General election

A general election is an election in which all or most members of a given political body are chosen. These are usually held for a nation's primary legislative body, as distinguished from by-elections and local elections.

In presidential systems, a general election is a regularly scheduled election where both the president, and either "a class" of or all members of the national legislature are elected at the same time but can also involve special elections held to fill prematurely vacated positions. A general election day may also include elections for local officials.

The term originates in the elections in the United Kingdom for the House of Commons started on November 26 1962.

India

The elections are held to elect the members of the Lok Sabha after the expiry of the Parliamentary Elections. Earlier up to 1957 simultaneous elections were held for both the Lok Sabha and the State Assemblies. However, on account of early dismissal and mid-term elections, the two got separated. There are now 543 constituents in the parliament. The general election in India is held in every 5 years.

United Kingdom

The term general election in the United Kingdom often refers to the elections held on the same day in all constituencies of their Members of Parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons. Under the terms of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, the period between one general election and the next is fixed at 5 years, unless the House of Commons passes

  • a motion of no confidence in the Government sooner than that, and does not pass a motion of confidence in a new Government within 14 days[1], or;
  • a motion, approved by two-thirds of its members, resolving that a general election should take place sooner[2], or;
  • a proposal from the Prime Minister to reschedule an election mandated by the Act to no later than two months after the original date[3].

The term may also be used to refer to elections to any democratically elected body in which all of the members are up for election. Section 2 of the Scotland Act 1998, for example, specifically refers to ordinary elections to the Scottish Parliament as general elections.[4]

Originally, British elections took place over a period of several weeks, with individual constituencies holding polling on separate days. The Parliament Act 1911 introduced the requirement that elections in all parliamentary constituencies be held on the same day. There has been a convention since the 1930s that general elections in Britain should take place on a Thursday; the last general election to take place on any other weekday was that of 1931.

The five-year limit on the time of a Parliament can be varied by an Act of Parliament implemented by several bodies. This was done during both World Wars; the Parliament elected in December 1910 was prolonged to November 1918, and that elected in November 1935 lasted until June 1945. The House of Lords has an absolute veto on any Bill to extend the life of Parliament.

United States

In U.S. politics, general elections are elections held at any level (e.g. city, county, congressional district, state) that typically involve competition between at least two parties. General elections occur every two to six years (depending on the positions being filled with most positions good for four years) and include the presidential election, but unlike parliamentary systems the term can also refer to special elections that fill out positions prematurely vacated by the previous office holder (e.g. through death, resignation, etc.). Some parallels can be drawn between the general election in parliamentary systems and the biennial elections determining all House seats, although there is no analogue to "calling early elections" in the U.S., and the members of the elected U.S. Senate face elections of only one-third at a time at two-year intervals including during a general election.

Unlike parliamentary systems where the term general election is distinguished from by-elections or local and regional elections, the term is used in the US in reference to and distinguished from primaries or caucuses, which are intra-party elections meant to select a party's official candidate for a particular race. Thus, if a primary is meant to elect a party's candidate for the position-in-question, a general election is meant to elect who occupies the position itself.

In the State of Louisiana the expression general election means the runoff election which occurs between the two highest candidates as determined by the jungle primary.[5]

Footnotes

  1. ^ "Fixed-term Parliaments Act Section 2(3)".
  2. ^ "Fixed-term Parliaments Act Section 2(1)".
  3. ^ "Fixed-term Parliaments Act Section 1(5)".
  4. ^ "Scotland Act 1998".
  5. ^ Chapter 5 of the Louisiana Election Code, incorporating Section 18:401 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes.

External links

1945 United Kingdom general election

The 1945 United Kingdom general election was held on 5 July 1945, with polls in some constituencies delayed until 12 July and in Nelson and Colne until 19 July, because of local wakes weeks. The results were counted and declared on 26 July, to allow time to transport the votes of those serving overseas.

The result was an unexpected landslide victory for Clement Attlee's Labour Party over Winston Churchill's Conservatives. It was the first time the Conservatives had lost the popular vote since the 1906 election; they would not win it again until 1955. Labour won its first majority government, and a mandate to implement its postwar reforms. The 10.7% national swing from the Conservative Party to the Labour Party remains the largest ever achieved in a British general election.

1979 United Kingdom general election

The 1979 United Kingdom general election was held on 3 May 1979 to elect 635 members to the British House of Commons. The Conservative Party, led by Margaret Thatcher, ousted the incumbent Labour government of James Callaghan with a parliamentary majority of 43 seats. The election was the first of four consecutive election victories for the Conservative Party, and Thatcher became the United Kingdom's and Europe's first elected female head of government.

