All 659 seats to the House of Commons
330 seats needed for a majority
Colours denote the winning party, as shown in the main table of results.
* Indicates boundary change, so this is a nominal figure.
+ Notional 1992 results on new boundaries.
^ Figure does not include the speaker.
Composition of the House of Commons after the election
The 1997 United Kingdom general election was held on 1 May 1997. The incumbent governing Conservative Party led by Prime Minister John Major was defeated in a landslide by the Labour Party led by Tony Blair.
The political backdrop of campaigning focused on public opinion towards a change in government. Labour Leader, Tony Blair focused on transforming his party through a more centrist policy platform, entitled 'New Labour', with promises towards devolution referendums for Scotland and Wales, fiscal responsibility, and Blair's decision to nominate more female politicians for constituencies. Major sought to rebuild public trust in the Conservatives following a series of scandals, including the events of Black Wednesday in 1992, through campaigning on the strength of the economic recovery following the early 1990s recession, but faced divisions within the party over the UK's membership of the European Union.
Opinion polls during campaigning showed strong support for Labour due to the popularity of Blair amongst voters, and Blair won a personal public endorsement from The Sun newspaper two months before the vote. The final result of the election on 2 May 1997 revealed that Labour had won a landslide majority, making a net gain of 146 seats and winning 43.2% of the vote. The Conservatives, meanwhile, suffered defeat with a net loss of 178 seats, despite winning 30.7% of the vote. The Liberal Democrats, under the leadership of Paddy Ashdown, made a net gain of 28 seats, winning 16.8% of the vote.
The overall result of the election ended 18 years of Conservative government, in their worst defeat since 1906, a defeat which left them devoid of any MPs outside of England, only 17 MPs north of the Midlands, and less than 20% of MPs in London. Immediately following the election Major resigned both as Prime Minister and as party leader. Labour's victory, the largest achieved in their history and by any political party in British politics since the Second World War, led to the party's first of three consecutive terms in power lasting 13 years, with Blair as the newly appointed Prime Minister. The Liberal Democrats' success in the election, in part due to anti-Conservative tactical voting, both strengthened Ashdown's leadership and the party's position as a strong third party, having won the highest number of seats by any third party since 1929.
Although the Conservatives lost many ministers such as Michael Portillo, Tony Newton, Malcolm Rifkind, Ian Lang and William Waldegrave and controversial MPs such as Neil Hamilton and Jonathan Aitken, some of the Conservative newcomers in this election were future Prime Minister Theresa May, future Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond as well as future Speaker John Bercow. Meanwhile Labour newcomers included future Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet members Hazel Blears, Ben Bradshaw, Yvette Cooper, Caroline Flint, Barry Gardiner, Alan Johnson, Ruth Kelly, John McDonnell, Stephen Twigg and Rosie Winterton, as well as future Speaker Lindsay Hoyle. The election of 120 women, including 101 to the Labour benches came to be seen as a watershed moment in female political representation in the UK.
The British economy had been in recession at the time of the 1992 election, which the Conservatives had won, and although the recession had ended within a year, events such as Black Wednesday had tarnished the Conservative government's reputation for economic management. Labour had elected John Smith as its party leader in 1992, but his death from a heart attack in 1994 led the way for Tony Blair to become Labour leader.
Blair brought the party closer to the political centre and abolished the party's Clause IV in their constitution, which had committed them to mass nationalisation of industry. Labour also reversed its policy on unilateral nuclear disarmament and the events of Black Wednesday allowed Labour to promise greater economic management under the Chancellorship of Gordon Brown. A manifesto, entitled New Labour, New Life For Britain was released in 1996 and outlined five key pledges:
Disputes within the Conservative government over European Union issues, and a variety of "sleaze" allegations had severely affected the government's popularity. Despite the strong economic recovery and substantial fall in unemployment in the four years leading up to the election, the rise in Conservative support was only marginal with all of the major opinion polls having shown Labour in a comfortable lead since late 1992.
Following the 1992 general election, the Conservatives held government with 336 of the 651 House of Commons seats. Through a series of defections and by-election defeats, the Conservative government gradually lost its absolute majority in the House of Commons. By 1997, the Conservatives held only 324 House of Commons seats (and had not won a by-election since 1989).
The previous Parliament first sat on 29 April 1992. The Parliament Act 1911 required at the time for each Parliament to be dissolved before the fifth anniversary of its first sitting; therefore, the latest date the dissolution and the summoning of the next parliament could have been held on was 28 April 1997.
