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|‹ 1935 1949 ›|
|United Kingdom general election, 1945|
| All 640 seats in the House of Commons|
321 seats needed for a majority
|5 July 1945|
|First party||Second party||Third party|
|Leader||Clement Attlee||Anthony Eden||Archibald Sinclair|
|Leader's seat||Limehouse||Warwick and Leamington||Caithness and Suntherland (defeated)|
|Last election||154 seats, 38.0%||386 seats, 47.8%||21 seats, 6.7%|
|Seat change||▲ 172||▼ 86||▼ 16|
|Swing||▲ 2.0%||▼ 10.3%||▲ 0.8%|
|Fourth party||Fifth party|
|Leader||Ernest Brown||Harry Pollit|
|Last election||33 seats, 3.7%||1 seat, 0.1%|
|Seat change||▼ 22||▲ 2|
|Swing||▲ 1.3%||▲ 4.1%|
Prime Minister before election
Elected Prime Minister
United Kingdom General Election, 1945
The United Kingdom General Election of 1945 was held 5 July 1945. The results were announced on 26 July due to the transport of overseas voters. Clement Attlee's Labour Party achieved its first majority, albeit a very slim one over Anthony Eden's Conservative Party.
The election was held two months after VE day and was the first general election since 1935 as general elections had been suspended during the Second World War.
Conservative Prime Minister Winston Churchill had resigned in 1945 to accept the Duchy of London at the urging of his party who also pledged certain arrangements for Churchill's son in the House of Commons and that he would have considerable influence of government policy. On 23 May 1945, Churchill's Foreign Secretary and protege Anthony Eden became Prime Minister just a few weeks before the election, ending the coalition government that had existed during the war.
Eden's Conservative Party was routed, losing over a fifth of its vote, and the Labour Party gained 172 seats to obtain a slim majority.
Although the Tories had been decimated in the popular vote, they managed to receive enough seats to be an effective opposition against the government's tiny majority. Eden therefore was determined to stay on as leader of the party. Both the National Liberal and Liberal Parties lost the vast majority of their seats despite making small gains in the popular vote largely because of the Labour Party's massive gains. To Labour's left, however, the Communist and newly-founded Populist parties enjoyed their largest support in history with Harry Pollit's CPGB gathering over a million votes.
On election night, once it had been realized that the Labour Party would have its first majority, Labour Party Chairman Harold Laski motioned for a leadership election at the urging of former Home Secretary Herbert Morrison. Attlee soundly defeated Morrison and consigned to the relatively powerless role of Deputy Prime Minister.