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|‹ 2001 2010 ›|
|United Kingdom general election, 2005|
| All 659 seats in the House of Commons|
330 seats needed for a majority
|5 May 2005|
|First party||Second party||Third party|
|Leader||Tony Blair||Michael Howard||Charles Kennedy|
|Leader's seat||Sedgefield||Folkestone and Hythe||Ross, Skye and Inverness West|
|Last election||413 seats, 42%||166 seats, 32.7%||52 seats, 18.8%|
|Seat change||▼ 63||▲ 57||▬ 0|
|Swing||▼ 7%||▲ 1.8%||▲ 3.7%|
|Fourth party||Fifth party|
|Leader||Roger Knapman||Angus Robertson|
|Party||UKIP||Scottish National Party|
|Leader's seat||Candidate for Totnes (Lost)||Moray|
|Last election||0 seats, 1.5%||5 seats, 1.8%|
|Seat change||▬ 0||▼ 1|
|Swing||▲ 2.1%||▼ 0.2%|
|Colours show the winning party in each constituency.|
The United Kingdom general election of 2005 was held on Thursday, 5 May 2005 to elect 659 members to the British House of Commons. The Labour Party under Tony Blair won its third consecutive victory, but its majority now stood at 55 seats compared to the 160-seat majority it had previously held. It remains the last Labour victory in the UK.
The Labour campaign emphasised a strong economy, however Blair had suffered a decline in popularity even before the decision to send British troops to invade Iraq in 2003. The Conservative Party, led by Michael Howard since late 2003, campaigned on policies, such as immigration limits, improving poorly managed hospitals and reducing high crime rates, all under the slogan 'Are you thinking what we're thinking?'. The Liberal Democrats, led by Charles Kennedy, were opposed to the Iraq War given there had been no second UN resolution, and collected votes from disenchanted Labour voters.
The governing Labour Party, led by Tony Blair, was looking to secure a third consecutive term in office and to retain a large majority. The Conservative Party was seeking to regain seats lost to both Labour and the Liberal Democrats since the 1992 general election, and move from being the Official Opposition into government. The Liberal Democrats hoped to make gains from both main parties, but especially the Conservative Party, with a "decapitation" strategy targeting members of the Shadow Cabinet. The Lib Dems had also wished to become the governing party, but more realistically hoped of making enough gains to become the Official Opposition and/or play a major part in a parliament led by a minority Labour or Conservative government. In Northern Ireland the Democratic Unionist Party sought to make further gains over the Ulster Unionist Party in unionist politics, and Sinn Féin hoped to overtake the Social Democratic and Labour Party in nationalist politics. (Note that Sinn Féin MPs do not take their seats in the House of Commons—they refuse to swear an oath of allegiance to the Queen as required). The pro-independence Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru (Party of Wales) stood candidates in every constituency in Scotland and Wales respectively.
Many seats were contested by other parties, including several parties without incumbents in the House of Commons. Parties that were not represented at Westminster, but had seats in the devolved assemblies and European Parliament included the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom Independence Party, the Green Party of England and Wales, the Scottish Green Party, and the Scottish Socialist Party. The Health Concern party stood again as well.
All parties campaigned through such tools as party manifestos, party political broadcasts and touring the country in what are commonly referred to as battle buses.
Local elections in parts of England and in Northern Ireland were held on the same day. The polls were open for fifteen hours, from 07:00 to 22:00 BST (UTC+1). The election came just over three weeks after the dissolution of Parliament on 11 April by Queen Elizabeth II, at the request of the Prime Minister, Tony Blair.
Polling stations opened at 7:00 and closed at 22:00 and the count was completed in the afternoon of the 6th of May.
|Results of the United Kingdom general election, May 5 2005|
|Labour Party||Tony Blair||Sedgefield||357||54.173%||▼ 56||9,610,573||35.4%||▼ 6.6%|
|Conservative||Michael Howard||Folkstone and Hythe||222||33.687%||▲ 56||9,284,790||34.2%||▲ 1.5%|
|Liberal Democrats||Charles Kennedy||Ross, Skye and Inverness West||52||7.891%||▬ 0||6,217,009||22.9%||▲ 4.1%|
|UKIP||Roger Knapman||Candidate for Totnes (Lost)||0||0%||▬ 0||977,346||3.6%||▲ 2.1%|
|Scottish National||Angus Robertson||Moray||4||0.607%||▼ 1||424,767||1.6%||▼ 0.2%|
|Green||Caroline Lucas||’’ Did Not Stand ’’||0||0%||▬ 0||380,079||1.4%||▲ 0.8|
|Plaid Cymru||Elfyn Lwyd||Meirionnydd Nant Conwy||5||0.7587%||▲ 1||217,188||0.8%||▬ 0|
|Speaker (Michael Martin)||Glasgow Springburn||1||0.15%||▬ 0||14,568||0.054%||▬ 0|
|Total (Turnout: 61.4%)||659||100%||▬ 0||27,148,510||100%||-|
ScotlandLabour held onto most of the seats it had in the 2001 election despite losing Ayr and Edinburgh Pentlands to Malcolm Rifkind of the Conservatives.