The 1985 amendment of the Representation of the People Act 1983 required that the election must take place on the eleventh working day after the deadline for nomination papers, which in turn must be no more than six working days after the next parliament was summoned.
Therefore, the latest date the election could have been held on was 22 May 1997 (which happened to be a Thursday). British elections (and referendums) have been held on Thursdays by convention since the 1930s, but can be held on other working days.
Prime Minister John Major called the election on Monday 17 March 1997, ensuring the formal campaign would be unusually long, at six weeks (Parliament was dissolved on 8 April). The election was scheduled for 1 May, to coincide with the local elections on the same day. This set a precedent, as the three subsequent general elections were also held alongside the May local elections.
The Conservatives argued that a long campaign would expose Labour and allow the Conservative message to be heard. However, Major was accused of arranging an early dissolution to protect Neil Hamilton from a pending parliamentary report into his conduct: a report that Major had earlier guaranteed would be published before the election.
The Conservative Party began low in the polls, and had experienced great difficulties over the previous five years, with polling often putting it some 40 points adrift of Labour. Major hoped that a long campaign would expose Labour's "hollowness" and the Conservative campaign emphasised stability, as did its manifesto title 'You can only be sure with the Conservatives'. However, the campaign was beset by deep-set problems, such as the rise of James Goldsmith's Referendum Party which advocated a referendum on continued membership of the European Union. The party threatened to take away many right-leaning voters from the Conservatives. Furthermore, about 200 candidates broke with official Conservative policy to oppose British membership of the single European currency. Major fought back, saying: "Whether you agree with me or disagree with me; like me or loathe me, don't bind my hands when I am negotiating on behalf of the British nation." The moment is remembered as one of the defining, and most surreal, moments of the election.
Meanwhile, there was also division amongst the Conservative cabinet, with Chancellor Kenneth Clarke describing the views of Home Secretary Michael Howard on Europe as "paranoid and xenophobic nonsense". The Conservatives also struggled to come up with a definitive theme to attack Labour, with some strategists arguing for an approach which castigated Labour for "stealing Tory clothes" (copying their positions), with others making the case for a more confrontational approach, stating that "New Labour" was just a façade for "old Labour".
The New Labour, New Danger poster, which depicted Tony Blair with demon eyes, was an example of the latter strategy. Major veered between the two approaches, which left Conservative Central Office staff frustrated. As Andrew Cooper explained: "We repeatedly tried and failed to get him to understand that you couldn't say that they were dangerous and copying you at the same time." In any case, the campaign failed to gain much traction, and the Conservatives went down to a landslide defeat at the polls.
Labour ran a slick campaign, which emphasised the splits within the Conservative government, and argued that the country needed a more centrist administration. Labour ran a centrist campaign that was good at picking up dissatisfied Conservative voters, particularly moderate and suburban ones. Tony Blair, highly popular, was very much the centrepiece of the campaign, and proved a highly effective campaigner.
The Labour campaign was reminiscent of those of Bill Clinton for the US Presidency, focusing on centrist themes, as well as adopting policies more commonly associated with the right, such as cracking down on crime and fiscal responsibility. The influence of political "spin" came into great effect for Labour at this point, as media centric figures such as Alastair Campbell and Peter Mandelson provided a clear cut campaign, and establishing a relatively new political brand "New Labour" with enviable success.
The Liberal Democrats had suffered a disappointing performance in 1992, but they were very much strengthened in 1997 due in part to potential tactical voting between Labour and Lib Dem supporters in Conservative marginal constituencies, particularly in the south - which explains why while given their share of the vote decreased, their number of seats nearly doubled. The Lib Dems promised to increase education funding paid for by a 1p increase in income tax.
The election was fought under new boundaries, with a net increase of eight seats compared to the 1992 election (651 to 659). Changes listed here are from the notional 1992 result, had it been fought on the boundaries established in 1997. These notional results were calculated by Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher and were used by all media organisations at the time.
|Party||Seats||Gains||Losses||Net gain/loss||Seats %||Votes %||Votes||+/-|
Labour won a landslide victory with its largest parliamentary majority (179) to date. On the BBC's election night programme Professor Anthony King described the result of the exit poll, which accurately predicted a Labour landslide, as being akin to "an asteroid hitting the planet and destroying practically all life on Earth". After years of trying, Labour had convinced the electorate that they would usher in a new age of prosperity--their policies, organisation and tone of optimism slotting perfectly into place.