The previous parliamentary term had begun in October 1974, when Harold Wilson led Labour to a majority of three seats, but within eighteen months he had resigned as Prime Minister to be succeeded by James Callaghan, and within a year the government's narrow parliamentary majority had gone. Callaghan had made agreements with the Liberals, the Ulster Unionists, as well as the Scottish and Welsh nationalists in order to remain in power. However, on 28 March 1979 following the defeat of the Scottish devolution referendum, Thatcher tabled a motion of no confidence in Callaghan's Labour government, which was passed by just one vote (311 to 310), triggering a general election five months before the end of the government's term.

The Labour campaign was hampered by the series of industrial disputes and strikes during the winter of 1978–79, known as the Winter of Discontent, and the party focused its campaign on support for the National Health Service and full employment. After intense media speculation, Callaghan had announced early in the autumn of 1978 that a general election would not take place that year having received private polling data which suggested a parliamentary majority was unlikely.The Conservative campaign employed the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi and pledged to control inflation as well as curbing the power of the trade unions. The Liberal Party was damaged by allegations that its former leader Jeremy Thorpe had been involved in a homosexual affair, and had conspired to murder his former lover. The Liberals were now being led by David Steel, meaning that all three major parties entered the election with a new leader.

The election saw a 5.2% swing from Labour to the Conservatives, the largest swing since the 1945 election, which Clement Attlee won for Labour. Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister, and Callaghan was replaced as Labour leader by Michael Foot in 1980. Results for the election were broadcast live on the BBC, and presented by David Dimbleby and Robin Day, with Robert McKenzie on the "Swingometer", and further analysis provided by David Butler. It was the first general election to feature Rick Wakeman's song "Arthur" on the BBC's coverage.

Future Prime Minister John Major entered Parliament in this election. Jeremy Thorpe, Shirley Williams and Barbara Castle all left Parliament as a result of this election.

1983 United Kingdom general election

The 1983 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday 9 June 1983. It gave the Conservative Party under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher the most decisive election victory since that of the Labour Party in 1945.

Thatcher's first four years as Prime Minister had not been an easy time. Unemployment increased during the first three years of her premiership and the economy went through a recession. However, the British victory in the Falklands War led to a recovery of her personal popularity; the economy had also returned to growth. By the time Thatcher called the election in May 1983, the Conservatives were most people's firm favourites to win the general election. The resulting win earned the Conservatives their biggest parliamentary majority of the post-war era, and their second-biggest majority as a single-party government, behind only the 1924 election (they earned even more seats in the 1931 election, but were part of the National Government)The Labour Party had been led by Michael Foot since the resignation of former Prime Minister James Callaghan in 1980. They had fared well in opinion polls and local elections during this time, but issues developed which would lead directly to their defeat. Labour adopted a platform that was considered more left-wing than usual. Several moderate Labour MPs had defected from the party to form the Social Democratic Party (SDP); they then formed the SDP–Liberal Alliance with the existing Liberal Party.

The opposition vote split almost evenly between the Alliance and Labour. With its worst electoral performance since 1918, the Labour vote fell by over 3 million votes from 1979 and this accounted for both a national swing of almost 4% towards the Conservatives and their larger parliamentary majority of 144 seats, even though the Conservatives' total vote fell by almost 700,000. This was the last general election where a governing party increased its number of seats until 2015.

The Alliance finished in third place but came within 700,000 votes of out-polling Labour. By gaining 25% of the popular vote, the Alliance won the largest such percentage for any third party since the 1923 general election. Despite this, they won only 23 seats, whereas Labour won 209. The Liberals argued that a proportional electoral system would have given them a more representative number of MPs. Changing the electoral system had been a long-running Liberal Party campaign plank and would later be adopted by the Liberal Democrats.

The election night was broadcast live on the BBC, and was presented by David Dimbleby, Sir Robin Day and Peter Snow. It was also broadcast on ITV, and presented by Alastair Burnet, Peter Sissons and Martyn Lewis.

Three future Leaders of the Labour Party (Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Jeremy Corbyn) were first elected as Members of Parliament at this election—two of them would later hold the office of Prime Minister, whilst Corbyn became Labour leader in 2015. Former Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson, Shirley Williams, Bill Rodgers, Joan Lestor and Tony Benn left Parliament as a result of this election, although Benn would return in a by-election the following year, and Lestor at the following general election. In addition, two future Leaders of the Liberal Democrats were first elected as Members of Parliament (Paddy Ashdown and Charles Kennedy), and one future Leader of the Conservative Party (Michael Howard).

1992 United Kingdom general election

The 1992 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday 9 April 1992, to elect 651 members to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. The election resulted in the fourth consecutive victory for the Conservative Party since 1979 and the last time that the Conservatives would win a majority at a general election until 2015. This election result took many by surprise, as opinion polling leading up to the election day had shown the Labour Party, under leader Neil Kinnock, consistently, if narrowly, ahead.

