1964 United Kingdom general election

← 1959 15 October 1964 1966 →

All 630 seats in the House of Commons
316 seats needed for a majority
Opinion polls
Turnout77.1%, Decrease1.7%
  First party Second party Third party
Leader Harold Wilson Alec Douglas-Home Jo Grimond
Party Labour Conservative Liberal
Leader since 14 February 1963 18 October 1963 5 November 1956
Leader's seat Huyton Kinross and
Western Perthshire
and Shetland
Last election 258 seats, 43.8% 365 seats, 49.4% 6 seats, 5.9%
Seats won 317 304[note 1] 9
Seat change Increase59 Decrease61 Increase3
Popular vote 12,205,808 12,002,642 3,099,283
Percentage 44.1% 43.4% 11.2%
Swing Increase0.3% Decrease6.0% Increase5.3%

Colours denote the winning party—as shown in § Results

Composition of the House of Commons after the election

Prime Minister before election

Alec Douglas-Home

Prime Minister after election

Harold Wilson

The 1964 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday 15 October 1964. It resulted in the Conservatives, led by incumbent Prime Minister Alec Douglas-Home, narrowly losing to the Labour Party, led by Harold Wilson; Labour secured a parliamentary majority of four seats and ended its thirteen years in opposition since the 1951 election. Wilson became the youngest Prime Minister since Lord Rosebery in 1894. To date, this is also the most narrow majority obtained in the House of Commons, with just one seat clearing Labour for a majority government.


Both major parties had changed leadership in 1963. Following the sudden death of Labour leader Hugh Gaitskell early in the year, the party chose Harold Wilson (at the time, thought of as being on the party's centre-left), while Alec Douglas-Home, at the time the Earl of Home, had taken over as Conservative leader and Prime Minister in the autumn after Harold Macmillan announced his resignation in the wake of the Profumo affair. Douglas-Home shortly afterward disclaimed his peerage under the Peerage Act 1963 in order to lead the party from the Commons, subsequently standing in the Kinross and Western Perthshire by-election.

Macmillan had led the Conservative government since January 1957. Despite initial popularity and a resounding election victory in 1959, he had become increasingly unpopular in the early 1960s, due to rising unemployment and inflation during the recession of 1960–1961 and the United States' cancellation of the Skybolt program intended to provide Britain with an independent nuclear weapons delivery system after the cancellation of the Blue Streak project. Although Macmillan ended the latter crisis with the Nassau Agreement guaranteeing US assistance in the Polaris programme of submarine-launched ballistic missiles, this also indirectly harmed his reputation after French President Charles de Gaulle vetoed Britain's accession bid to the European Communities over his scepticism of the Anglo-American "Special Relationship."[1]

However, the Labour Party was temporarily divided due to the death of Gaitskell in 1963 and the subsequent leadership election. Although Wilson won this election against his opponents George Brown and James Callaghan, he was distrusted within the party because of his previous unsuccessful leadership challenge to Gaitskell in 1960.[2] The party also suffered from internal policy disputes over unilateral nuclear disarmament and Clause IV of its constitution, which committed it to nationalization of industry.[3]

It was for a while thought likely that the Conservatives would win the scheduled 1964 general election, albeit with a reduced majority, but the emergence of the Profumo affair in March 1963 and Macmillan's handling of the matter all but destroyed the credibility of his government. While he survived a vote of no confidence in June 1963, polling indicated that Labour would win the next election comfortably if Macmillan remained in power, which, along with health issues, prompted Macmillan to announce his resignation in the autumn of 1963.

Douglas-Home faced a difficult task in rebuilding the party's popularity with just a year elapsing between taking office and having to face a general election. Wilson had begun to try to tie the Labour Party to the growing confidence of Britain in the 1960s, asserting that the "white heat of revolution" would sweep away "restrictive practices ... on both sides of industry". The Liberal Party enjoyed a resurgence after a virtual wipeout in the 1950s, and doubled its share of the vote, primarily at the expense of the Conservatives. Although Labour did not increase its vote share significantly, the fall in support for the Conservatives led to Wilson securing an overall majority of four seats.[4] This proved to be unworkable, and Wilson called a snap election in 1966.