The Conservatives, despite coming last, performed well overall gaining 3 seats (Ayr and Edinburgh Pentlands from Labour and Perth from the SNP) marking a comeback in Scotland and therefore made themselves less toxic. The Liberal Democrats came 2nd, winning Aberdeen South from Labour and reduced Labour's majority in Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber making it one of the most marginal seat in this election. Their increase in vote was due to their Anti-Iraq War stance. The SNP performed the worst overall losing Perth to the Conservatives and not succeeding in their target seats, despite coming 3rd in the whole of Scotland with 18.2% of the vote.
|Party||No of Seats||Differences|
|Labour||360||Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber (Liberal Democrat GAIN)
Stroud, Selby and Ayr (Labour HOLD)
|Conservative||219||Stroud, Selby and Ayr (Labour HOLD)|
|Liberal Democrats||53||Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber (Liberal Democrat GAIN)|
These are the constituencies which were marginal in the last election which were targetted in this election
|Target Seats of the Labour Party|
|Seat||Winning Party at 2001 Election||Swing needed||Winning Party at 2005 Election|
|Boston and Skegness||Conservative||0.64%||Conservative|
|Beverley & Holderness||Conservative||0.84%||Conservative|
|Bedfordshire South West||Conseravtive||0.885%||Conservative|
|Target Seats of the Conservative Party|
|Target Number||Seat||Winning Party at 2001 Election||Swing needed||Winning Party at 2005 Election|
|1||Cheadle||Liberal Democrats||0.04%||Liberal Democrats|
|6||North Norfolk||Liberal Democrats||0.43%||Liberal Democrats|
|7||Mid Dorset & Poole North||Liberal Democrats||0.44%||Liberal Democrats|
|8||Lancaster & Wyre||Labour||0.46%||Conservative (GAIN)|
|9||Guildford||Liberal Democrats||0.56%||Conservative (GAIN)|
|11||Somerton & Frome||Liberal Democrats||0.635%||Liberal Democrats|
|12||Northampton South||Labour||0.865||Conservative (GAIN)|
|13||Brecon & Radnorshire||Liberal Democrats||1%||Liberal Democrats|
|14||Devon West and Torridge||Liberal Democrats||1.07%||Conservative (GAIN)|
|15||Hereford||Liberal Democrats||1.085%||Liberal Democrats|
|16||Welwyn Hatfield||Labour||1.395%||Conservative (GAIN)|
|18||Clwyd West||Labour||1.66%||Conservative (GAIN)|
|19||Bexleyheath & Crayford||Labour||1.825%||Conservative (GAIN)|
|20||Ludlow||Liberal Democrats||1.89%||Conservative (GAIN)|
|21||Milton Keynes North East||Labour||1.99%||Conservative (GAIN)|
|24||Edinburgh Pentlands||Labour||2.235%||Conservative (GAIN)|
|25||Hammersmith & Fulham||Labour||2.255%||Conservative (GAIN)|
|26||Thanet South||Labour||2.27%||Conservative (GAIN)|
|27||Forest of Dean||Labour||2.295%||Conservative (GAIN)|
|29||Newbury||Liberal Democrats||2.375%||Conservative (GAIN)|
|30||Romsey||Liberal Democrats||2.445%||Conservative (GAIN)|
|31||Teignbridge||Liberal Democrats||2.54%||Liberal Democrats|
|32||Ilford North||Labour||2.63%.||Conservative (GAIN)|
|33||Rugby & Kenilworth||Labour||2.675%||Conservative (GAIN)|
|37||Devon North||Liberal Democrats||3.03%||Liberal Democrats|
|38||Eastleigh||Liberal Democrats||3.215%||Conservative (GAIN)|
|43||Shrewsbury & Atcham||Labour||3.585%||Conservative (GAIN)|
|45||Southport||Liberal Democrats||3.655%||Liberal Democrats|