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1868 United Kingdom general election in Ireland
← 1865 17 November – 7 December 1868 (1868-11-17 – 1868-12-07) 1874 →

103 of the 652 seats to the House of Commons
  First party Second party
Leader William Ewart Gladstone Benjamin Disraeli
Party Liberal Conservative
Leader since 3 December 1868 27 February 1868
Leader's seat Greenwich Buckinghamshire
Seats before 58 45
Seats won 66 37
Seat change Increase8 Decrease8
Popular vote 54,461 38,765
Percentage 57.9% 41.9%
Swing Increase2.3% Decrease2.5%

Results of the 1868 election in Ireland

The 1868 United Kingdom general election in Ireland resulted in the Liberals under Gladstone strengthening their control over Ireland, particularly the south. It was the first election following the Representation of the People (Ireland) Act 1868.

A key focus of the Liberal campaign was on their proposal to disestablish the Church of Ireland. The Church of Ireland's official role, as the Protestant national church of a Catholic majority country, had long proved controversial. The Tithe War of the 1830s had largely resulted in the abolition of tithes, which had been levied on Ireland's population (both Protestants and Catholics) to fund the Church of Ireland. Disestablishment was popular both in Ireland, and also amongst non-conformists and the Irish diaspora in Britain, particularly in the Celtic Fringe. This policy would be enacted following the election by the Irish Church Act 1869.[1]

The election marked the high-water point of the Liberals in Ireland, and within 17 years they would have no seats at all in Ireland.


Not included in the results is the Dublin University constituency, which returned two Conservatives to parliament.

Party Candidates Unopposed Seats Won Seats change Votes % % Change
  Liberal 85 41 66 Increase8 54,461 57.9 Increase2.3
  Irish Conservative Party 53 26 37 Decrease8 38,765 41.9 Decrease2.5
  Others 2 0 0 Steady 188 0.2 Increase0.2
Total 140 67 103 149,341 100
Popular vote
Irish Conservative
Parliamentary seats
Irish Conservative

See also


  1. ^ St. John, Ian (November 2010). Gladstone and the Logic of Victorian Politics. pp. 139–140. ISBN 9781843313946.