John Major had won the leadership election in November 1990 following the resignation of Margaret Thatcher. During his term leading up to the 1992 election he oversaw the British involvement in the Gulf War, introduced legislation to replace the unpopular Community Charge with Council Tax, and signed the Maastricht Treaty. The economy was facing a recession around the time of Major's appointment, along with most of the other industrialised nations. Because it confounded the opinion polls, the 1992 election was one of the most dramatic elections in the UK since the end of the Second World War.The BBC's live television broadcast of the election results was presented by David Dimbleby and Peter Snow, with the then BBC Political Editor, John Cole. On ITV, the ITN-produced coverage was presented by Jon Snow, Alastair Stewart, and Julia Somerville, with Sir Robin Day performing the same interviewing role for ITV as he had done for the BBC on many previous election nights. Sky News presented full coverage of a general election night for the first time. Their coverage was presented by David Frost, Michael Wilson, Selina Scott, Adam Boulton and political scientist Michael Thrasher, with former BBC political journalist Donald MacCormick presenting analysis of the Scottish vote.

The Conservative Party received what remains the largest number of votes in a general election in British history, breaking the previous record set by Labour in 1951. Former Conservative Leader and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Former Labour Party Leader Michael Foot, John Maples, Francis Maude, Rosie Barnes and Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams left Parliament as a result of this election, though Maples, Maude, and Adams returned at the next election.

1997 United Kingdom general election

The 1997 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday 1 May 1997, five years after the previous general election on 9 April 1992, to elect 659 members to the British House of Commons. Under the leadership of Tony Blair, the Labour Party ended its eighteen-year spell in opposition and won the general election with a landslide victory, winning 418 seats, the most seats the party has ever held to date, and the highest proportion of seats held by any party in the post-war era. For the first time since 1931, the outgoing government lost more than half its parliamentary seats in an election.

The election saw a 10.0% swing from Conservative to Labour on a national turnout of 71%, and would be the last national vote where turnout exceeded 70% until the 2016 EU referendum nineteen years later. As a result Blair became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, a position he held until his resignation on 27 June 2007.

Under Blair's leadership, the Labour Party had adopted a more centrist policy platform under the name 'New Labour'. This was seen as moving away from the traditionally more left-wing stance of the Labour Party. Labour made several campaign pledges such as the creation of a National Minimum Wage, devolution referendums for Scotland and Wales and promised greater economic competence than the Conservatives, who were unpopular following the events of Black Wednesday in 1992; from then until 1997, the party consistently trailed behind Labour in the opinion polls.

The Labour Party campaign was ultimately a success; the party returned an unprecedented 418 MPs, and began the first of three consecutive terms for Labour in government. However, 1997 was the last general election in which Labour had a net gain of seats until the snap 2017 general election 20 years later. A record number of women were elected to parliament, 120, of whom 101 were Labour MPs. This was in part thanks to Labour's policy of using all-women shortlists.

The Conservative Party was led by incumbent Prime Minister John Major and ran their campaign emphasising falling unemployment and a strong economic recovery following the early 1990s recession. However, a series of scandals, party division over the European Union, the events of Black Wednesday and a desire of the electorate for change after 18 years of Conservative rule all contributed to the Conservatives' worst defeat since 1906, with only 165 MPs elected to Westminster, as well as their lowest share of the vote since 1832.

The party was left with no seats whatsoever in Scotland or Wales, and many key Conservative politicians, including Defence Secretary Michael Portillo, Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind, Trade Secretary Ian Lang, Scottish Secretary Michael Forsyth and former ministers Edwina Currie, Norman Lamont, David Mellor and Neil Hamilton lost their parliamentary seats.

However, future Prime Minister Theresa May was elected to the safe Conservative seat of Maidenhead, and current Speaker John Bercow at Buckingham. Following the defeat, the Conservatives began their longest continuous spell in opposition in the history of the present day (post–Tamworth Manifesto) Conservative Party, and indeed the longest such spell for any incarnation of the Tories/Conservatives since the 1760s, lasting 13 years, including the whole of the 2000s. Throughout this period, their representation in the Commons remained consistently below 200 MPs.

The Liberal Democrats, under Paddy Ashdown, returned 46 MPs to parliament, the most for any third party since 1929 and more than double the number of seats it got in 1992, despite a drop in popular vote, in part due to tactical voting by anti-Conservative voters supporting it in lieu of Labour in areas where that party had little strength. The Scottish National Party (SNP) returned six MPs, double its total in 1992.

As with all general elections since the early 1950s, the results were broadcast live on the BBC; the presenters were David Dimbleby, Peter Snow and Jeremy Paxman.

