1796 British general election

The 1796 British general election returned members to serve in the 18th and last House of Commons of the Parliament of Great Britain. They were summoned before the Union of Great Britain and Ireland on 1 January 1801. The members in office in Great Britain at the end of 1800 continued to serve in the first Parliament of the United Kingdom (180102).

1796 British general election

25 May – 29 June 1796 (1796-05-25 1796-06-29)

All 558 seats in the House of Commons
280 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party
 
Leader William Pitt Charles James Fox
Party Pittite Foxite
Seats won 424 95
Seat change 84 88

Prime Minister before election

William Pitt
Pittite

Prime Minister after
election

William Pitt
Pittite

Political situation

Great Britain had been at war with France since 1792. The Prime Minister since 1783, William Pitt the Younger, led a broad wartime coalition of Whig and Tory politicians.

The principal opposition to Pitt was a relatively weak faction of Whigs, led by Charles James Fox. For four years after 1797 opposition attendance at Westminster was sporadic as Fox pursued a strategy of secession from Parliament. Only a small group, led by George Tierney, had attended frequently to oppose the ministers. As Foord observes "only once did the minority reach seventy-five, and it was often less than ten".[1]

Dates of election

The period between the first and last returns was 25 May to 29 June 1796.[2]

Summary of the constituencies

Monmouthshire (One County constituency with two members and one single member Borough constituency) is included in Wales in these tables. Sources for this period may include the county in England.

Table 1: Constituencies and Members, by type and country[3]

Country BC CC UC Total C BMP CMP UMP Total Members
 England 202 39 2 243 404 78 4 486
 Wales 13 13 0 26 13 14 0 27
 Scotland 15 30 0 45 15 30 0 45
 Total 230 82 2 314 432 122 4 558

Table 2: Number of seats per constituency, by type and country

Country BC×1 BC×2 BC×4 CC×1 CC×2 UC×2 Total C
 England 4 196 2 0 39 2 243
 Wales 13 0 0 12 1 0 26
 Scotland 15 0 0 30 0 0 45
 Total 32 196 2 42 40 2 314

Results

Seats summary

Parliamentary seats
Tory/Pittite
81.7%
Whig/Foxite
18.3%

See also

  • List of parliaments of Great Britain
  • List of MPs elected in the 1796 British general election

References

  1. His Majesty's Opposition 1714–1830, by Archibald S. Foord (Oxford University Press 1964)
  2. Footnote to Table 5.02 British Electoral Facts 1832–1999, compiled and edited by Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher (Ashgate Publishing Ltd 2000).
  3. British Historical Facts 1760–1830, by Chris Cook and John Stevenson (The Macmillan Press 1980).
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