Labour's victory was largely credited to the charisma of Tony Blair and a Labour public relations machine managed by Alastair Campbell and Peter Mandelson. Between the 1992 election and the 1997 election there had also been major steps to modernise the party, including scrapping Clause IV that had committed the party to extending public ownership of industry. Labour had suddenly seized the middle ground of the political spectrum, attracting voters much further to the right than their traditional working class or left wing support. In the early hours of 2 May 1997 a party was held at the Royal Festival Hall, in which Blair stated that "a new dawn has broken, has it not?".
The election was a crushing defeat for the Conservative Party, with the party having its lowest percentage share of the popular vote since 1832 under the Duke of Wellington's leadership, being wiped out in Scotland and Wales. A number of prominent Conservative MPs lost their seats in the election, including Michael Portillo, Malcolm Rifkind, Edwina Currie, David Mellor, Neil Hamilton and Norman Lamont. Such was the extent of Conservative losses at the election that Cecil Parkinson, speaking on the BBC's election night programme, joked upon the Conservatives winning their second seat that he was pleased that the subsequent election for the leadership would be contested.
The Liberal Democrats more than doubled their number of seats thanks to the use of tactical voting against the Conservatives. Although their share of the vote fell slightly, their total of 46 MPs was the highest for any UK Liberal party since David Lloyd George led the party to 59 seats in 1929.
The Referendum Party, which sought a referendum on the United Kingdom's relationship with the European Union, came fourth in terms of votes with 800,000 votes mainly from former Conservative voters, but won no seats in parliament. The six parties with the next highest votes stood only in either Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales; in order, they were the Scottish National Party, the Ulster Unionist Party, the Social Democratic and Labour Party, Plaid Cymru, Sinn Féin, and the Democratic Unionist Party.
In the previously safe seat of Tatton, where incumbent Conservative MP Neil Hamilton was facing charges of having taken cash for questions, the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties decided not to field candidates in order that an independent candidate, Martin Bell, would have a better chance of winning the seat, which he did with a comfortable margin.
The result declared for the constituency of Winchester showed a margin of victory of just two votes for the Liberal Democrats. The defeated Conservative candidate mounted a successful legal challenge to the result on the grounds that errors by election officials (failures to stamp certain votes) had changed the result; the court ruled the result invalid and ordered a by-election on 20 November which was won by the Liberal Democrats with a much larger majority, causing much recrimination in the Conservative Party about the decision to challenge the original result in the first place.
This election saw a doubling of the number of women in parliament, from 60 elected in 1992 to 120 elected in 1997. 102 of them were on the Labour benches - controversially described as Blair Babes - driven by the Labour Party's 1993 policy (ruled illegally discriminatory in 1996) of all-women shortlists. This election has therefore been widely seen as a watershed moment for representation of women in the UK.
This election marked the start of Labour government for the next 13 years, until the formation of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition in 2010.
|Party||Leader||Stood||Elected||Gained||Unseated||Net||% of total||%||No.||Net %|
|Liberal Democrats||Paddy Ashdown||639||46||30||2||+28||7.0||16.8||5,242,947||-1.0|
|Plaid Cymru||Dafydd Wigley||40||4||0||0||0||0.6||0.5||161,030||0.0|
|Sinn Féin||Gerry Adams||17||2||2||0||+2||0.3||0.4||126,921||0.0|
|Green||Peg Alexander and David Taylor||89||0||0||0||0||0.2||61,731||-0.2|
|Socialist Labour||Arthur Scargill||64||0||0||0||0||0.2||52,109||N/A|
|Natural Law||Geoffrey Clements||197||0||0||0||0||0.1||30,604||-0.1|
|ProLife Alliance||Bruno Quintavalle||56||0||0||0||0||0.1||19,332||N/A|
|UK Unionist||Robert McCartney||1||1||1||0||+1||0.2||0.0||12,817||N/A|
|National Democrats||Ian Anderson||21||0||0||0||0||0.0||10,829||N/A|
|Socialist Alternative||Peter Taaffe||0||0||0||0||0.0||9,906||N/A|
|Scottish Socialist||Tommy Sheridan||16||0||0||0||0||0.0||9,740||N/A|
|Independent Labour||N/A||4||0||0||0||0||0.0||9,233||- 0.1|
|Monster Raving Loony||Screaming Lord Sutch||24||0||0||0||0||0.0||7,906||-0.1|
|Rainbow Dream Ticket||Rainbow George Weiss||29||0||0||0||0||0.0||3,745||N/A|
|NI Women's Coalition||Monica McWilliams and Pearl Sagar||3||0||0||0||0||0.0||3,024||N/A|
|Workers' Party||Tom French||8||0||0||0||0||0.0||2,766||-0.1|
|National Front||John McAuley||6||0||0||0||0||0.0||2,716||N/A|
|Legalise Cannabis||Howard Marks||4||0||0||0||0||0.0||2,085||N/A|
|People's Labour||Jim Hamezian||1||0||0||0||0||0.0||1,995||N/A|
|Mebyon Kernow||Loveday Jenkin||4||0||0||0||0||0.0||1,906||N/A|
|Scottish Green||Robin Harper||5||0||0||0||0||0.0||1,721|
|Conservative Anti-Euro||Christopher Story||1||0||0||0||0||0.0||1,434||N/A|
|Community Representative||Ralph Knight||1||0||0||0||0||0.0||1,290||N/A|
|Workers Revolutionary||Sheila Torrance||9||0||0||0||0||0.0||1,178||N/A|
|Ind. Liberal Democrat||N/A||0||0||0||0||0.0||890|
|Socialist Equality||Davy Hyland||3||0||0||0||0||0.0||505|
All parties with more than 500 votes shown. Labour total includes New Labour and "Labour Time for Change" candidates; Conservative total includes candidates in Northern Ireland (excluded in some lists) and "Loyal Conservative" candidate.