2001 United Kingdom general election

The 2001 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday 7 June 2001, four years after the previous election on 1 May 1997, to elect 659 members to the House of Commons. Under the leadership of Tony Blair, the Labour Party was re-elected to serve a second term in government with another landslide victory, returning 413 of the 418 seats won by the party in the previous general election, a net loss of 5 seats, though with a significantly lower turnout than before—59.4%, compared to 71.3% at the previous election. Blair went on to become the first Labour Prime Minister to serve a consecutive full term in office. It was dubbed "the quiet landslide" by the media.There was little change outside Northern Ireland, with 620 out of the 641 seats electing candidates from the same party as they did in 1997. Factors contributing to the Labour victory were a strong economy and falling unemployment, as well as the fact that the Labour government was seen as having delivered on many key election pledges that it had made in 1997.

The Conservative Party, under William Hague's leadership, was still deeply divided on the issue of Europe and the party's policy platform was considered to have shifted to a right-wing focus. Hague was also hindered by a series of embarrassing publicity stunts, and resigned as party leader three months later, becoming the first Leader of the Conservative or Unionist party in the House of Commons since Austen Chamberlain to not serve as Prime Minister.

The election was essentially a repeat of the 1997 general election, with Labour losing only 6 seats overall and the Conservatives making a net gain of one seat (gaining nine seats, but losing eight). The Conservatives did manage to gain a seat in Scotland, which ended the party's status as an 'England-only' party in the prior parliament, but once again were left unrepresented in Wales. Although they did not gain many seats, two of the few new MPs elected were future Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron and future Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne; who would serve in the same Cabinet as Cameron from 2010-16. The Liberal Democrats gained six seats.

The 2001 general election is the last to date in which any government has held an overall majority of more than 100 seats in the House of Commons, and one of only two since the Second World War (the other being 1997) in which a single party won over 400 MPs. It was also the last election at which Labour secured over 40% of the popular vote until the snap 2017 general election, held exactly sixteen years and one day later.

Change was seen in Northern Ireland, with the moderately unionist Ulster Unionist Party losing four seats to the more hardline Democratic Unionist Party. This transition was mirrored in the nationalist community with the moderate SDLP losing votes to the more staunchly republican and abstentionist Sinn Féin.

The election was also marked by exceptionally low voter turnout, falling below 60% for the first (and so far, only) time since 1918. The election was broadcast live on the BBC, and presented by Jeremy Paxman, Andrew Marr, Peter Snow and David Dimbleby.The 2001 general election was notable for being the first in which pictures of the party logos appeared on the ballot paper. Prior to this, the ballot paper had only displayed the candidate's name, address and party name.

2004 Indian general election

General elections were held in India in four phases between 20 April and 10 May 2004. Over 670 million people were eligible to vote, electing 543 members of the 14th Lok Sabha. The Lok Sabha, or "House of the People," is the directly elected lower house of the Parliament of India.

On 13 May, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its alliance National Democratic Alliance conceded defeat. The Indian National Congress, which had governed India for all but five years from independence until 1996, returned to power after a record eight years out of office. It was able to put together a comfortable majority of more than 335 members out of 543 with the help of its allies. The 335 members included both the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance, the governing coalition formed after the election, as well as external support from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Samajwadi Party (SP), Kerala Congress (KC) and the Left Front. (External support is support from parties that are not part of the governing coalition).

Congress President Sonia Gandhi surprised observers by declining to become the new prime minister, instead asking former Finance Minister Manmohan Singh, a respected economist, to head the new government. Singh had previously served in the Congress government of Prime Minister Narasimha Rao in the early 1990s, where he was seen as one of the architects of India's first economic liberalisation plan, which staved off an impending national monetary crisis. Despite the fact that Singh had never won a Lok Sabha seat, his considerable goodwill and Sonia Gandhi's nomination won him the support of the UPA allies and the Left Front.

Seven states also held assembly elections to elect state governments along with the parliamentary elections

2005 United Kingdom general election

The 2005 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday 5 May 2005, to elect 646 members to the House of Commons. The Labour Party led by Tony Blair won its third consecutive victory, with Blair becoming the only Labour leader beside Harold Wilson to form three majority governments. However, its majority now stood at 66 seats compared to the 160-seat majority it had previously held. As of 2019, it remains the last general election victory for the Labour Party.

The Labour campaign emphasised a strong economy; however, Blair had suffered a decline in popularity, which was exacerbated by the decision to send British troops to invade Iraq in 2003. Despite this, Labour mostly retained its leads over the Conservatives in opinion polls on economic competence and leadership, and Conservative leaders Iain Duncan Smith (2001-3) and Michael Howard (2003-5) struggled to capitalise on Blair's unpopularity, with the party consistently trailing Labour in the polls throughout the 2001-5 Parliament.

