X: General elections
The Houses of Parliament seen from the London Eye. Photograph copyright
© 2005 Archives Hub.
A general election is one in which all of the Members of Parliament forming
the House of Commons are elected at the same time, and this happens at
least once every five years. The UK is divided into 659 constituencies,
and each constituency has a Member of Parliament.
A general election has been called for May 5th this year, and so this
month we are highlighting related collections
described on the Archives Hub: ephemera,
of political parties, electoral
boundaries and trends, some views
from other angles, and selected web
General elections ephemera
Since 1945, the library of the London School of Economics has
collected campaign material, such as leaflets and posters, produced
by political parties and individual candidates. Material relating
to the 1951 general election (Prime Minister Winston Churchill,
Conservative) is not held as a separate collection.
left: detail of cover of Keir Hardie's 1906 general
election address. Photograph courtesy Archives Division, London
School of Economics Library.
Clement Attlee (Labour)
Anthony Eden (Conservative)
- 1959 Harold Macmillan (Conservative)
Harold Wilson (Labour)
- 1966 Harold Wilson (Labour)
Edward Heath (Conservative)
- 1974 Harold Wilson (Labour)
- 1979 Margaret Thatcher (Conservative)
Margaret Thatcher (Conservative)
- 1987 Margaret Thatcher (Conservative)
- 1992 John Major (Conservative)
- 1997 Tony Blair (Labour)
- 2001 Tony Blair (Labour)
This is not intended as an exhaustive - or balanced -
list of past or present political parties. This list simply represents
the archival collections of political parties that
have been described on the Archives Hub.
Socialist Party: formed in 1911.
Wealth Party: formed in 1942 and originally chaired by the writer
JB Priestley (1894-1984).
Party of Great Britain (CPGB): founded in 1920.
Party: evolved from the 17th century 'Tories', adopted the name
Conservative Party in the 1840s; the formal name is the Conservative
and Unionist Party [this is the description for the papers of Party
Chairman Lord Thorneycroft]
Party: founded in 1926, with the writer GK Chesterton (1874-1936)
Party: established as the Labour Representation Committee at a special
meeting of the Trade Union Congress in 1900, adopted the name Labour
Party in 1906 [this is the description for the records of Chief Woman
Party: evolved from 17th century 'Whigs', adopted the name Liberal
Party in 1839 [this is the description for the records of the National
Cymru: founded as Plaid Genedlaethol Cymru
(Welsh Nationalist Party) in 1925, later changed its name to Plaid
Cymru (Party of Wales).
Green Party: became independent of the UK
Green Party in 1990.
National Party (SNP): founded in 1932.
Democratic Party (SDP) formed in 1981, and the Social
Democratic Party Scotland.
Regional Party: founded in 1974 by Alexander Thynn (born 1932),
later Lord Bath.
How we vote
Leaf (fl 1984): reminiscences of
life at the Prime Minister's official residence, 1937-1940
Goldman (1869-1940): influential anarchist
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