A landslide victory is an electoral victory in a political system, when one candidate or party receives an overwhelming majority of the votes or seats in the elected body, thus all but utterly eliminating the opponents. The winning party has reached more voters than usual, and a landslide victory is often seen in hindsight as a turning point in people's views on political matters.
Part of the reason for a landslide victory is sometimes a bandwagon effect, as a significant number of people may decide to vote for the party which is in the lead in the pre-election opinion polls, regardless of its politics.
The term is borrowed from geology, where a landslide takes almost everything with it on its way.
As in other Commonwealth countries with single-member constituencies, a landslide in the Australian House of Representatives occurs when one party has a large majority of the seats.
1917: The Nationalists won 53 seats while the Labor Party won just 22.
1929: The Labor Party won 47 seats while the Nationalists won just 14.
1931: The United Australian Party won 40 seats while the Country Party won just 16.
1943: The Labor Party won 49 seats while the UAP and the Country Party tied with just 12.
1946: The Labor Party won 43 seats while the Coalition won just 29.
1949: The Coalition won 74 seats while the Labor Party won just 48.
1955: The Coalition won 75 seats while the Labor Party won just 49.
1958: The Coalition won 77 seats while the Labor Party won just 47.
1966: The Coalition won 82 seats while the Labor Party won just 41.
1975: The Coalition won 91 seats while the Labor Party won just 36.
1977: The Coalition won 86 seats while the Labor Party won just 38.
1983: The Labor Party won 75 seats while the Coalition won just 50.
1996: The Coalition won 94 seats while the Labor Party won just 49.
2007: The Labor Party won 83 seats while the Coalition won just 65.
2013: The Coalition won 90 seats while the Labor Party won just 55.
1968 legislative election: the Gaullist party wins 3/4 of all seats.
1981 legislative elections: the PS wins 266 out of 481
1993: the liberal-conservative coalition RPR-UDF wins 84% of the seats in parliament.
2002 – Jacques Chirac wins the presidential election with 82.1% of the popular vote. His party also has won 357 seats out of 577.
Because of Germany's multi-partymixed-member proportional representation system, it is extremely difficult for any one party to gain a majority in the Bundestag. Thus, a landslide election occurs when a party gains close to a majority and has a large margin over its main opponent in the popular vote and are very rare.
1953: The CDU/CSU received 45.2% of the popular vote and 249 seats (six shy of a majority) while the SPD received just 28.8% of the popular vote and 162 seats.
1957: The CDU/CSU received 50.2% of the popular vote and 277 seats (a majority of 17) while the SPD received just 31.8% of the popular vote and 181 seats.
2013: The CDU/CSU received 41.5% of the popular vote and 311 seats (five shy of a majority) while the SPD received just 25.7% of the popular vote and 193 seats.
Before 1993, New Zealand used the traditional first-past-the-post system as in the U.K. to determine representation in its Parliament. Thus, landslide elections at that time were defined in an identical fashion, i.e. where one party got an overwhelming majority of the seats. Since 1993, New Zealand has used the mixed member proportional system as in Germany, making landslides much less likely.
In UK General Elections, a landslide victory involves a large swing from one party to another as well one party winning a large majority in parliament. Landslide victories have usually occurred after a long period of government from one particular party and a change in the popular mood.
Notable landslide election results:
1906 General Election – Henry Campbell-Bannerman led his Liberal Party to a huge victory over Arthur Balfour's Conservative Party who lost more than half their seats, including his own seat in Manchester East, as a result of the large national swing to the Liberal Party (The 5.4% swing from the Conservatives to Liberals was at the time the highest ever achieved). The Liberal Party won 397 seats (an increase of 214) while the Conservative Party were left with 156 seats (a decrease of 246).
1945 General Election – Clement Attlee led his Labour Party to a huge victory over Winston Churchill's Conservative Party, a 12.0% swing from the Conservatives to Labour. Labour won 393 seats (an increase of 239) while the Conservative Party were left with 197 (a decrease of 190).
