ELECTIONS HELD IN 1992
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|House of Commons|
|9 April 1992|
|Elections were held for all the seats in the House of Commons following dissolution of this body on 16 March 1992. General elections had previously been held in June 1987.|
|When the election date was announced on 11 March 1992, Parliament was only three months from completing its maximum five-year term.
The month-long campaign was relatively calm, focusing on domestic issues. Prominent among these were the country’s economy, mired in its longest recession in years, and at the state of public services, including the National Health Service (NHS). Also seen as important was the credibility of the leaders of the two biggest political parties - Prime Minister John Major (Conservative Party), who had succeeded Mrs. Margaret Thatcher in November 1990, and Mr. Neil Kinnock (Labour Party). A key item of the economic debate involved taxes, the ruling Conservatives advocating a low-tax policy and opposition Labour proposing hikes at higher incomes levels. The Conservatives moreover criticized their opponent’s plans to increase public expenditure, while Labour countered by blaming the Government for the recession and outlined plans to redress social inequalities.
Public opinion polls predicted a close outcome, with the resulting possibility that the small centrist Liberal Democrats Party, led by Mr. Paddy Ashdown, would hold the balance of power. The Liberal Democrats had stressed the need to revise the “first-past-the-post” electoral system and to revitalize the educational sector. Altogether, 2,948 candidates were in the running for the enlarged House of Commons’ 651 seats (one more than before).
On polling day, the swing to Labour was smaller than foreseen as the Conservatives captured 336 seats to gain an overall majority of 21 in the Commons. Labour, for its part, reinforced its position as main opposition by picking up 42 additional seats. The Conservatives’ victory, albeit with a reduced majority, was their fourth consecutive one, a feat unmatched in the country since the early 19th century. Political observers attributed this in part to voters’ anxieties over the prospects of a socialist Government or a hung (no majority) Parliament but also to Mr. Major’s personal popularity. Given the election outcome, he continued as Prime Minister and named his new Cabinet on 11 April.
|Round no 1 (9 April 1992): Elections results|
|Number of registered electors||43,253,000 (approx.)|
|Round no 1: Distribution of votes|
|Scottish National Party||72||629,552||1.9|
|Ulster Unionist Party||13||271,049||0.8|
|Democratic Unionist Party||7||103,039||0.3|
|Ulster Popular Unionist||1||19,305||0.1|
|Social Democratic and Labour Party||13||184,445||0.5|
|Round no 1: Distribution of seats|
|Scottish National Party||3||=|
|Ulster Unionist Party||9||=|
|Democratic Unionist Party||3||=|
|Ulster Popular Unionist||1||=|
|Social Democratic and Labour Party||4||+1|
|One seat added since last elections.|
|Distribution of seats according to sex:|
|Distribution of seats according to age:|
Copyright © 1992 Inter-Parliamentary Union