The Popular Unionist MP elected in 1992 died in 1995, and the party folded shortly afterwards.
There was no incumbent Speaker in the 1992 election.
|Government's new majority||179|
|Total votes cast||31,286,284|
|Total||418||165||46||6||4||18||2 (inc Speaker)||659|
|Party||Name||Constituency||Office held whilst in power||Year elected||Defeated by||Party|
|Conservative Party||Raymond Robertson||Aberdeen South||1992||Anne Begg||Labour Party|
|George Kynoch||Kincardine and Deeside, contesting West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine||Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (1995-1997)||1992||Robert Smith||Liberal Democrats|
|Phillip Oppenheim||Amber Valley||1983||Judy Mallaber||Labour Party|
|Phil Gallie||Ayr||1992||Sandra Osborne||Labour Party|
|Elizabeth Peacock||Batley and Spen||1983||Mike Wood||Labour Party|
|John Bowis||Battersea||1987||Martin Linton||Labour Party|
|David Evennett||Erith and Crayford, contesting Bexleyheath and Crayford||1983||Nigel Beard||Labour Party|
|Harold Elletson||Blackpool North, contesting Blackpool North and Fleetwood||1992||Joan Humble||Labour Party|
|Tom Sackville||Bolton West||Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Office (1995-1997)||1983||Ruth Kelly||Labour Party|
|Tony Newton||Braintree||Leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Council (1992-1997)||1974||Alan Hurst||Labour Party|
|Jonathan Evans||Brecon and Radnorshire||Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales (1996-1997)||1992||Richard Livsey||Liberal Democrats|
|Rhodes Boyson||Brent North||Minister of State for Local Government (1986-1987)||1974||Barry Gardiner||Labour Party|
|Nirj Deva||Brentford and Isleworth||1992||Ann Keen||Labour Party|
|Andrew Bowden||Brighton Kemptown||1970||Des Turner||Labour Party|
|Derek Spencer||Brighton Pavilion||Solicitor General for England and Wales (1992-1997)||1992||David Lepper||Labour Party|
|Michael Stern||Bristol North West||1983||Doug Naysmith||Labour Party|
|William Waldegrave||Bristol West||Chief Secretary to the Treasury (1995-1997)||1979||Valerie Davey||Labour Party|
|Jim Lester||Broxtowe||1974||Nick Palmer||Labour Party|
|Ivan Lawrence||Burton||Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee (1992-1997)||1974||Janet Dean||Labour Party|
|Alistair Burt||Bury North||Minister of State for the Department of Social Security (1995-1997)||1983||David Chaytor||Labour Party|
|David Sumberg||Bury South||1983||Ivan Lewis||Labour Party|
|Donald Thompson||Calder Valley||1979||Christine McCafferty||Labour Party|
|Gwilym Jones||Cardiff North||Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales (1994-1997)||1983||Julie Morgan||Labour Party|
|Nigel Forman||Carshalton and Wallington||Minister of Higher Education (1992)||1976||Tom Brake||Liberal Democrats (UK)|
|Bob Spink||Castle Point||1992||Christine Butler||Labour Party|
|Gyles Brandreth||City of Chester||Lord Commissioner of the Treasury (1996-1997)||1992||Christine Russell||Labour Party|
|Den Dover||Chorley||1979||Lindsay Hoyle||Labour Party|
|Michael Brown||Brigg and Cleethorpes, contesting Cleethorpes||1979||Shona McIsaac||Labour Party|
|Rod Richards||Clwyd North West, contesting Clwyd West||Under-Secretary of State for Wales (1994-1996)||1992||Gareth Thomas||Labour Party|
|Graham Riddick||Colne Valley||1987||Kali Mountford||Labour Party|