1983 General Election – Margaret Thatcher won her second term in office with a landslide victory for the Conservatives gaining an overall majority of 144 by winning 397 seats (a increase of 38 seats) on 42.4% of the national vote and forcing her main opponent Michael Foot to resign after Labour won just 209 seats.
1997 General Election – Tony Blair's Labour Party won 418 seats (an increase of 145) and gained an overall majority of 179 while the Conservative Party won just 165 seats (a decrease of 178). The swing from the Conservatives to Labour was 10.2% and was the biggest general election victory of the 20th Century.
1912 – Woodrow Wilson (D) received 435 (81.9%) of the electoral votes while Theodore Roosevelt (Progressive) received 88 (16.6%) and William Howard Taft (R) received only 8 (1.5%)—the worst showing ever by an incumbent president. Wilson won just 41.8% of the popular vote in the three-way race, compared to 27.4% for Roosevelt and 23.2% for Taft.
1936 – Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) received 523 (98.5%) of the electoral votes—the largest share since 1820—while Alf Landon (R) received only 8 (1.5%). Additionally, Roosevelt received 60.8% of the popular vote.
1964 – Lyndon B. Johnson (D) received 486 (90.3%) of the electoral votes while Barry Goldwater (R) received only 52 (9.7%). Additionally, Johnson received 61.1% of the popular vote, which still stands as the largest share since the national popular vote was first recorded in 1824.
The 1710 British general election produced a landslide victory for the Tories in the wake of the prosecution of Henry Sacheverell and the collapse of the previous Whig government led by Godolphin and the Whig Junto. In November 1709 the clergyman Henry Sacheverell had delivered a sermon fiercely criticising the government's policy of toleration for Protestant dissenters and attacking the personal conduct of the ministers. The government had Sacherevell impeached, and he was narrowly found guilty but received only a light sentence, making the government appear weak and vindictive; the trial enraged a large section of the population, and riots in London led to attacks on dissenting places of worship and cries of "Church in Danger".
The government's unpopularity was further increased by its enthusiasm for the war with France, as peace talks with the French king Louis XIV had broken down over the government's insistence that the Bourbons hand over the Spanish throne to the Habsburgs. The Tories' policy of pursuing peace appealed to a country worn out by constant war. Queen Anne, disliking the Junto and sensing that the government could not survive long, gradually replaced it with a Tory ministry throughout the summer of 1710. The overwhelming Tory victory surprised few, and following the election most remaining Whigs resigned from office. The new government was led by the moderate Tory Robert Harley who was unpopular among the more partisan Tories, and his ministry faced increasing pressure from the extremists whose position in Parliament had been enormously strengthened by the result. Contests occurred in 131 constituencies in England and Wales, around half the total; the election was bitterly contested in almost all the counties and "open" boroughs, even when a poll was not held.
The 1914 general elections were held on 26 April and 10 May 1914, three months before the outbreak of World War I. The Radical Party, a classical Liberal party, won a landslide victory, though the entirety of the chambers, from Catholics to socialists, united during the war to form the Union sacrée.
The 1920 United States elections was held on November 2. In the aftermath of World War I, the Republican Party re-established the dominant position it lost in the 1910 and 1912 elections. This was the first election after the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the constitutional right to vote.
In the presidential election, Republican Senator Warren G. Harding from Ohio defeated Democratic Governor James M. Cox of Ohio. Harding won a landslide victory, taking every state outside the South and dominating the popular vote. Harding won the Republican nomination on the tenth ballot, defeating former Army Chief of Staff Leonard Wood, Illinois Governor Frank Lowden, California Senator Hiram Johnson, and several other candidates. Cox won the Democratic nomination on the 44th ballot over former Treasury Secretary William Gibbs McAdoo, Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, New York Governor Al Smith, and several other candidates. Future president Calvin Coolidge won the Republican nomination for vice president, while fellow future president Franklin D. Roosevelt won the Democratic nomination for vice president. Harding was the first sitting Senator to be elected president.
