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Tony Blair Labour SUBSEQUENT PRIME MINISTER

Tony Blair Labour

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Seats won in the election (outer ring) against number of votes (inner ring).

The UNITED KINGDOM GENERAL ELECTION OF 2001 was held on Thursday 7 June 2001, four years after the previous election on 1 May 1997, to elect 659 members to the British House of Commons . Under the leadership of Tony Blair , the Labour Party was re-elected to serve a second term in government with another landslide victory , returning 413 of the 418 seats won by the party in the previous general election, a net loss of 5 seats, though with significantly lower turnout than before - 59.4%, compared to 71.3% in the previous election. Tony Blair went on to become the first Labour Prime Minister to serve a consecutive full term in office. It was dubbed "the quiet landslide" by the media.

There was little change outside Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
, with 620 out of the 641 seats electing candidates from the same party as they did in 1997 . Factors contributing to the Labour victory were a strong economy and falling unemployment, as well as that Labour was seen as having delivered on many key election pledges that it had made in 1997.

The Conservative Party , under William Hague 's leadership, was still deeply divided on the issue of Europe and the party's policy platform was considered to have shifted to a right wing focus. Hague was also hindered by a series of embarrassing publicity stunts, and resigned as party leader three months later, becoming the first Conservative leader since Austen Chamberlain to leave office without becoming Prime Minister .

The election was essentially a repeat of the 1997 election, with Labour losing only 6 seats overall and the Conservatives making a net gain of one seat (gaining nine seats, but losing eight). The Conservatives did manage to gain a seat in Scotland
Scotland
, which ended the party's status as an 'England-only' party in the prior parliament. Although they did not gain many seats, one of the new MPs elected was future Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron
David Cameron
. The Liberal Democrats gained six seats.

Change was seen in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
, with the moderately unionist Ulster Unionist Party losing four seats to the more hardline Democratic Unionist Party . This transition was mirrored in the nationalist community with the moderate SDLP losing votes to the more staunchly republican and abstentionist Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
.

The election was also marked with exceptionally low voter turnout, falling below 60% for the first time since 1918. The election was broadcast live on the BBC, and presented by Jeremy Paxman , Andrew Marr , Peter Snow and David Dimbleby
David Dimbleby
.

CONTENTS

* 1 Overview * 2 Campaign * 3 Controversy * 4 Opinion polling

* 5 Results

* 5.1 Results by constituent country * 5.2 Seats changing hands * 5.3 MPs that lost their seats

* 6 See also * 7 Manifestos * 8 References * 9 Bibliography * 10 External links

OVERVIEW

The election had been expected on 3 May, to coincide with local elections , but both were postponed because of rural movement restrictions imposed in response to the foot and mouth outbreak .

The elections were marked by voter apathy, with turnout falling to 59.4%, the lowest since the Coupon Election of 1918. Throughout the election the Labour Party had maintained a significant lead in the opinion polls and the result was deemed to be so certain that some bookmakers paid out for a Labour majority before the election day.

However, the opinion polls the previous autumn had shown the first Tory lead (though only by a narrow margin) in the opinion polls for eight years as they benefited from the public anger towards the government over the fuel protests which had led to a severe shortage of motor fuel.

By the end of 2000, however, the dispute had been solved and Labour were firmly back in the lead of the opinion polls. In total, a mere 29 parliamentary seats changed hands at the 2001 Election.

One of the more noted events of a quiet campaign was when countryside protester Craig Evans threw an egg at Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott in Rhyl ; Prescott then punched him and a struggle ensued, in front of television cameras.

2001 also saw the rare election of an independent. Dr. Richard Taylor of Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern (usually now known simply as "Health Concern") unseated a government minister. There was also a high vote for British National Party
British National Party
leader Nick Griffin in Oldham
Oldham
, in the wake of recent race riots in the town.

In Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
, the election was far more dramatic and marked a move by unionists away from support for the Good Friday Agreement , with the moderate unionist Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) losing to the more hardline Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). This polarisation was also seen in the nationalist community, with the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) vote losing out to more left-wing and republican Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
. It also saw a tightening of the parties as the small UK Unionist Party lost its only seat.

CAMPAIGN

For Labour, the last four years had run relatively smoothly. The party had successfully defended all their by election seats, and many suspected a Labour win was inevitable from the start.

Many in the party however were afraid of voter apathy, which was epitomised in the "Hague with Lady Thatcher's hair" poster. Despite recessions in mainland Europe and the United States, due to the bursting of global tech bubbles, Britain was notably unaffected and Labour however could rely on a strong economy as unemployment continued to decline toward election day, putting to rest any fears of a Labour government putting the economic situation at risk.

For William Hague , however, the Conservative Party had still not fully recovered from the loss in 1997. The party was still divided over Europe, and talk of a referendum on joining the Eurozone was rife. As Labour remained at the political centre, the Tories moved to the right. A policy gaffe by Oliver Letwin
Oliver Letwin
over public spending cuts left the party with an own goal that Labour soon took advantage of.

Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
also added to Hague's troubles when speaking out strongly against the Euro to applause. Hague himself, although a witty performer at PMQs, was dogged in the press and reminded of his speech at Conservative conference at the age of 16. The Sun newspaper only added to the Conservatives woes by backing Labour once again, calling Hague a "dead parrot".

The Tories campaigned on a strongly right-wing platform, emphasising the issues of Europe, immigration and tax, the fabled "Tebbit Trinity" . However, Labour countered by asking where the proposed tax cuts were going to come from, and decried the Tory policy as "cut here, cut there, cut everywhere", in reference to the widespread belief that the Conservatives would make major cuts to public services in order to fund tax cuts.

For the Liberal Democrats, this was the first election for leader Charles Kennedy .

CONTROVERSY

During the election Sharron Storer, a resident of Birmingham
Birmingham
, criticised Prime Minister Tony Blair in front of television cameras about conditions in the National Health Service . The widely televised incident happened on 16 May during a campaign visit by Blair to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. Sharron Storer's partner , Keith Sedgewick, a cancer patient with non-Hodgkin\'s lymphoma and therefore highly susceptible to infection, was being treated at the time in the bone marrow unit, but no bed could be found for him and he was transferred to the casualty unit for his first 24 hours.

OPINION POLLING

Main article: Opinion polling for the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
general election, 2001

RESULTS

The election result was effectively a repeat of 1997, as the Labour party retained an overwhelming majority with BBC
BBC
announcing the victory at 02:58 on the early morning of the 6th June. Having presided over relatively serene political, economic and social conditions, the feeling of prosperity in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
had been maintained into the new millennium, and Labour would have a free hand to assert its ideals in the subsequent parliament. Despite the victory, voter apathy was a major issue, as turnout fell below 60%, 12% down on 1997. All of the 3 main parties saw their total votes fall, with Labour's total vote dropping by 2.8 million on 1997, the Conservatives 1.3 million, and the Liberal Democrats 428,000. Some suggested this dramatic fall was a sign of the general acceptance of the status quo and the likelihood of Labour's majority remaining unassailable.

For the Conservatives, this huge loss they had sustained in 1997 was repeated. Despite gaining 9 seats the Tories lost 7 to the Liberal Democrats, and one even to Labour. The inevitable result was the speedy resignation of William Hague in the election aftermath resigning at 07:44 outside the Conservative Party headquarters. Some believed that Hague had been unlucky, although most considered him to be a talented orator and an intelligent statesman, he had come up against the charismatic Tony Blair in the peak of his political career, and it was no surprise that little progress was made in reducing Labour's majority after a relatively smooth parliament.

Staying at what they considered rock bottom however showed that the Conservatives had failed to improve their negative public image, had remained somewhat disunited over Europe and had not regained the trust that they had lost in the 1990s. But in Scotland, despite gaining one seat from the SNP, their vote collapse continued. They failed to retake former strongholds in Scotland
Scotland
as the Nationalists consolidated their grip on the Northeastern portion of the country.