The pre-election campaign was prolonged, as Douglas-Home delayed calling a general election to give himself as much time as possible to improve the prospects of his party. The Labour Party indicated that it held high popular support by winning the 1964 London local elections. This led to speculation that the Conservative government would not call an election in 1964 despite constitutional precedent requiring it do so quinquennially in peacetime.[citation needed] However, Conservative leaders became more optimistic about their chances after winning three by-elections in Winchester, Bury St. Edmunds, and Devizes. The election campaign formally began on 25 September 1964 when Douglas-Home saw the Queen and asked for a dissolution of Parliament. The dissolution notably occurred without a formal royal prorogation and recall for the first time since 1922.[5]

The campaign was dominated by some of the more voluble characters of the political scene at the time. While George Brown, deputy leader of the Labour Party, toured the country making energetic speeches (and the occasional gaffe), Quintin Hogg was a leading spokesman for the Conservatives. The image of Hogg lashing out at a Wilson poster with his walking stick was one of the most striking of the campaign.[citation needed]

The Labour Party campaigned on what historian Andrew Thorpe called "the basis of revisionism given a significant twist in the direction of Wilsonian planning, and a more dirigiste approach to industrial modernization."[2] Labour's manifesto Let's Go with Labour for New Britain reflected Wilson's belief that social justice and technological progress would transform industry to create a planned economy capable of providing full employment, rapid economic growth, favourable balance of trade, and control of inflation.[citation needed] Party leaders also decided that they had lost the previous election because of their failure to appeal to the growing middle class, and adjusted strategy accordingly.[6]

Labour called for greater co-ordination between state-run enterprises and repeated its past pledges for the renationalisation of the steel and road haulage industries, but declared that it would not nationalise any further industries. The party also promised expansions of social services, tax reform, and what would become the prices and incomes policy to control inflation. In education it sought comprehensivisation of secondary education and a higher school-leaving age, while in immigration it sought both immigration quotas restricting future entry and equal rights for immigrants who had already arrived in the country. In foreign policy it pledged a re-evaluation of previous governments' foreign aid and alliances, increased British assertiveness at the United Nations, and a build-up of the conventional components of the British Armed Forces, but did not promise unilateral nuclear disarmament as some left-wing members of the party desired.[2][7] While early campaigning suggested that a Labour government would abandon the Polaris nuclear weapons programme, Wilson quickly decided to avoid this topic altogether due to the continuing popularity of an independent British nuclear deterrent.[8] Labour's platform of a "socialist foreign policy" also criticised the Conservative government for its handling of a scandal involving the British defence contractor Ferranti, the Aden Emergency, Cypriot intercommunal violence, the escalation of the Vietnam War, arms sales to apartheid South Africa, and a contract to construct naval frigates for Francoist Spain.[9]

Douglas-Home's unpopularity – caused by his aristocratic background, his accession to the premiership without a formal election, his economic and trade policies, and the side-lining of popular Conservative leaders such as Enoch Powell and Iain Macleod – harmed the Conservative Party in the election. Even many Conservatives condemned Douglas-Home for the Resale Prices Act 1964 abolishing resale price maintenance. Douglas-Home's predecessor Macmillan described him as an "urbane but resolute character — iron painted to look like wood".[10] However, his campaigning did allow the Conservative Party's gap in the polls to narrow.[11][12][13] The Conservative manifesto Prosperity with a Purpose pledged closer relations with the Atlantic world and the Commonwealth of Nations, development of nuclear power, industrial retraining, increased capital investment in British industry, and continued development of the BAC TSR-2 supersonic aircraft project.[14][15] The Conservative campaign emphasised the party's diplomatic successes, such as the Nassau Agreement, the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and the defence of Malaysia in the Borneo Confrontation.[9] Although the Conservatives made limited appeals to new Caribbean, African, and South Asian immigrants by printing campaign literature in Hindi and Urdu, it defended the Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962 restricting immigration of Commonwealth citizens.[16]

