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1886 United Kingdom general election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1886 United Kingdom general election

← 1885 1–27 July 1886 (1886-07-01 – 1886-07-27) 1892 →

All 670 seats in the House of Commons
336 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
Robert-Gascoyne-Cecil-3rd-Marquess-of-Salisbury (cropped).jpg
William Ewart Gladstone, 1892 (cropped).jpg
Charles Stewart Parnell - Brady-Handy.jpg
Leader Marquess of Salisbury William Ewart Gladstone Charles Stewart Parnell
Party Conservative and Liberal Unionist Liberal Irish Parliamentary
Leader since April 1881 April 1880 17 October 1882
Leader's seat House of Lords Midlothian Cork City
Last election 247 seats, 43.4% 319 seats, 47.4% 86 seats, 6.9%
Seats won 393 192 85
Seat change Increase146 Decrease127 Decrease1
Popular vote 1,417,627 1,244,683 94,050
Percentage 51.4% 45.1% 3.4%
Swing Increase8.7% Decrease2.2% Decrease3.5%

United Kingdom general election 1886.svg
Colours denote the winning party

Prime Minister before election

William Ewart Gladstone

Prime Minister after election

Marquess of Salisbury

The 1886 United Kingdom general election took place from 1 to 27 July 1886, following the defeat of the Government of Ireland Bill 1886. It resulted in a major reversal of the results of the 1885 election as the Conservatives, led by Lord Salisbury, were joined in an electoral pact with the breakaway Unionist wing of the Liberals led by Lord Hartington (later the Duke of Devonshire) and Joseph Chamberlain. The new Liberal Unionist party gave the Conservatives their parliamentary majority but did not join them in a formal coalition.

William Ewart Gladstone's Liberals, who supported the Irish Home Rule movement, and their sometimes allies the Irish Parliamentary Party, led by Charles Stewart Parnell, were placed a distant second. This ended the period of Liberal dominance—they had held power for 18 of the 27 years since 1859 and won five of the six elections held during that time, but would only be in power for three of the next nineteen years. This was also the first election since the 1841 election that the Conservatives won a plurality or majority of the popular vote.


393 192 85
Conservative & Lib. Unionist Liberal IPP
UK General Election 1886
Candidates Votes
Party Leader Stood Elected Gained Unseated Net % of total % No. Net %
  Conservative and Liberal Unionist Lord Salisbury 563 393 161 14 +146 58.66 51.40 1,417,627 +8.7
  Liberal William Ewart Gladstone 449 192 24 152 −127 28.66 45.13 1,244,683 −2.2
  Irish Parliamentary Charles Stewart Parnell 100 85 1 2 −1 12.69 3.41 94,050 −3.4
  Independent Liberal N/A 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.05 1,247
  Ind. Liberal Unionist N/A 2 0 0 0 0 0 0.02 544

Vote summary

Popular vote
Conservative and Liberal Unionist
Irish Parliamentary
Independent Liberal
Independent Liberal Unionist

Seats summary

Parliamentary seats
Conservative and Liberal Unionist
Irish Parliamentary

See also


  • Craig, F. W. S. (1989), British Electoral Facts: 1832–1987, Dartmouth: Gower, ISBN 0900178302
  • Rallings, Colin; Thrasher, Michael, eds. (2000), British Electoral Facts 1832–1999, Ashgate Publishing Ltd

Further reading

  • Blaxill, Luke. From: The War of Words: The Language of British Elections, 1880–1922 (2020) pp. 81–123.
  • Roberts, Matthew. "Election Cartoons and Political Communication In Victorian England.' Cultural & Social History (2013) 10#3 pp 369–395, covers 1860 to 1890.
  • Walker, Brian (2005), "The 1885 and 1886 General Elections in Ireland", History Ireland, 13 (6): 36–40, JSTOR 27725365

External links

This page was last edited on 25 June 2022, at 18:54
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