General Election 2015: the results in context

The Conservative Party won the May 2015 General Election with 330 seats and a majority of 12 in the House of Commons – lower than any Government since October 1974, when Labour had a majority of 4.

The Conservative’s 330 seats and 36.9% of the vote in the 2015 General Election, compares with Labour’s 232 seats and 30.4% of the vote. In England the Conservatives won 319 seats, an increase of 21 on 2010. The government elected in May 2015 holds the lowest share of the vote in both Wales (27%) and Scotland (15%) of any government since 1945. It also holds the lowest number of Scottish seats of any government.

Across Great Britain Labour’s 232 seats was 26 fewer in 2015 than in 2010. Labour lost 40 seats in Scotland, 1 in Wales and made a net gain of 15 in England.

The Scottish National Party won 56 (95%) of Scotland’s 59 seats and 50% of the vote, their highest ever share of Scottish seats and votes.

The Liberal Democrats won 8 seats, 49 fewer than in 2010. Their 2015 vote share of 7.9% compares with 23.0% in 2010.  UKIP won one seat and 12.6% of the vote and the Green Party won one seat and 3.8% of the vote.

In Northern Ireland, the DUP won 8 seats, Sinn Fein 4, the SDLP 3, the UUP 2 and the independent MP, Sylvia Hermon, 1 seat.
All data used in this blog piece is available to download here: Data file. 2015 vote share data is based on provisional BBC figures.

England 2015: Con 318 seats, 41% vote; Lab 206 seats, 32% vote; Lib 6 seats, 8% vote; UKIP 1 seat, 11% vote; Green 1 seat, 4.2% vote

B EnglandThe Conservatives won 318 seats in England (excluding The Speaker) compared to Labour’s 206. The Liberal Democrats won 6 seats, the party’s lowest number of English MPs since 1970.

“Other” parties won 19.2% of the vote in England, compared to 8.2% in 2010. This was the highest share of the vote for “others” (ie. not Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrats) in England at any election since 1945.

Scotland 2015: SNP 56 seats, 50% vote; Lab 1 seat, 24% vote; Con 1 seat, 15% vote; Lib 1 seat, 8% vote

B Scotland

The Scottish National Party won 56 (95%) of Scotland’s 59 seats in May 2015, the highest percentage of Scottish seats won by any party in any general election.

Labour lost 40 Scottish seats, holding just Edinburgh South. This is the most Scottish seats ever lost by a party at a general election. Labour won 24% of the vote in 2015, compared to 42% in 2010, 46% in 1997 and 49.9% – a record for the party – in 1966.

The Conservative Party retained Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale, a seat held continuously since 2001, and received 15% of the vote across Scotland; the Liberal Democrats, by comparison, retained 1 seat (Orkney and Shetland) and 8% of the vote.

Wales 2015: Lab 25 seats, 37% vote; Con 11 seats, 27% votes; Plaid Cymru 3 seats, 12% vote; Lib 1 seats, 7% vote

B Wales

Labour continues as the largest party in Wales with 25 seats, down one from 2010. There was little change in the party’s vote share, 36.9% in 2015 compared to 36.2% in 2010. This remains below Labour’s record share of 59% in 1945, still the highest share of the vote won by any party in Wales at a general election.

The Conservative Party won 27% of the vote in 2015, a slight increase on 2010. However, this share remains lower than in all elections 1950-1970 and 1979-1992. The Conservatives won 11 seats in 2015, up by three from 2010 and up by 11 from 2001.

Plaid Cymru maintained their three seats of Dwyfor Meirionnydd, Arfon, and Carmarthen East and Dinefwr. Plaid has held these seats continuously since 1992. In 2015 Plaid won 12.1% of the vote, their third highest share after that in 2005 (12.6%) and 2001 (14.3%).

Northern Ireland 2015: DUP 8 seats; Sinn Fein 4 seats; SDLP 3 seats; UUP 2 seats; Indp. 1 seat

B Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party won 8 seats. Sinn Fein lost one seat, Fermanagh and South Tyrone, to the Ulster Unionists but otherwise held West Tyrone, Newry and Armagh, Mid Ulster and Belfast West. The UUP won South Antrim as well as Fermanagh and South Tyrone, an increase of two on 2010 but below the party’s 10 seats held in 1997. The SDLP maintained the three seats held by the party since 1997: South Down, Foyle and Belfast South. Independent MP Sylvia Hermon held her seat.

Richard Keen