The Scottish general election of 1957 was held on May 5th, 1957.
The general election of 1957 is considered a major turning point in Scottish political history, as it was the first time in 22 years Scotland had a non-socialist government.
Labour entered 1957 with its spirits held high, despite being in office for 22 years.
Labour's period in office 1953-57 had been a fairly conservative one, with most of the welfare state being constructed under Henry Nicholson and during Robert MacDonald's first term. By 1953 the party had simply run out of major reforms or any sense of major ideological direction, its main aim in office became to preserve the social changes made in government rather than embarking on further reform.
As a contrast to four years before the Reform Party, in general, was in a much more sober mood. The party had performed poorly in by-elections during the parliament, and party leader John Campbell told friends privately that he would retire as leader following the seemingly inevitable defeat.
|Labour Party||Robert MacDonald||91||-10|
|Reform Party||John Campbell||41||+4|
Formation of new government
The election left Labour as by far the largest party, but 9 seats short of a majority. At first, it appeared as though the Labour Party would be able to form another government, having the support of the Liberal Party and the Communist Party, this meant if Labour could convince just one independent MP to support them then Robert MacDonald would be re-elected as Prime Minister.
It appeared unlikely that the opposition parties would be able to band together to form any kind of coherant government, let alone be able to appeal to all of the independents.