The Conservatives campaigned on policies, such as immigration limits, improving poorly-managed hospitals and reducing high crime rates, all under the slogan "Are you thinking what we're thinking?". The Liberal Democrats, led by Charles Kennedy, were opposed to the Iraq War, given that there had been no second UN resolution, and collected votes from disenchanted Labour voters.

Tony Blair was returned as Prime Minister, with Labour having 355 MPs, but with a popular vote of 35.2%; the lowest of any majority government in UK electoral history. In terms of votes, it was only narrowly ahead of the Conservatives, but still had a comfortable lead in terms of seats. The Conservatives returned 198 MPs, with 32 more seats than they had won at the previous general election, and won the popular vote in England, while still ending up with 91 fewer MPs in England than Labour; this indicated the party lost many close races and won more large majorities in its heartlands. The Liberal Democrats saw their popular vote increase by 3.7% and won the most seats of any third party since 1923, with 62 MPs. Anti-war activist and former Labour MP George Galloway was elected as the MP for Bethnal Green and Bow under the Respect – The Unity Coalition banner; Richard Taylor was re-elected for Kidderminster Health Concern in Worcestershire; and independent candidate Peter Law was elected in Blaenau Gwent.

In Northern Ireland, the Ulster Unionist Party, the more moderate of the main unionist parties, which had dominated Northern Irish politics since the 1920s, was reduced from six MPs to one, with party leader David Trimble himself being unseated. The more hardline Democratic Unionist Party became the largest Northern Irish party, with nine MPs elected. Following the election, Conservative leader Michael Howard resigned and was succeeded by future Prime Minister David Cameron. Blair resigned as both Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party in June 2007, and was replaced by then-Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown. The election results were broadcast live on the BBC, and presented by Peter Snow, David Dimbleby, Jeremy Paxman and Andrew Marr.

2009 Indian general election

India held general elections to the 15th Lok Sabha in five phases between 16 April 2009 and 13 May 2009. With an electorate of 714 million (larger than the electorate of the European Union and United States together), it was the largest democratic election in the world till the Indian General Elections 2014 held from 7 April 2014.By constitutional requirement, elections to the Lok Sabha (lower house of the parliament of India) must be held every five years, or whenever Parliament is dissolved by the President of India. The previous election to the 14th Lok Sabha was conducted in May 2004 and its term would have naturally expired on 1 June 2009. Elections are organised by the Election Commission of India (ECI) and are normally held in multiple phases to better handle the large electoral base and its security concerns. The 2009 elections were held in five phases. In February 2009, Rs.11.20 billion ($200.5 million) was budgeted for election expenses by the Indian Parliament.A total of 8070 candidates contested for 543 Lok Sabha seats. The average election turnout over all 5 phases was around 56.97%. The results of the election were announced within three days of phase five, on 16 May 2009, following the first past the post system.

The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) led by the Indian National Congress formed the government after obtaining the majority of seats based on strong results in Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Manmohan Singh became the first prime minister since Jawaharlal Nehru in 1962 to be re-elected after completing a full five-year term. The UPA was able to put together a comfortable majority with support from 322 members out of 543 members of the House. Though this is less than the 335 members who supported the UPA in the last parliament, UPA alone had a plurality of over 260 seats as opposed to 218 seats in the 14th Lok Sabha. External support came from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Samajwadi Party (SP), Janata Dal (Secular) (JD(S)), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and other minor parties.On 22 May 2009, Manmohan Singh was sworn in as the Prime Minister at the Ashoka Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

2010 United Kingdom general election

The 2010 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday, 6 May 2010, with 45,597,461 registered voters entitled to vote to elect members to the House of Commons. The election took place in 650 constituencies across the United Kingdom under the first-past-the-post system. None of the parties achieved the 326 seats needed for an overall majority. The Conservative Party, led by David Cameron, won the largest number of votes and seats, but still fell 20 seats short. This resulted in a hung parliament where no party was able to command a majority in the House of Commons. This was only the second general election since the Second World War to return a hung parliament, the first being the February 1974 election. Unlike in 1974, the potential for a hung parliament had this time been widely considered and predicted, and both the country and politicians were better prepared for the constitutional process that would follow such a result. The coalition government that was subsequently formed was the first coalition in British history to eventuate directly from an election outcome. The hung parliament came about in spite of the Conservatives managing both a higher vote total and higher share of the vote than the previous Labour government had done in 2005, when it secured a comfortable majority.

Coalition talks began immediately between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, and lasted for five days. There was an aborted attempt to put together a Labour/Liberal Democrat coalition (although other smaller parties would have been required to make up the ten seats they lacked for a majority). To facilitate this, Gordon Brown announced on the evening of Monday 10 May that he would resign as Leader of the Labour Party. Realising that a deal with the Conservatives was within reach, the next day on Tuesday 11 May, Brown announced his resignation as Prime Minister, marking the end of 13 years of Labour government. This was accepted by Queen Elizabeth II, who then invited David Cameron to form a government in her name and become Prime Minister. Just after midnight on 12 May, the Liberal Democrats emerged from a meeting of their Parliamentary party and Federal Executive to announce that the coalition deal had been "approved overwhelmingly", sealing a coalition government of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.

