1945 Flag of the United Kingdom 1950
United Kingdom general election, 1949
All 625 seats in the House of Commons
313 seats needed for a majority
23 June 1949
Turnout 82.6%
First party Second party Third party
Clement Richard Attlee Eden LNP
Leader Clement Attlee Anthony Eden Theodore Gunther Williamson, Lord Scarsdale, Warwick Pike
Party Labour Conservative Liberal Coalition
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
Seats won 305 301 17
Seat change 21 1 8
Popular vote 12,055,100 11,767,389 4,027,957
Percentage 41.9% 40.9% 14.0%
Swing 1.9% 3.4% N/A
Fourth party
Leader Harry Pollit
Party Communist

Leader's seat Rhondda East
Last election 3 seats, 4.2%
Seats before 3
Seats won 2
Seat change 1
Popular vote 863,136
Percentage 3.0%
Swing 1.2%

Prime Minister before election
Clement Attlee
Elected Prime Minister
Anthony Eden

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.