The Liberal Democrats could point to steady progress under Charles Kennedy , gaining more seats than the main two parties – albeit only six overall – and maintaining the performance of a pleasing 1997 election, where the party had doubled its number of seats from 20 to 46. While they had yet to become electable as a government, they underlined their growing reputation as a worthwhile alternative to Labour and Conservative, offering plenty of debate in parliament and not just representing a protest vote.

The SNP failed to gain any seats and lost a seat to the Conservatives by just 79 votes. Plaid Cymru both gained a seat from Labour and lost one to them.

In Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
the Ulster Unionists, despite gaining North Down, lost 5 other seats.

↓ 413 166 52 28

LABOUR CONSERVATIVE LIB DEM O

UK General Election 2001

CANDIDATES VOTES

PARTY LEADER STANDING ELECTED GAINED UNSEATED NET % OF TOTAL % NO. NET %

LABOUR Tony Blair 640 413 2 8 −6 62.5 40.7 10,724,953 −2.5

Conservative William Hague 643 166 9 8 +1 25.2 31.7 8,357,615 +1.0

Liberal Democrat Charles Kennedy 639 52 8 2 +6 7.9 18.3 4,814,321 +1.5

SNP John Swinney 72 5 0 1 −1 0.8 1.8 464,314 −0.2

UKIP Jeffrey Titford 428 0 0 0 0 0.0 1.5 390,563 1.2

UUP David Trimble
David Trimble
17 6 1 5 −4 0.9 0.8 216,839 0.0

Plaid Cymru Ieuan Wyn Jones 40 4 1 1 0 0.6 0.7 195,893 +0.2

DUP Ian Paisley
Ian Paisley
14 5 3 0 +3 0.8 0.7 181,999 +0.4

Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
Gerry Adams 18 4 2 0 +2 0.6 0.7 175,933 +0.3

SDLP John Hume 18 3 0 0 0 0.5 0.6 169,865 0.0

Green Margaret Wright and Mike Woodin 145 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.6 166,477 +0.3

Independent N/A 136 0 0 1 −1 0.0 0.4 97,070 +0.3

Scottish Socialist Tommy Sheridan
Tommy Sheridan
72 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.3 72,516 N/A

Socialist Alliance None 98 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.2 57,553 N/A

Socialist Labour Arthur Scargill 114 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.2 57,288 0.0

BNP Nick Griffin 33 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.2 47,129 +0.1

Alliance Seán Neeson 10 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.1 28,999 −0.1

Health Concern Richard Taylor 1 1 1 0 +1 0.2 0.1 28,487 N/A

Liberal Michael Meadowcroft 13 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.1 13,685 0.0

UK Unionist Robert McCartney 1 0 0 1 −1 0.0 0.1 13,509 +0.1

ProLife Alliance Bruno Quintavalle 37 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 9,453 −0.1

Legalise Cannabis Alun Buffry 13 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 8,677 N/A

People\'s Justice Shaukat Ali Khan 3 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 7,443 N/A

Monster Raving Loony Howling Laud Hope and Catmando 15 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 6,655 0.0

PUP Hugh Smyth 2 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 4,781 0.0

Mebyon Kernow
Mebyon Kernow
Dick Cole 3 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 3,199 0.0

NI Women\'s Coalition Monica McWilliams and Pearl Sagar 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 2,968 0.0

Scottish Unionist

2 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 2,728 N/A

Rock \'n\' Roll Loony Chris Driver 7 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 2,634 N/A

National Front Tom Holmes 5 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 2,484 0.0

Workers\' Party Seán Garland 6 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 2,352 0.0

Neath Port Talbot Ratepayers Paul Evans 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 1,960 N/A

NI Unionist Cedric Wilson 6 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 1,794 N/A

Socialist Alternative Peter Taaffe 2 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 1,454 0.0

Reform 2000 Erol Basarik 5 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 1,418 N/A