None of the three main party leaders had previously led a general election campaign, a situation which had not occurred since the 1979 election. During the campaign, the three main party leaders engaged in a series of televised debates, the first such debates in a UK general election campaign. The Liberal Democrats achieved a breakthrough in opinion polls after the first debate, in which their leader Nick Clegg was widely seen as the strongest performer. Nonetheless, on polling day their share of the vote increased by only 1% over the previous general election, and they suffered a net loss of five seats. This was still the Liberal Democrats' largest popular vote since the party's creation in 1988, and they found themselves in a pivotal role in the formation of the new government. The share of votes for parties other than Labour or the Conservatives was 35%, the largest since the 1918 general election. In terms of votes it was the most "three-cornered" election since 1923, and in terms of seats since 1929. The Green Party of England and Wales won its first ever seat in the House of Commons, and the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland also gained its first elected member. The general election saw a 5.1% national swing from Labour to the Conservatives, the third-largest since 1945. The result in one constituency, Oldham East and Saddleworth, was subsequently declared void on petition because of illegal practices during the campaign, the first such instance since 1910.

2014 Indian general election

The Indian general election, 2014 was held to constitute the 16th Lok Sabha, electing members of parliament for all 543 parliamentary constituencies. Running in nine phases from 7 April to 12 May 2014, it lasted 36 days. According to the Election Commission of India, 814.5 million people were eligible to vote, with an increase of 100 million voters since the last general election in 2009, making it the largest ever election in the world. Around 23.1 million or 2.7% of the total eligible voters were aged 18–19 years. A total of 8,251 candidates contested for the 543 Lok Sabha seats. The average election turnout over all nine phases was around 66.40%, the highest ever in the history of Indian general elections.The results were declared on 16 May 2014, 15 days before the 15th Lok Sabha completed its constitutional mandate on 31 May 2014. The counting exercise was held at 989 counting centres. The National Democratic Alliance won a sweeping victory, taking 336 seats. The BJP won 31.0% votes, which is the lowest share for a party to form a majority government in India since independence, while NDA's combined vote share was 38.5%. BJP and its allies won the right to form the largest majority government since the 1984 general election, and it was the first time since that election that a party has won enough seats to govern without the support of other parties. The United Progressive Alliance, led by the Indian National Congress, won 59 seats, 44 (8.1%) of which were won by the Congress, that won 19.3% of all votes. It was the Congress party's worst defeat in a general election. In order to become the official opposition party in India, a party must gain 10% of the seats (55 seats) in the Lok Sabha; however, the Indian National Congress was unable to attain this number. Due to this fact, India remains without an official opposition party.

2015 United Kingdom general election

The 2015 United Kingdom general election was held on 7 May 2015 to elect 650 members to the House of Commons. It was the first general election at the end of a fixed-term Parliament. Local elections took place in most areas on the same day.

Polls and commentators had predicted the outcome would be too close to call and would result in a second hung parliament similar to the 2010 election. Opinion polls were eventually proven to have underestimated the Conservative vote as the party unexpectedly won an outright majority, which bore resemblance to its victory at the 1992 general election. Having governed in coalition with the Liberal Democrats since 2010, the Conservatives won 330 seats and 36.9% of the vote, this time winning a working majority of twelve seats.

The British Polling Council began an inquiry into the substantial variance between opinion polls and the actual result. Forming the first Conservative majority government since 1992, David Cameron became the first Prime Minister to continue in office immediately after a term of at least four years with a larger popular vote share since 1900, and the only Prime Minister other than Margaret Thatcher to continue in office immediately after a term of at least four years with a greater number of seats. The Labour Party, led by Ed Miliband, saw a small increase in its share of the vote to 30.4%, but incurred a net loss of seats to return 232 MPs. This was its lowest seat tally since the 1987 general election. Senior Labour Shadow Cabinet members, notably Ed Balls, Douglas Alexander, and Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy, were defeated.