As in previous elections since its decline, the Liberal Party under Jo Grimond's leadership positioned itself as a non-socialist, individualist alternative to Labour. The two key domestic policy pledges in its manifesto Think for Yourself, Vote Liberal were healthcare reform and devolution for Scotland and Wales.[14] The Liberals also were distinguished by their internationalist and pro-European foreign policy, becoming the first major party to endorse British membership in the European Economic Union. Supporters and leaders of the Liberal Party hoped for a breakthrough in 1964 which would re-establish it as a powerful force in British politics after its near-extinction in the 1950s; the party's surprise victory in the 1962 Orpington by-election, its first in a seat outside of the "Celtic fringe" of Wales, Scotland, and the West Country in over a decade, had created optimism and a sense of momentum for a recovery. However, by 1964 the Liberals had lost much of their momentum to a series of by-election and local election losses, and faced growing financial difficulties.[17]

Many party speakers, especially at televised rallies, had to deal with hecklers; in particular Douglas-Home was treated very roughly at a meeting in Birmingham. Douglas-Home's speeches dealt with the future of the nuclear deterrent, while fears of Britain's relative decline on the world stage, reflected in chronic balance of payment problems, helped the Labour Party's case.[18]

By 1964, television had developed as a medium and played a much greater role than in previous British elections. The election received more coverage from current affairs programs such as BBC1's Panorama, Associated-Rediffusion's This Week, and Granada Television's World in Action, as well as political satire inspired by the success of That Was the Week That Was.[7] The election night was broadcast live by BBC Television, presented for the fifth and final time by Richard Dimbleby, with Robin Day, Ian Trethowan, Cliff Michelmore and David Butler co-presenting.[19]

Opinion polling

Main article: Opinion polling for the 1964 United Kingdom general election


The Conservatives made a surprising recovery from being well behind Labour when Home became prime minister, and would have won if 900 voters in eight seats had changed votes.[20] Labour won a very slim majority of four seats, forming a government for the first time since 1951. Labour achieved a swing of just over 3%, although its vote rose by only 0.3% and it earned a lesser number of votes than in its previous defeats of 1955 and 1959. The main shift in votes was a 5.7% swing from the Conservatives to the Liberals. The Liberals defied popular expectations of a net loss and won nearly twice as many votes as in 1959, partly because they fielded 150 more candidates. Although this was the Liberals' best electoral performance since the 1929 general election and left the party in a key parliamentary position due to Labour's slender majority, it failed to regain its pre-World War II status as a party of government as it had hoped.[17] Wilson became Prime Minister, replacing Douglas-Home; Labour's four-seat majority was not sustainable for a full Parliament, and Wilson ultimately called another general election in 1966 which saw his majority expanded. In particular, the small majority meant the government could not implement its policy of renationalising the steel industry due to the opposition of backbenchers Woodrow Wyatt and Desmond Donnelly.

89 female candidates stood in the election, with 29 women being elected as MPs (11 for the Conservatives and 18 for Labour).[21]

This was the only election in Britain's recent history when all seats were won by the three main parties: no minor parties, independents or splinter groups won any seats. It is also the only time that both Labour and the Conservatives have taken over 300 seats each, and was the last election in which any one party (the Conservatives) contested every single seat. The Conservatives had previously chose not to contest certain Liberal-held seats as per local-level agreements to avoid vote splitting, but ended that policy at this election. The resultant splitting of votes actually helped grant Labour a majority, by throwing two formerly Liberal-held seats in northern England to Labour; however, the outcome of the election would not have been meaningfully altered had the Liberals retained the seats, as Labour would still have had as many seats as the other two parties combined, and Liberal leader Jo Grimond did not want to support a Conservative minority government.

Douglas-Home told D. R. Thorpe that the most important reason for the Conservative loss was Iain Macleod's "The Tory Leadership" article, in which the former cabinet minister claimed that an Etonian "magic circle" conspiracy had led to him becoming prime minister.[20] British Ambassador to the United States David Ormsby-Gore wrote to Home that "Almost anything could have tipped the balance. Khrushchev’s removal from office twelve hours earlier, China’s nuclear explosion thirty-six hours earlier or just Rab [Butler] keeping his mouth shut for once."[16] David Butler and Donald E. Stokes's influential 1969 British Election Study report Political Change in Britain attributed the Labour victory to Wilson's greater popularity than Home and the party's appeal to younger voters. After British elections in the 1980s and the 1990s challenged many of the assumptions of Butler and Stokes's model, the BES issued a second 2001 report by political scientists from the University of Texas and the University of Essex emphasizing the role of valence politics over public perception of party performance.[22]

