm hold in people's minds.

World War I also had the effect of bringing political transformation to most of the principal parties involved in the conflict, transforming them into electoral democracies by bringing near-universal suffrage for the first time in history, as in Germany (1919 German federal election), Great Britain (1918 United Kingdom general election), and Turkey (1923 Turkish general election).

Belfast Cromac (UK Parliament constituency)

Cromac, a division of Belfast, was a UK parliamentary constituency in Ireland. It returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom from 1918 to 1922, using the first past the post electoral system.

Belfast Duncairn (UK Parliament constituency)

Duncairn, a division of Belfast, was a UK parliamentary constituency in Ireland. It returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom from 1918 to 1922, using the first past the post electoral system.

Belfast Falls (UK Parliament constituency)

Falls, a division of Belfast, was a UK parliamentary constituency in Ireland. It returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom from 1918 to 1922, using the first past the post electoral system.

Belfast Ormeau (UK Parliament constituency)

Ormeau, a division of Belfast, was a UK parliamentary constituency in Ireland. It returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom from 1918 to 1922, using the first past the post electoral system.

Belfast Pottinger (UK Parliament constituency)

Pottinger, a division of Belfast, was a UK parliamentary constituency in Ireland. It returned one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom from 1918 to 1922, using the first past the post electoral system.

Belfast Shankill (UK Parliament constituency)

Shankill, a division of Belfast, was a UK parliamentary constituency in Ireland. It returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom to 1918 to 1922, using the first past the post electoral system.

Belfast St Anne's (UK Parliament constituency)

St Anne's, a division of Belfast, was a UK parliamentary constituency in Ireland. It returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom from 1918 to 1922, using the first past the post electoral system.

Belfast Victoria (UK Parliament constituency)

Victoria, a division of Belfast, was a UK parliamentary constituency in Ireland. It returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom from 1918 to 1922, using the first past the post electoral system.

Belfast Woodvale (UK Parliament constituency)

Woodvale, a division of Belfast, was a UK parliamentary constituency in Ireland. It returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom from 1918 to 1922, using the first past the post electoral system.

Coalition Coupon

The Coalition Coupon was a letter sent to parliamentary candidates at the United Kingdom general election, 1918, endorsing them as official representatives of the Coalition Government. The 1918 election took place in the heady atmosphere of victory in the First World War and the desire for revenge against Germany and its allies. Receiving the coupon was interpreted by the electorate as a sign of patriotism that helped candidates gain election, while those who did not receive it had a more difficult time as they were sometimes seen as anti-war or pacifist. The letters were all dated 20 November 1918 and were signed by prime minister David Lloyd George for the Coalition Liberals and Bonar Law, the leader of the Conservative Party. As a result, the 1918 general election has become known as 'the coupon election'.

The name "coupon" was coined by Liberal leader H. H. Asquith, disparagingly using the jargon of rationing with which people were familiar in the context of wartime shortages.

Dáil Éireann (Irish Republic)

Dáil Éireann (English: Assembly of Ireland), also called the Revolutionary Dáil, was the revolutionary, unicameral parliament of the Irish Republic from 1919 to 1922. The Dáil was first formed by 73 Sinn Féin MPs elected in the 1918 United Kingdom general election. Their manifesto refused to recognise the British parliament at Westminster and chose instead to establish an independent legislature in Dublin. The convention of the First Dáil coincided with the beginning of the War of Independence.

The First Dáil was replaced by the Second Dáil in 1921. Both of these Dála existed under the proclaimed Irish Republic; it was the Second Dáil which narrowly ratified the Anglo-Irish Treaty. The status of the Third Dáil of 1922–1923 was different as it was also recognised by the British. It was elected under the terms of the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty as a provisional parliament to pave the way for the creation of an independent Irish state. With the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922, a new parliament called the Oireachtas was established, of which Dáil Éireann became the lower house.

Government of the 1st Dáil

The First Dáil was elected on 18 December 1918 and first met on 21 January 1919, on which date the First Ministry assumed office, and lasted for 892 days.

In 1919 Sinn Féin candidates who had been elected in the Westminster elections of 1918 refused to recognise the Parliament of the United Kingdom and instead assembled as a unicameral, revolutionary parliament called Dáil Éireann. The first meeting of Dáil Éireann occurred on 21 January 1919 in the Round Room of the Mansion House in Dublin.

