The English general election of 1977 was held on May 5th 1977. The National Party led by Eric Harding defeated the incumbent Social Democrat government of James Cox in a landslide election victory, winning 387 of the 601 seats of the English Parliament. It was the best result for the National Party since 1942, and the worst result for the SDP since 1960.
The National Party formed a government for the first time in eight years.
The previous general election had resulted in the Social Democrat's being returned to government, but with a wafer thin parliamentary majority of 4 seats. The government suffered by-election defeats which robbed it of its parliamentary majority, Arthur Brown resigned as Prime Minister, and James Cox as his successor formed a confidence and supply agreement with the Liberal Party in order to form a minority government.
The Cox government was dogged by industrial unrest and faced rampant inflation, and due to the precarious parliamentary situation was forced to negotiate on every single parliamentary vote. Finally in March 1977 negotiations over the budget broke down, and in a setting of high drama the government was defeated in a no-confidence vote by 302 votes to 299.