2010 General Election Results

Author:
Doug Cowan, Digital Officer

Posted on the 19th May 2010

In contrast to 2005, the electoral system did not produce a House of Commons majority for a party whose support lay in the mid-30 per cent range; the Conservatives fell short in 2010 while Labour, with a slightly lower share of the UK vote, managed to win a comfortable majority in 2005. However, the share of seats for both the Conservatives and Labour was markedly higher than the parties’ share of the popular vote – 57 per cent of the vote between them produced 89 per cent of the seats.

Party Votes Votes % Change on 2005 % Seats Seast % Change on 2005
Conservative 10,698,394 36 3.8 306 47.1 97
Labour 8,609,527 29 -6.2 258 39.7 -91
Lib Dem 6,836,824 23 1 57 8.8 -5
UKIP 919,546 3.1 0.9 0 0 0
BNP 564,331 1.9 1.2 0 0 0
SNP 491,386 1.7 0.1 6 0.9 0
Green 285,616 1 -0.1 1 0.2 1
Sinn Fein 171,942 0.6 -0.1 5 0.8 0
DUP 168,216 0.6 -0.3 8 1.2 -1
Plaid Cymru 165,394 0.6 -0.1 3 0.5 1
SDLP 110,970 0.4 -0.1 3 0.5 0
UCUNF 102,361 0.3 -0.1 0 0 -1
APNI 42,762 0.1 0 1 0.2 1

As in election after election, the Liberal Democrats’ share of seats was much lower than their share of the vote, and in 2010 they suffered a perverse result of their national share of the vote going up a bit and their number of seats going down. Among the smaller parties, UKIP was easily the largest, with nearly a million votes, but it did not even come close to gaining representation in the House of Commons. In contrast, smaller parties with concentrated support such as the Democratic Unionist Party, Sinn Fein and Plaid Cymru managed to get similar shares of seats to votes, and the Greens broke through by exploiting the ability of FPTP to reward targeted campaigning and concentrated votes and win in Brighton Pavilion.

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