The Scottish National Party, enjoying a surge in support since the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, recorded a number of huge swings of over 30% (including a record-breaking swing of 39.3% achieved in Glasgow North East) from Labour, as it won 56 of the 59 Scottish seats to become the third-largest party in the Commons. The Liberal Democrats, led by outgoing Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, had their worst result since their formation in 1988, holding just eight out of their previous 57 seats with Cabinet ministers Vince Cable, Ed Davey and Danny Alexander losing their seats. UKIP came third in terms of votes with 12.6%, but only won one seat, with party leader Nigel Farage failing to win the seat of South Thanet. The Green Party won its highest-ever share of the vote with 3.8%, and retained the Brighton Pavilion seat with an increased majority, though did not win any additional seats. Labour's Miliband (as national leader) and Murphy (as Scottish leader) both resigned, as did Clegg. Farage said that his resignation was rejected by his party, and he remained in post.In Northern Ireland, the Ulster Unionist Party returned to the Commons with two MPs after a five-year absence, while the Alliance Party lost its only seat despite an increase in total vote share.

The Conservative majority meant that Cameron was able to fulfil a manifesto commitment to renegotiate British membership of the European Union. That renegotiation was followed by a referendum in June 2016, which resulted in a majority of 51.9% voting to withdraw from the European Union, and led to the resignation of Cameron as Prime Minister.

2017 United Kingdom general election

The 2017 United Kingdom general election (also known as the 2017 Snap Election) took place on Thursday 8 June 2017, having been called just under two months earlier by Prime Minister Theresa May on 18 April 2017 after it was discussed in cabinet. Each of the 650 constituencies elected one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons. The governing Conservative Party remained the largest single party in the House of Commons but lost its majority, resulting in the formation of a minority government with a confidence-and-supply arrangement with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) of Northern Ireland.The Conservative Party (which had governed as a senior coalition partner from 2010 and as a single-party majority government from 2015) was defending a working majority of 17 seats against the Labour Party, the official opposition led by Jeremy Corbyn. Under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 a general election had not been due until May 2020, but a call by Prime Minister Theresa May for a snap election was ratified by the necessary two-thirds vote in a 522–13 vote in the House of Commons on 19 April 2017. May said that she hoped to secure a larger majority in order to "strengthen [her] hand" in the forthcoming Brexit negotiations.Opinion polls had consistently shown strong leads for the Conservatives over Labour. From a 21-point lead, the Conservatives' lead began to diminish in the final weeks of the campaign. In a surprising result, the Conservative Party made a net loss of 13 seats with 42.4% of the vote (its highest share of the vote since 1983), whereas Labour made a net gain of 30 seats with 40.0% (its highest vote share since 2001 and the first time the party had gained seats since 1997). This was the closest result between the two major parties since February 1974, and their highest combined vote share since 1970. The Scottish National Party (SNP) and the Liberal Democrats, the third- and fourth-largest parties, both lost vote share; media coverage characterised the election as a return to two-party politics. The SNP, which had won 56 of the 59 Scottish seats at the previous general election in 2015, lost 21 seats. The Liberal Democrats made a net gain of four seats. UKIP, the third-largest party in 2015 by number of votes, saw its share of the vote reduced from 12.6% to 1.8% and lost its only seat. Plaid Cymru gained one seat, giving it a total of four seats. The Green Party retained its sole seat, but saw its share of the vote reduced. In Northern Ireland, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) won 10 seats, Sinn Féin won seven, and Independent Unionist Sylvia Hermon retained her seat. The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) and Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) lost all their seats. The Conservatives were narrowly victorious and remained in power as a minority government, having secured a confidence and supply deal with the DUP.Negotiation positions following the UK's invocation of Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union in March 2017 to leave the EU were expected to feature significantly in the campaign, but did not. The campaign was interrupted by two major terrorist attacks in Manchester and London, with national security becoming a prominent issue in the final weeks of campaigning.

2019 Indian general election

The 2019 Indian general election was held in seven phases from 11 April to 19 May 2019 to constitute the 17th Lok Sabha. The counting of votes took place on 23rd May, and on the same day the results were declared. About 900 million Indian citizens were eligible to vote in one of the seven phases depending on the region. The 2019 elections attracted a turnout of over 67 per cent – the highest ever in the history of Indian general elections, as well the highest recorded participation in Indian elections by women.The Bharatiya Janata Party won 303 seats, defying expectations by further increasing its substantial majority and the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance won 353 seats. Congress party won 52 seats, and the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance won 92. Other parties and their alliances won 97 seats in the Indian parliament. In order to become the official opposition party in the Lok Sabha, a party must win at least 10 per cent of the total number of seats, or 55 seats in the current parliament. The largest opposition party, the Indian National Congress, once again failed to attain this number. Thus, India remains without an official opposition party. Prime Minister and BJP’s Parliamentary Chairperson Narendra Modi declared victory, and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi conceded defeat on counting day. Rahul Gandhi also lost Amethi, the seat that he had been representing since 2004 to Smriti Irani of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Although this was an improvement for the Congress, this was still one of the worst performances of the party.

Legislative assembly elections in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim were held simultaneously with the general election.

