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|‹ 1945 1950 ›|
|United Kingdom general election, 1949|
| All 625 seats in the House of Commons|
313 seats needed for a majority
|23 June 1949|
|First party||Second party||Third party|
|Leader||Clement Attlee||Anthony Eden||Theodore Gunther Williamson, Lord Scarsdale, Warwick Pike|
|Leader's seat||Limehouse||Warwick and Leamington|
|Last election||326 seats, 40.0%||300 seats, 37.5%||N/A|
|Seats before||326||300||5 as Liberals, 3 as National Liberals, 1 as Populist|
|Seat change||▼ 21||▲ 1||▲ 8|
|Swing||▲ 1.9%||▲ 3.4%||N/A|
|Leader's seat||Rhondda East|
|Last election||3 seats, 4.2%|
|Seat change||▼ 1|
|Swing|| ▼ 1.2%
Prime Minister before election
Elected Prime Minister
United Kingdom General Election, 1949
The United Kingdom General Election of 1949 was held 23 June 1949. It resulted in a hung parliament that led to a Conservative minority government with confidence and supply from the Liberal Coalition.
The election is also notable for the defeat of future Labour Party Leader and Foreign Secretary Roland Carpenter.
Labour's first majority government in years passed a number of legislation including the nationalization of key industries, the independence of India and Burma, and the creation of the National Health Service (NHS). However, in May 1949, the absence of several Labour MPs during the vote on the government's budget caused it to fail 309-308. The government had fallen. Attlee immediately asked His Majesty to call new elections, to which he obliged. Attlee was confident that he could increase his majority.
Meanwhile, the Liberal, National Liberal, and Populist parties joined together to form the Liberal-National-Populist Coalition (LNP) which is sometimes referred to as the Liberal Coalition or the United Liberals.
The result was not the majority Attlee expected, but instead a hung parliament that left the Liberal Coalition as king maker. The LNP initially looked to the Labour Party, and Attlee sacked Party Chairman Johnny Staines to facilitate an agreement. However, when Lord Scarsdale presented the cabinet with his Five Points, which included electoral reform, "progressive decolonization," several cabinet positions, a freeze on military spending cuts, and the end of wartime conscription, negotiations were ended by Attlee.
The LNP then turned to the Conservative Party, After much debate, it was realized that the three of Scarsdale's five points would be accepted entirely. While cabinet positions were rejected and the LNP would be allowed to propose electoral reform in the Commons but the Conservatives were free to vote it down. While Attlee was preparing for a possible minority government, Scarsdale and the LNP accepted the deal, and Attlee resigned once this became apparent. On June 1st, the Queen's Speech passed parliament and Anthony Eden became Prime Minister.