Working-class voters also selected Labour in greater numbers than in the previous election, due in part to the weakening of the post-war boom which had popularized the Conservatives in the 1950s, although the Conservatives attracted a greater number of female voters than before. The Conservatives tried to attract working-class voters by improving the party's relationships with trade unions through the Conservative Trade Union Councils at the party level and the new National Economic Development Council at the governmental level; however, their outreach was weakened by the Rookes v Barnard decision allowing employers to collect punitive damages from strike actions and Douglas-Home's tough approach to industrial relations.[12][23][24] As a result, trade unions heavily supported Labour in the election and encouraged working-class support of the party.[12] As much as 85 per cent of Labour's election spending consisted of funds raised by trade unions.[25]

Aggregate data analyses of the results demonstrate higher turnout in constituencies dominated by the professional–managerial class, agricultural workers, council tenants, voters without automobiles, and the elderly.[26] Many salaried professionals who ordinarily supported for the Conservatives voted for Labour because of high inflation.[citation needed] On the other hand, Labour's poorer performance in central and southern England and loss of five seats in that area indicated an increasing white working-class backlash against nonwhite immigration. The most notable example of this was the contest in Smethwick, in which an explicitly racist campaign by Conservative candidate Peter Griffiths stoking anxieties around deindustrialisation and a shortage of council housing by targeting immigrants unseated Shadow Foreign Secretary Patrick Gordon Walker.[2][16][27]

UK General Election 1964 [28][29]
Candidates Votes
Party Leader Stood Elected Gained Unseated Net % of total % No. Net %
  Labour Harold Wilson 628 317 63 4 +59 50.3 44.1 12,205,808 +0.3
  Conservative Alec Douglas-Home 630 304[note 1] 4 65 −61 48.3 43.4 12,002,642 −6.0
  Liberal Jo Grimond 365 9 5 2 +3 1.4 11.2 3,099,283 +5.3
  Independent Republican N/A 12 0 0 0 0 0.4 101,628 N/A
  Plaid Cymru Gwynfor Evans 23 0 0 0 0 0.3 69,507 0.0
  SNP Arthur Donaldson 15 0 0 0 0 0.2 64,044 +0.1
  Communist John Gollan 36 0 0 0 0 0.2 46,442 +0.1
  Independent N/A 20 0 0 0 0 0.1 18,677 N/A
  Independent Liberal N/A 4 0 0 0 0 0.1 16,064 N/A
  Republican Labour Gerry Fitt 1 0 0 0 0 0.1 14,678 N/A
  Ind. Conservative N/A 5 0 0 1 −1 0.0 6,459 N/A
  British National John Bean 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 3,410 N/A
  Anti-Common Market League John Paul & Michael Shay 2 0 0 0 0 0.0 3,083 N/A
  Ind. Nuclear Disarmament Pat Arrowsmith 2 0 0 0 0 0.0 1,534 N/A
  Fellowship Ronald Mallone 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 1,112 0.0
  Patriotic Party Richard Hilton 2 0 0 0 0 0.0 1,108 N/A
  League of Empire Loyalists Arthur K. Chesterton 3 0 0 0 0 0.0 1,046 N/A
  Communist Anti-Revisionist Michael McCreery 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 899 N/A
  Christian Progressive N/A 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 865 N/A
  Taxpayers' Coalition Party John E. Dayton 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 709 N/A
  Agriculturalist N/A 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 534 N/A
  Independent Labour N/A 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 458 N/A
  National Democratic David Brown 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 349 N/A
  Socialist (GB) N/A 2 0 0 0 0 0.0 322 0.0
  World Government Gilbert Young 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 318 N/A
  British and Commonwealth Miles Blair 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 310 N/A
  Social Credit Party of Great Britain and Northern Ireland John Hargrave 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 304 N/A
  Christian Socialist N/A 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 265 N/A
All parties shown.[note 3]
Government's new majority 4
Total votes cast 27,657,148
Turnout 77%