Isle of Wight

1 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 1,164 N/A

Muslim

4 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 1,150 N/A

Communist Robert Griffiths 6 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 1,003 0.0

New Britain Dennis Delderfield 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 888 0.0

Free Party

3 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 832 N/A

Leeds Left Alliance Mike Davies 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 770 N/A

New Millennium Bean Party Captain Beany 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 727 N/A

Workers Revolutionary Sheila Torrance 6 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 607 0.0

Tatton

1 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 505 N/A

GOVERNMENT\'S NEW MAJORITY 167

Total votes cast 26,367,383

Turnout 59.4%

All parties with more than 500 votes shown.

The seat gains reflect changes on the 1997 general election result . Two seats had changed hands in by-elections in the intervening period. These were as follows:

* Romsey from Conservative to Liberal Democrats . This seat stayed Liberal Democrat in 2001. * South Antrim from Ulster Unionists to Democratic Unionists . This seat reverted to the Ulster Unionists in 2001.

The results of the election give a Gallagher index of dis-proportionality of 17.74.

POPULAR VOTE

LABOUR   40.7%

Conservative   31.7%

Liberal Democrat   18.3%

Scottish National   1.8%

UK Independence   1.5%

Others   6.1%

PARLIAMENTARY SEATS

LABOUR   62.7%

Conservative   25.2%

Liberal Democrat   7.9%

Ulster Unionist   0.9%

Scottish National   0.8%

Democratic Unionist   0.8%

Others   1.8%

RESULTS BY CONSTITUENT COUNTRY

LAB CON LD SNP PC NI PARTIES OTHERS TOTAL

England 323 165 40 - - - 1 533

Wales 34 - 2 - 4 - - 40

Scotland 56 1 10 5 - - - 72

Northern Ireland - - - - - 18 - 18

Total 413 166 52 5 4 18 1 659

SEATS CHANGING HANDS

SEAT 1997 ELECTION CONSTITUENCY RESULT 2001 BY PARTY 2001 ELECTION

CON LAB LIB PC SNP OTHERS

BELFAST NORTH

UUP

DUP GAIN

CARMARTHEN EAST AND DINEFWR

Labour 4,912 13,540 2,815 16,130

656

Plaid Cymru GAIN

CASTLE POINT

Labour 17,738 16,753 3,116

1273

Conservative GAIN

CHEADLE

Conservative 18,444 6,086 18,477

599

Liberal Democrat GAIN

CHESTERFIELD

Labour 3,613 18,663 21,249

437

Liberal Democrat GAIN

DORSET MID AND POOLE NORTH

Conservative 17,974 6,765 18,358

621

Liberal Democrat GAIN

DORSET SOUTH

Conservative 18,874 19,027 6,531

913

Labour GAIN

FERMANAGH AND SOUTH TYRONE

UUP

Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
GAIN

GALLOWAY AND UPPER NITHSDALE

SNP 12,222 7,258 3,698

12,148 588

Conservative GAIN

GUILDFORD

Conservative 19,820 6,558 20,358

736

Liberal Democrat GAIN

ISLE OF WIGHT

Liberal Democrat 25,223 9,676 22,397

2,106

Conservative GAIN

LONDONDERRY EAST

UUP

DUP GAIN

LUDLOW

Conservative 16,990 5,785 18,620

871

Liberal Democrat GAIN

NEWARK

Labour 20,983 16,910 5,970

Conservative GAIN

NORFOLK NORTH

Conservative 23,495 7,490 23,978

649

Liberal Democrat GAIN

NORFOLK NORTH WEST

Labour 24,846 21,361 4,292

704

Conservative GAIN

NORTH DOWN

UK Unionist

UUP GAIN

ROMFORD

Labour 18,931 12,954 2,869

Conservative GAIN

ROMSEY

Conservative 20,386 3,986 22,756

Liberal Democrat GAIN

STRANGFORD

UUP

DUP GAIN

TATTON

Independent 19,860 11,249 7,685

Conservative GAIN

TAUNTON

Liberal Democrat 23,033 8,254 22,798

1,140

Conservative GAIN

TEIGNBRIDGE

Conservative 23,332 7,366 26,343