The Republicans made large gains in the House and the Senate, strengthening their majority in both chambers. They picked up sixty-two seats in the House of Representatives, furthering their majority over the Democrats. The Republicans also strengthened their majority in the Senate, gaining ten seats.
The 1928 United States elections was held on November 6. In the last election before the start of the Great Depression, the Republican Party retained control of the presidency and bolstered their majority in both chambers of Congress.
Republican former Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover defeated Democratic nominee New York Governor Al Smith. Hoover won a landslide victory, taking several Southern states and winning almost every state outside the South. Democrats suffered from voter prejudice against Roman Catholics like Smith. As incumbent President Calvin Coolidge declined to seek re-election, Hoover won the Republican nomination on the first ballot. Like Hoover, Smith also won his party's nomination on the first ballot.
The Republicans gained thirty-two seats in the House of Representatives, furthering a majority over the Democrats. The Republicans also increased a majority in the Senate, gaining eight seats.
General elections were held in Turkey on 14 May 1950, using the multiple non-transferable vote electoral system. The result was a landslide victory for the opposition Democratic Party, which won 408 of the 487 seats.
The Indian general election of 1962 elected the 3rd Lok Sabha of India and was held from 19 to 25 February. Unlike the previous two elections but as with all subsequent elections, each constituency elected a single member.Jawaharlal Nehru won another landslide victory in his third and final election campaign. The Indian National Congress took 44.7% of the vote and won 361 of the 494 seats. This was only slightly lower than in the previous two elections and they still held over 70% of the seats in the Lok Sabha.
India held general elections to the 5th Lok Sabha in March 1971. This was the fifth election since independence in 1947. The 27 Indian states and union territories were represented by 518 constituencies, each with a single seat. Under the leadership of Indira Gandhi, the Indian National Congress (R) led a campaign which focused on reducing poverty and won a landslide victory, overcoming a split in the party and regaining many of the seats lost in the previous election.
The 1972 United States elections was held on November 7, and elected the members of the 93rd United States Congress. The election took place during the later stages of the Vietnam War. The Republican Party won a landslide victory in the presidential election and picked up seats in the House, but the Democratic Party easily retained control of Congress. This was the first election after the ratification of the 26th Amendment granted the right to vote to those aged 18-20.Incumbent Republican President Richard Nixon won re-election, defeating Democratic Senator George McGovern from South Dakota. Nixon won a landslide victory, taking just under 61% of the popular vote and winning every state but Massachusetts and Washington, D.C.. Libertarian John Hospers won the electoral vote of one faithless elector, making him the most recent member of a third party to win an electoral vote. McGovern won the Democratic nomination after defeating Washington Senator Henry M. Jackson, Alabama Governor George Wallace, and New York Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm. This was the first presidential election after the McGovern–Fraser Commission (which McGovern himself had chaired) caused an increase in the number of states holding primary elections.In the House, the Republican Party picked up twelve seats, but Democrats easily retained a majority. In the Senate, the Democratic Party picked up two seats, increasing their majority. The House elections took place after the 1970 United States Census and the subsequent Congressional re-apportionment.
In the gubernatorial elections, Democrats won a net gain of one seat.
A presidential election in the Philippines was held on June 16, 1981. President Ferdinand E. Marcos of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) defeated retired general and World War II veteran Alejo Santos of the Nacionalista Party in a landslide victory. Most opposition parties boycotted the elections as a sign of protest over the 1978 elections for the Interim Batasang Pambansa (National Assembly), which they condemned as fraudulent.
Marcos' 80% margin of victory is allegedly regarded as the most lopsided Philippine presidential election ever, beating out Manuel L. Quezon's landslide victory in 1941. Marcos would have served another six-year term, which was cut short by the 1986 snap election that eventually resulted in his ouster in the People Power Revolution.