Votes summary

Popular vote

Headline swing: 3.1% to Labour

Seats summary

Parliamentary seats

Transfers of seats

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From To No. Seats
Labour Labour (HOLD) Aberavon, Aberdare, Aberdeen North, Abertillery, Accrington, Anglesey, Ashton-under-Lyne, Ayrshire Central, Ayrshire South, Barking, Barrow-in-Furness, Bedwellty, Belper, Birkenhead, Bishop Auckland, Blackburn, Blaydon, Bolsover, Bootle, Bosworth, Bothwell, Brecon and Radnor, Brigg, Bristol Central, Bristol South, Bristol South East4, Burnley, Caernarfon, Caerphilly, Cardiff South East, Cardiff West, Carmarthen, Chester-le-Street, Chesterfield, Chorley, Coatbridge and Airdrie, Consett, Crewe, Dagenham, Dartford, Derby North, Derby South, Derbyshire North East, Dudley, Dunbartonshire East, Dunbartonshire West, Dundee East, Dundee West, Dunfermline Burghs, Durham, Durham North West, Easington, East Ham N, East Ham S, Ebbw Vale, Eccles, Edinburgh Central, Edinburgh East, Edinburgh Leith, Erith and Crayford, Falmouth and Camborne, Farnworth, Faversham, Fife West, Flintshire East, Gateshead East, Gateshead West, Glasgow Bridgeton, Glasgow Central, Glasgow Craigton, Glasgow Gorbals, Glasgow Govan, Glasgow Maryhill, Glasgow Provan, Glasgow Scotstoun, Glasgow Shettleston, Glasgow Springburn, Gloucester, Gloucestershire West, Goole, Gower, Greenock, Grimsby, Hamilton, Houghton-le-Spring, Huyton, Ilkeston, Ince, Jarrow, Kilmarnock, Kingston upon Hull East, Kingston upon Hull West, Kirkcaldy Burghs, Lanark, Lanarkshire North, Leicester NE, Leicester NW, Leicester SW, Leigh, Leyton, Lincoln, Liverpool Edge Hill, Liverpool Exchange, Liverpool Scotland, Llanelli, Loughborough, Manchester Ardwick, Manchester Cheetham, Manchester Exchange, Manchester Gorton, Manchester Openshaw, Merionethshire, Merthyr Tydfil, Midlothian, Motherwell, Neath, Nelson and Colne, Newport (Monmouthshire), Newton, Ogmore, Oldbury and Halesowen, Oldham East, Oldham West, Paisley, Pembrokeshire, Pontypool, Pontypridd, Rhondda East, Rhondda West, Rochdale, Romford, Rossendale, Rowley Regis and Tipton, St Helens, Salford East, Salford West, Sedgefield, South Shields, Southampton Itchen, Stalybridge and Hyde, Stirling and Falkirk, Stirlingshire East and Clackmannan, Stirlingshire West, Stockton-on-Tees, Sunderland North, Swansea East, Thurrock, Walthamstow W, Warrington, West Ham North, West Ham South, West Lothian, Western Isles, Westhoughton, Whitehaven, Widnes, Wigan, Workington, Wrexham
National Liberal
Conservative Eton and Slough, Smethwick
Liberal Labour Bolton West, Huddersfield West
Liberal (HOLD) Cardiganshire, Devon North, Montgomeryshire, Orkney and Shetland
National Liberal Labour Luton†, Renfrewshire West
Liberal Ross and Cromarty
National Liberal (HOLD) Bristol North East, Harwich, Holland with Boston, Huntingdonshire, St Ives
Conservative Angus North and Mearns, Angus South, Bedfordshire South*, Dumfries†, Fife East†, Plymouth Devonport*