Liberal Democrat GAIN

TYRONE WEST

UUP

Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
GAIN

UPMINSTER

Labour 15,410 14,169 3,183

1,089

Conservative GAIN

WYRE FOREST

Labour 9,350 10,857

28,487

Independent GAIN

YNYS MON

Plaid Cymru 7,653 11,906 2,772 11,106

Labour GAIN

MPS THAT LOST THEIR SEATS

PARTY NAME CONSTITUENCY OFFICE HELD WHILST IN POWER YEAR ELECTED DEFEATED BY PARTY

Labour Party Alan Wynne Williams Carmarthen East and Dinefwr

1987 Adam Price
Adam Price

Plaid Cymru

Christine Butler Castle Point

1997 Dr. Bob Spink

Conservative Party

Fiona Jones Newark

1997 Colonel Patrick Mercer OBE Conservative Party

George Turner Norfolk North West

1997 Henry Bellingham

Conservative Party

Eileen Gordon Romford

1997 Andrew Rosindell

Conservative Party

Keith Darvill Upminster

1997 Angela Watkinson

Conservative Party

David Lock Wyre Forest

1997 Dr. Richard Taylor

Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern

Conservative Party Stephen Day Cheadle

1987 Patsy Calton

Liberal Democrats

Christopher Fraser Mid Dorset and North Poole

1997 Annette Brooke
Annette Brooke

Liberal Democrats

Ian Bruce Dorset South

1987 Jim Knight

Labour Party

Nick St Aubyn Guildford

1997 Sue Doughty

Liberal Democrats

The Hon. David Prior Norfolk North

1997 Norman Lamb

Liberal Democrats

Patrick Nicholls Teignbridge

1983 Richard Younger-Ross

Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrats Dr. Peter Brand Isle of Wight

1997 Andrew Turner

Conservative Party

Jackie Ballard Taunton

1997 Adrian Flook

Conservative Party

Ulster Unionist Party Willie Ross East Londonderry

1974 Gregory Campbell

Democratic Unionist Party

Cecil Walker North Belfast

1983 Nigel Dodds OBE

Democratic Unionist Party

William Thompson West Tyrone

1997 Pat Doherty

Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin

Democratic Unionist Party William McCrea Antrim South

2000 David Burnside

Ulster Unionist Party

UK Unionist Party Robert McCartney North Down

1995 Lady Hermon

Ulster Unionist Party

Independent Martin Bell
Martin Bell
Tatton contesting Brentwood and Ongar

1997 Eric Pickles

Conservative Party

The disproportionality of the house of parliament in the 2001 election was 18.03 according to the Gallagher Index
Gallagher Index
, mainly between Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

SEE ALSO

* MPs elected in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
general election, 2001 * 2001 UK foot and mouth crisis * 2001 United Kingdom
United Kingdom
general election results in Scotland
Scotland
* 2001 United Kingdom
United Kingdom
general election results in Wales * 2001 United Kingdom
United Kingdom
general election results in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland

MANIFESTOS

* Labour (Ambitions for Britain) * Conservative (Time for Common Sense) * Liberal Democrat (Freedom, Justice, Honesty) * UK Independence Party * British National Party
British National Party
(Where we stand!) * Green Party of England and Wales * Ulster Unionist Party * Progressive Unionist Party * Social Democratic and Labour Party (It\'s working – let\'s keep building) * Plaid Cymru * Scottish National Party
Scottish National Party
(Heart of the Manifesto 2001) * ProLife Alliance * The Democratic Party (The will of the people NOT the party) * Kidderminster Health Concern * Monster Raving Loony Party (Vote for insanity – you know it makes sense) * The Stuckist Party * Scottish Socialist Party * Left Alliance * Communist Party of B