1988 · members United Kingdom members · 1997
United Kingdom general election, 1993
All 651 seats in the House of Commons
6 May 1993
First party Second party Third party
Image Image Image
Leader Jeremy Ashdown
(Liberal, above)
David Owen (SDP)
John Major John Smith
Party SDP–Liberal_Alliance Conservative Party (UK) Labour Party (UK)
Leader since 10 July 1991 (Ashdown)
21 June 1983 (Owen)
14 October 1991 2 October 1988
Leader's seat Yeovil (Ashdown)
Plymouth Devpt. (Owen)
Huntingdon Monklands East
Last election 123 seats, 35.9% 392 seats, 39.5%   112 seats, 20.2%
Seats won 376 158 93
Seat change 253 234 19
Popular vote 14,165,581 9,869,994 6,820,465
Percentage 43.2% 30.1% 20.8%
Swing 7.3% 9.4% 0.6%

Previous PM
Margaret Thatcher
Conservative Party (UK)

Subsequent PM
Jeremy Ashdown
Liberal Party (UK)

The 1993 United Kingdom general election was held on 6 May 1993, alongside local elections. The result was a landslide defeat for the incumbent Conservative Party. The alliance between the Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party won a landslide victory, winning a 101-seat majority in the House of Commons.

Although the Conservatives had won a landslide victory in the previous general election, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher became unpopular soon after due to an economic recession and the SDP-Liberal Alliance began to lead in the polls by up to 20 percentage points. Thatcher resigned in October 1991 after being challenged for the party leadership by Ken Clarke and was replaced by John Major.

Major's appointment as Prime Minister temporarily gave the Conservatives a boost in the polls and Major had plans to call an election in October 1992. However, September 1992 saw the Black Monday crisis in which the United Kingdom was ejected from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism and hit by devaluation. The Conservatives went on to lose over 200 seats to the Alliance, their heaviest losses since 1906. The Conservatives lost several high-ranked members such as Malcolm Rifkind, Chris Patten and Ian Lang, along with Thatcher's former constituency.

This was the last British general election to be conducted under the first past the post voting system; the new government had pledged to abolish the system and this was carried out after a 1994 referendum. It was also the first to produce a coalition government, though this soon became the norm after the conversion of the voting system.

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