Conservative Labour Bolton East, Buckingham, Bury and Radcliffe, Carlisle, Derbyshire South East, Dover, Epping, Glasgow Kelvingrove, Glasgow Pollok, Glasgow Woodside†, Gravesend, The Hartlepools, Heywood and Royton, Hitchin, Kingston upon Hull North, Liverpool Kirkdale, Liverpool Toxteth, Liverpool Walton, Liverpool West Derby, Manchester Blackley, Manchester Wythenshawe, Preston South, Rochester and Chatham, Rutherglen†, Stockport North, Stockport South, Sunderland South, Swansea West, Watford
Liberal Bodmin, Inverness, Orpington
Conservative (HOLD) Aberdeen South, Aberdeenshire East, Aberdeenshire West, Abingdon, Aldershot, Altrincham and Sale, Argyll, Ashford, Aylesbury, Ayr, Ayrshire North and Bute, Banff, Barnet, Barry, Basingstoke, Bebington, Beckenham, Bedford, Bedfordshire Mid, Berwick and East Lothian, Bexley, Billericay, Blackpool North, Blackpool South, Bournemouth East & Christchurch, Bournemouth West, Bridlington, Bristol North West, Bristol West, Bromley, Bromsgrove, Buckinghamshire South, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, Canterbury, Cardiff North, Cheadle, Chelmsford, Cheltenham, Chester, Chigwell, Chislehurst, Cirencester and Tewkesbury, Clitheroe, Colchester, Conway, Cornwall North, Crosby, Darlington, Darwen, Denbigh, West Derbyshire, Dorset North, Dorset South3, Dorset West, Eastleigh, Edinburgh North, Edinburgh Pentlands, Edinburgh South, Edinburgh West, Essex SE, Exeter, Flintshire West, Folkestone and Hythe, Fylde North, Fylde South, Gainsborough, Galloway, Gillingham, Glasgow Cathcart, Glasgow Hillhead, Gloucestershire South, Gosport and Fareham, Grantham, Haltemprice, Harborough, Hemel Hempstead, Hereford, Hertford, Hertfordshire E, Hertfordshire SW, High Peak, Honiton, Horncastle, Hornchurch, Howden, Ilford North, Ilford South, Isle of Ely, Isle of Thanet, Isle of Wight, Kidderminster, Kinross and West Perthshire, Knutsford, Lancaster, Leicester South East, Leominster, Liverpool Garston, Liverpool Wavertree, Louth, Macclesfield, Maidstone, Maldon, Manchester Moss Side, Manchester Withington, Melton, Middleton and Prestwich, Monmouth, Moray and Nairn, Morecambe and Lonsdale, Nantwich, New Forest, Newbury, Northwich, Ormskirk, Plymouth Sutton, Penrith and the Border, Perth and East Perthshire, Petersfield, Poole, Portsmouth Langstone, Portsmouth South, Portsmouth West, Preston North, Reading, Renfrewshire East, Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles, Runcorn, Rutland and Stamford, Saffron Walden, St Albans, Sevenoaks, Southampton Test, Southend East, Southend West, Southport, Stretford, Stroud, Tavistock, Tiverton, Tonbridge, Torquay, Torrington, Totnes, Truro, Wallasey, Walthamstow East, Wanstead and Woodford, Westmorland, Winchester, Windsor, Wirral, Wokingham, Worcester, Worcestershire South, Wycombe
Ind. Conservative
Ind. Conservative Liberal Caithness and Sutherland
Ulster Unionist Ulster Unionist North Antrim, South Antrim, Armagh, Belfast East, Belfast North, Belfast South, Belfast West, Down North, Down South, Fermanagh and South Tyrone, Londonderry, Mid Ulster
Conservative Speaker Cities of London and Westminster