2019 Philippine general election

The 2019 Philippine general election was conducted on May 13, 2019. A midterm election, those elected therein will take office on June 30, 2019, midway through the term of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The following positions were contested:

12 seats in the Senate of the Philippines

All seats in the House of Representatives of the Philippines

All provincial-level elected positions in the provinces of the Philippines

All city-level elected positions in the cities of the Philippines

All municipal-level elected positions in the municipalities of the PhilippinesUnder the Local Government Code and the 1987 constitution, all terms start on June 30, 2019, and end on June 30, 2022, except for elected senators, whose terms shall end on June 30, 2025. The Commission on Elections administered the election.

Bharatiya Janata Party

The Bharatiya Janata Party (pronounced [bʱaːrətiːjə dʒənətaː paːrʈiː] (listen); translation: Indian People's Party; abbr. BJP) is one of the two major political parties in India, along with the Indian National Congress. As of 2018, it is the country's largest political party in terms of representation in the national parliament and state assemblies, and it is the world's largest party in terms of primary membership. BJP is a right-wing party, and its policy has historically reflected Hindu nationalist positions. It has close ideological and organisational links to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

The BJP's origin lies in the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, formed in 1951 by Syama Prasad Mukherjee. After the State of Emergency in 1977, the Jana Sangh merged with several other parties to form the Janata Party; it defeated the incumbent Congress party in the 1977 general election. After three years in power, the Janata party dissolved in 1980 with the members of the erstwhile Jana Sangh reconvening to form the BJP. Although initially unsuccessful, winning only two seats in the 1984 general election, it grew in strength on the back of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. Following victories in several state elections and better performances in national elections, the BJP became the largest party in the parliament in 1996; however, it lacked a majority in the lower house of Parliament, and its government lasted only 13 days.

After the 1998 general election, the BJP-led coalition known as the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) under Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee formed a government that lasted for a year. Following fresh elections, the NDA government, again headed by Vajpayee, lasted for a full term in office; this was the first non-Congress government to do so. In the 2004 general election, the NDA suffered an unexpected defeat, and for the next ten years the BJP was the principal opposition party. Long time Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi led it to a landslide victory in the 2014 general election. Since that election, Modi has led the NDA government as Prime Minister and as of February 2019, the alliance governs 18 states.

The official ideology of the BJP is "integral humanism", first formulated by Deendayal Upadhyaya in 1965. The party expresses a commitment to Hindutva, and its policy has historically reflected Hindu nationalist positions. The BJP advocates social conservatism and a foreign policy centred on nationalist principles. Its key issues have included the abrogation of the special status to Jammu and Kashmir, the building of a Ram temple in Ayodhya and the implementation of a uniform civil code. However, the 1998–2004 NDA government did not pursue any of these controversial issues. It instead focused on a largely liberal economic policy prioritising globalisation and economic growth over social welfare.

Elections in India

India is a federation with a parliamentary system governed under the Constitution of India, which defines the power distribution between the union, or central, government and the states.

The President of India is the ceremonial head of state, who is elected indirectly for a five-year term by an electoral college comprising members of national and state legislatures.The Prime Minister of India is the head of government and exercises most executive power. Appointed by the president, the prime minister is by convention supported by the party or political alliance having a majority of seats in the Lok Sabha or lower house of parliament.

Next United Kingdom general election

The next general election in the United Kingdom is scheduled to be held on 5 May 2022 under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011. The election may be held at an earlier date in the event of an early election motion being passed by a super-majority of two-thirds in the House of Commons, or a vote of no confidence in the government which is not followed by a vote of confidence within 14 days.

United Kingdom Parliament constituencies

The United Kingdom Parliament currently has 650 Parliamentary constituencies across the constituent countries (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), each electing a single Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons by the plurality (first past the post) system of election, ordinarily every five years. Voting last took place in all 650 of those constituencies at the United Kingdom general election on 8 June 2017, and these results have been counted and verified.

The number of seats rose from 646 at the 2005 general election after proposals made by the boundary commissions for England, Wales and Northern Ireland were adopted through statutory instruments. Constituencies in Scotland remained unchanged, as the Boundary Commission for Scotland had completed a review just before the 2005 general election.

Primary legislation provides for the independence of the boundary commissions for each of the four parts of the UK; the number of seats for each of the countries; permissible factors to use in departing from any old boundaries; and a strong duty to consult. For the 2013 review this was primarily the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011. The Sainte-Laguë formula method is used to form groups of seats split between the four parts of the United Kingdom and the English Regions (as defined by EU Parliament Elections).The electorate figures given in the second column of the tables below are those used by the commissions during their reviews. These electorate figures date from the start of the review in each country: England, February 2000; Scotland, June 2001; Wales, December 2002; and Northern Ireland, May 2003. Of the 650 seats listed below, 533 are in England, 59 in Scotland, 40 in Wales and 18 in Northern Ireland.

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