List of MPs elected in the 1918 United Kingdom general election

This is a list of Members of Parliament (MPs) elected to the 31st Parliament of the United Kingdom in the 1918 general election. This Parliament was elected on 14 December 1918, assembled on 4 February 1919 and was dissolved on 26 October 1922.

The normal polling day did not apply to the university constituencies (polls open for five days) and Orkney and Shetland (poll open two days). Votes in the territorial constituencies were not counted until 28 December 1918 to allow time for postal votes from members of the armed forces to arrive.

Coalition and Non-Coalition: In most constituencies in Great Britain one supporter of the coalition government, led by David Lloyd George (the Liberal Prime Minister) and Bonar Law (the Conservative leader), was issued the so-called coupon. Candidates elected as Liberals or Conservatives, without the coupon, were not necessarily hostile to the government. This list follows the label used in F.W.S. Craig's book cited below. No attempt is made to indicate changes between the Coalition and Non-Coalition wings of a party. Few coupons were issued to Irish candidates, so none are designated as Coalition MPs.

Conservative and Unionist MPs: Conservative, Irish Unionist, Labour Unionist and Ulster Unionist MPs constituted a single party in Parliament. Candidates of the Ulster Unionist Council are classified as Irish Unionists until May 1921 and Ulster Unionists thereafter. The only Unionists, in this Parliament, not to be from Ulster constituencies represented Dublin Rathmines and Dublin University.

Notable newcomers to the House of Commons included Neville Chamberlain, Robert Horne, Thomas Inskip, Kingsley Wood and Oswald Mosley. The Parliament of 1918–22 had a poor reputation with contemporaries: John Maynard Keynes' "The Economic Consequences of the Peace" includes a famous remark about the Conservative MPs that "They are a lot of hard-faced men, who look as if they had done very well out of the war" which Keynes attributed to a Conservative friend. Keynes privately confirmed that the friend who originated the remark was Stanley Baldwin.

Members of the 1st Dáil

This is a list of the 105 MPs who were elected for Irish seats at the 1918 United Kingdom general election. Sinn Féin emerged as the largest party, in their first general election. They adopted a policy of abstention from the House of British House of Commons in Westminster. Instead they took their election as a mandate for independence and established a revolutionary parliament known as Dáil Éireann, with its members known as Teachtaí Dála or TDs. It met for the first time on 21 January 1919 in Mansion House in Dublin. The majority of Sinn Féin's MPs were imprisoned at the time so only 27 elected representatives attended the initial meeting of the First Dáil. The First Dáil lasted 892 days. Those elected for the remaining Irish seats, from the Irish Parliamentary Party and the Irish Unionist Party, for the most part ignored the invitation to attend the First Dáil. Thomas Harbison, elected for the Irish Parliamentary Party for North East Tyrone, did acknowledge the invitation, but "stated he should decline for obvious reasons".Under this Irish republican theory, all 105 MPs were members of the Dáil, and their names were called out on the roll of membership. The database of Oireachtas members includes only those elected for Sinn Féin. For clarity on the representation of constituencies, they are listed here in a single list.

Statue of Emmeline Pankhurst

The statue of Emmeline Pankhurst (officially called Rise Up Women) is a bronze sculpture in St Peter's Square, Manchester depicting Emmeline Pankhurst, a British political activist and leader of the suffragette movement in the United Kingdom.

The statue was unveiled on 14 December 2018, the centenary of the 1918 United Kingdom general election, the first election in the United Kingdom in which women over the age of 30 could vote. It is the first statue honoring a woman erected in Manchester since a statue of Queen Victoria was dedicated more than 100 years ago.

William Thomas Miller

William Thomas Miller (1865 – 6 October 1930) was a Northern Irish Unionist politician.

A farmer he was born in Newtownstewart in 1865. He was educated at the Model School, Newtownstewart; and the Intermediate School, Newtownstewart; and the Methodist College Belfast. He was a member of Strabane Rural District Council and of Tyrone County Council.

He unsuccessfully contested the North West Tyrone constituency in the 1918 United Kingdom general election, losing to Sinn Féin's Arthur Griffith.

In 1921, he was elected to House of Commons of Northern Ireland for the constituency of Fermanagh and Tyrone, and was re-elected in 1925. In 1929, he was elected for the constituency of North Tyrone. He died in 1930 and at the subsequent by-election James Gamble was elected unopposed.

General elections
Local elections
European elections
Referendums

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.