Incumbents defeated

Party Name Constituency Office held whilst in power Year elected Defeated by Party
Conservative Party Philip Holland Acton 1959 Bernard Floud Labour Party
William Compton Carr Barons Court 1959 Ivor Richard Labour Party
Ernest Partridge Battersea South 1951 Ernie Perry Labour Party
John Hollingworth Birmingham All Saints 1959 Brian Walden Labour Party
Leslie Seymour Birmingham Sparkbrook 1959 Roy Hattersley Labour Party
Leonard Cleaver Birmingham Yardley 1959 Ioan Evans Labour Party
Douglas Marshall Bodmin 1945 Peter Bessell Liberal Party
William Taylor Bradford North 1950 Ben Ford Labour Party
David James Brighton Kemptown 1959 Dennis Hobden Labour Party
John Bidgood Bury and Radcliffe 1955 David Ensor Labour Party
Donald Johnson Carlisle 1955 Ronald Lewis Labour Party
Sir Alan Glyn Clapham 1959 Margaret McKay Labour Party
Wilf Proudfoot Cleveland 1959 James Tinn Labour Party
Philip Hocking Coventry South 1959 Bill Wilson Labour Party
Anthony Bourne-Arton Darlington 1959 Ted Fletcher Labour Party
Anthony Barber Doncaster Minister of Health 1951 Harold Walker Labour Party
John Arbuthnot Dover 1950 David Ennals Labour Party
Graeme Finlay Epping 1951 Stan Newens Labour Party
Frank Lilley Glasgow Kelvingrove 1959 Maurice Miller Labour Party
Peter Kirk Gravesend Under-Secretary of State for War 1955 Albert Murray Labour Party
Maurice Macmillan Halifax 1955 Shirley Summerskill Labour Party
Tony Leavey Heywood and Royton 1955 Joel Barnett Labour Party
Martin Maddan Hitchin 1955 Shirley Williams Labour Party
Geoffrey Johnson-Smith Holborn and St Pancras South 1959 Lena Jeger Labour Party
Neil McLean Inverness 1954 Russell Johnston Liberal Party
Marcus Worsley Keighley 1959 John Binns Labour Party
Denys Bullard King's Lynn 1959 Derek Page Labour Party
Michael Coulson Kingston upon Hull North Parliamentary Private Secretary 1959 Henry Solomons Labour Party
Norman Pannell Liverpool Kirkdale 1955 James Dunn Labour Party
Reginald Bevins Liverpool Toxteth Postmaster General 1950 Richard Crawshaw Labour Party
Kenneth Thompson Liverpool Walton 1950 Eric Heffer Labour Party
John Woollam Liverpool West Derby 1954 by-election Eric Ogden Labour Party
Eric Johnson Manchester Blackley 1951 Paul Rose Labour Party
Eveline Hill Manchester Wythenshawe 1950 Alf Morris Labour Party
Gordon Matthews Meriden Parliamentary Private Secretary 1959 Christopher Rowland Labour Party
Fergus Montgomery Newcastle upon Tyne East Parliamentary Private Secretary 1959 Geoffrey Rhodes Labour Party
Geoffrey Rippon Norwich South 1955 Christopher Norwood Labour Party
John Cordeaux Nottingham Central 1955 Jack Dunnett Labour Party
Peter Tapsell Nottingham West 1959 Michael English Labour Party
Alan Green Preston South Financial Secretary to the Treasury 1955 Peter Mahon Labour Party
Hugh Linstead Putney 1942 by-election Hugh Jenkins Labour Party
Julian Critchley Rochester and Chatham 1959 Anne Kerr Labour Party
Norman Hulbert Stockport North 1950 Arnold Gregory Labour Party
Harold Steward Stockport South 1955 by-election Maurice Orbach Labour Party
Paul Williams Sunderland South 1953 by-election Gordon Bagier Labour Party
Hugh Rees Swansea West Parliamentary Private Secretary 1959 Alan Williams Labour Party
John Kerans The Hartlepools 1959 Ted Leadbitter Labour Party
Michael Hughes-Young Wandsworth Central Treasurer of the Household 1955 David Kerr Labour Party
Frederick Farey-Jones Watford 1955 Raphael Tuck Labour Party
Michael Hamilton Wellingborough Lord Commissioner of the Treasury 1959 Harry Howarth Labour Party
Trevor Skeet Willesden East 1959 Reg Freeson Labour Party
Colin Turner Woolwich West 1959 Bill Hamling Labour Party
Labour Party Charles Howell Birmingham Perry Barr 1955 Wyndham Davies Conservative Party
Fenner Brockway Eton and Slough 1950 Anthony Meyer Conservative Party
Albert Hilton South West Norfolk 1959 by-election Paul Hawkins Conservative Party
Patrick Gordon Walker Smethwick Shadow Foreign Secretary 1945 by-election Peter Griffiths Conservative Party
Liberal Party Arthur Holt Bolton West 1951 Gordon Oakes Labour Party
Donald Wade Huddersfield West Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party 1950 Ken Lomas Labour Party
Independent Liberal Sir John MacLeod Ross and Cromarty 1950 Alasdair Mackenzie Liberal Party

Televised results programmes

Both BBC Television and ITV provided live televised coverage of the results and provided commentary.

See also


  1. ^ a b The seat and vote count figures for the Conservatives given here include the Speaker of the House of Commons
  2. ^ This summary of opinion poll findings from the last few days of the campaign is given early in the BBC's election night coverage.
  3. ^ Conservative total includes Scottish Unionists, Ulster Unionists, and National Liberals.