In a referendum held together with the election, the majority voted YES to hold the barangay elections pursuant to Proclamation № 2088.
The 1984 United States elections was held on November 6, and elected the members of the 99th United States Congress. Republicans won a landslide victory in the presidential election, picked up seats in the House of Representatives, and successfully defended their Senate majority.Republican incumbent President Ronald Reagan won re-election, defeating Democratic former Vice President Walter Mondale. Reagan carried every state except for Washington, D.C. and Mondale's home state of Minnesota, won 58.8 percent of the popular vote, and defeated Mondale by a popular vote margin of eighteen points. Reagan remains the only presidential candidate since Richard Nixon in 1972 to win at least 55 percent of the popular vote.
Mondale defeated Colorado Senator Gary Hart and Reverend Jesse Jackson of Illinois to take the Democratic nomination. Mondale selected New York Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate, making Ferraro the first woman to appear on a major party presidential ticket.
Democrats picked up two Senate seats, bringing their total to 47 out of 100 seats. Democrats won the nationwide popular vote for the House of Representatives by a margin of 5.1 percentage points and retained their majority, though Republicans picked up a total of sixteen seats. In the gubernatorial elections, the Republicans won a net of one seat.
Presidential elections, legislative and local elections were held in the Philippines on May 11, 1998. In the presidential election, Vice President Joseph Estrada won a six-year term as President by a landslide victory. In the vice-presidential race, Senator Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo won a six-year term as Vice President also by a landslide victory. This was the third election where both president and vice president came from different parties.
A presidential election was held in the Philippines on May 11, 1998. In the presidential election, Vice President Joseph Estrada won a six-year term as President by a landslide victory. In the vice-presidential race, Senator Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo won a six-year term as Vice President, also by a landslide victory. This was the third election where both the president and vice president came from different parties.
General elections were held in Bangladesh on 30 December 2018 to elect members of the Jatiya Sangsad. The result was a landslide victory for the Awami League led by Sheikh Hasina. The elections were marred by violence and claims of vote rigging. Opposition leader Kamal Hossain rejected the results, calling it "farcical" and demanding fresh elections to be held under a neutral government. The Bangladesh Election Commission said it would investigate reported vote-rigging allegations from "across the country." The election saw the use of electronic voting machines for the first time.
The electoral district of Bayswater is one of the electoral districts of Victoria, Australia, for the Victorian Legislative Assembly. It covers an area of 40 square kilometres (15 sq mi) in outer eastern Melbourne, and includes the suburbs of Bayswater, Heathmont, Kilsyth South and The Basin, and parts of Bayswater North, Boronia, Ringwood and Wantirna. It lies within the Eastern Metropolitan Region of the upper house, the Legislative Council.Bayswater was created as a notionally marginal Labor seat in a redistribution for the 1992 state election. It replaced the abolished electorate of Ringwood, which had been held by Labor MP and Kirner government Minister for Community Services Kay Setches since 1982. The area had been traditionally Liberal prior to Setches' election; she had been the first Labor member to hold Ringwood. Setches contested Bayswater at the election, but was resoundingly defeated by Liberal candidate and personnel consultant Gordon Ashley in the Liberal landslide victory that year, one of several ministers to lose their seats.Ashley was easily re-elected at the 1996 election and 1999 election, but was unexpectedly defeated by Labor candidate Peter Lockwood in the Labor landslide victory at the 2002 election. Lockwood only lasted one term before being defeated by Liberal Heidi Victoria in 2006. Victoria served as Minister for the Arts, Minister for Women's Affairs and Minister for Consumer Affairs in the Napthine Ministry from 2013 to 2014.
The seat was won back by Labor somewhat unexpectedly in the 2018 Victorian state election, with Jackson Taylor serving as the current Labor MP for the district.
Telephone Free Landslide Victory is a 1985 album by musical group Camper Van Beethoven, released on Independent Project Records. It featured the band's best known song, "Take the Skinheads Bowling". The album has sold well over 60,000 copies.
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