  1. ^ Barberis, Peter (September 2007). "Introduction: The 1964 General Election—the 'Not Quite, But' and 'But Only Just' Election". Contemporary British History. 21 (3): 284–285. doi:10.1080/13619460600825840. ISSN 1361-9462. S2CID 144383151 – via Taylor and Francis Online.
  2. ^ a b c d Thorpe, Andrew (1997). A History of the British Labour Party. London: Macmillan Education UK. pp. 154–156. doi:10.1007/978-1-349-25305-0. ISBN 978-0-333-56081-5.
  3. ^ Fielding 2007, p. 315.
  4. ^ 1964: Labour scrapes through, BBC News, 5 April 2005, retrieved 21 May 2018
  5. ^ Schaffer, B. B. (7 April 2008). "The British General Election, 1964: A Retrospect". Australian Journal of Politics & History. 11 (1): 7–22. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8497.1965.tb00411.x.
  6. ^ Fielding, Steven (September 2007). "Rethinking Labour's 1964 Campaign". Contemporary British History. 21 (3): 309–324. doi:10.1080/13619460600825873. ISSN 1361-9462. S2CID 153901372 – via Taylor and Francis Online.
  7. ^ a b Barberis (2007), p. 286
  8. ^ Young 2007, p. 362-364.
  9. ^ a b Young, John W. (September 2007). "International Factors and the 1964 Election". Contemporary British History. 21 (3): 353–355. doi:10.1080/13619460600825931. ISSN 1361-9462. S2CID 154812255.
  10. ^ Thorpe, D. R. (1996). Alec Douglas-Home. London: Sinclair-Stevenson. pp. 8, 490 note 21. ISBN 978-1-85619-277-4. Retrieved 26 August 2023 – via Internet Archive. Thorpe cites a PRO file. According to Peter Hennessy in his 19 November 1996 lecture 'Country Values': Alec Douglas - Home, 1963-64 (and chapter 11 of The prime minister: the office and its holders since 1945) Thorpe on 9 October 1996 quoted Macmillan telling the Queen "Alec Home is steel painted as wood".
  11. ^ "Sir Alec Douglas-Home | prime minister of United Kingdom | Britannica". www.britannica.com. Retrieved 28 June 2022.
  12. ^ a b c "History of Sir Alec Douglas-Home - GOV.UK". www.gov.uk. Retrieved 28 June 2022.
  13. ^ Schaffer 2008, p. 11.
  14. ^ a b Barberis (2007), p. 288
  15. ^ Young 2007, p. 360.
  16. ^ a b c Young (2007), p. 361-362
  17. ^ a b Barberis, Peter (September 2007). "The 1964 General Election and the Liberals' False Dawn". Contemporary British History. 21 (3): 373–379. doi:10.1080/13619460600825949. ISSN 1361-9462. S2CID 153819205 – via Taylor and Francis Online.
  18. ^ John W. Young, "International Factors and the 1964 Election." Contemporary British History (2007) 21#3 pp 351-371.
  19. ^ UK General Election 1964 – Results Round-up on YouTube
  20. ^ a b Vernon Bogdanor (18 January 2014). "The Spectator book review that brought down Macmillan's government". The Spectator. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  21. ^ Dod's Parliamentary Companion 1966. Epsom, Surrey: Business Directories Limited. 1966. pp. 574–575.
  22. ^ Denver, David (1 September 2007). "The 1964 General Election: Explaining Voting Behaviour Then and Now". Contemporary British History. 21 (3): 295–307. doi:10.1080/13619460600825857. ISSN 1361-9462. S2CID 153838758 – via Taylor and Francis Online.
  23. ^ Wrigley, Chris (September 2007). "Trade Unions and the 1964 General Election". Contemporary British History. 21 (3): 326–328. doi:10.1080/13619460600825899. ISSN 1361-9462. S2CID 153352143 – via Taylor and Francis Online.
  24. ^ Barberis 2007, p. 190-191.
  25. ^ Wrigley 2007, p. 331.
  26. ^ Denver 2007, p. 304.
  27. ^ Schaffer (2008), p. 16-19
  28. ^ "United Kingdom election results—summary results 1885–1979". Archived from the original on 23 February 2008.
  29. ^ "Summary of the election".

Further reading