|William Powell||Corby||1983||Phil Hope||Labour Party|
|Malcolm Thornton||Crosby||1979||Claire Curtis-Thomas||Labour Party|
|David Congdon||Croydon North East, contesting Croydon Central||1992||Geraint Davies||Labour Party|
|Bob Dunn||Dartford||1979||Howard Stoate||Labour Party|
|Greg Knight||Derby North||Minister of State for Industry (1996-1997)||1983||Bob Laxton||Labour Party|
|David Shaw||Dover||1987||Gwyn Prosser||Labour Party|
|Harry Greenway||Ealing North||1979||Stephen Pound||Labour Party|
|Malcolm Rifkind||Edinburgh Pentlands||Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1995-1997)||1974||Lynda Clark||Labour Party|
|James Douglas-Hamilton||Edinburgh West||Minister of State for Scotland (1995-1997)||1974||Donald Gorrie||Liberal Democrats (UK)|
|Ian Twinn||Edmonton||1983||Andy Love||Labour Party|
|Spencer Batiste||Elmet||1983||Colin Burgon||Labour Party|
|Michael Portillo||Enfield Southgate||Secretary of State for Defence (1995-1997)||1984||Stephen Twigg||Labour Party|
|Angela Knight||Erewash||Economic Secretary to the Treasury (1995-1997)||1992||Liz Blackman||Labour Party|
|Sebastian Coe||Falmouth and Camborne||1992||Candy Atherton||Labour Party|
|John Marsahll||Hendon South, contesting Finchley and Golders Green||1987||Rudi Vis||Labour Party|
|Paul Marland||West Gloucestershire, contesting Forest of Dean||1979||Diana Organ||Labour Party|
|Ian Lang||Galloway and Upper Nithsdale||President of the Board of Trade and Secretary of State for Trade & Industry (1995-1997)||1979||Alasdair Morgan||Scottish National Party|
|Andrew Mitchell||Gedling||Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Social Security||1987||Vernon Coaker||Labour Party|
|James Couchman||Gillingham||1983||Paul Clark||Labour Party|
|Douglas French||Gloucester||1987||Tess Kingham||Labour Party|
|Jacques Arnold||Gravesham||1987||Chris Pond||Labour Party|
|Michael Carttiss||Great Yarmouth||1983||Anthony Wright||Labour Party|
|Matthew Carrington||Fulham, contesting Hammersmith and Fulham||1987||Iain Coleman||Labour Party|
|Jerry Hayes||Harlow||1983||Bill Rammell||Labour Party|
|Norman Lamont||Kingston-upon-Thames, contesting Harrogate and Knaresborough||Chancellor of the Exchequer (1990-1993)||1972||Phil Willis||Liberal Democrats|
|Hugh Dykes||Harrow East||1970||Tony McNulty||Labour Party|
|Robert Hughes||Harrow West||1987||Gareth Thomas||Labour Party|
|Iain Sproat||Harwich||Minister for Sport (1993-1997)||1992||Ivan Henderson||Labour Party|
|Jacqui Lait||Hastings and Rye||1992||Michael Foster||Labour Party|
|Robert Jones||West Hertfordshire, contesting Hemel Hempstead||Minister of State for Construction (1995-1997)||1983||Tony McWalter||Labour Party|
|John Gorst||Hendon North, contesting Hendon||1970||Andrew Dismore||Labour Party|
|Colin Shepherd||Hereford||1974||Paul Keetch||Liberal Democrats (UK)|
|Charles Hendry||High Peak||1992||Tom Levitt||Labour Party|
|Robin Squire||Hornchurch||1979||John Cryer||Labour Party|
|Vivian Bendall||Ilford North||1978||Linda Perham||Labour Party|
|Gary Waller||Keighley||1979||Ann Cryer||Labour Party|
|Roger Freeman||Kettering||Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1995-1997)||1983||Phil Sawford||Labour Party|
|Richard Tracey||Surbiton, contesting Kingston and Surbiton||Minister for Sport (1985-1987)||1983||Ed Davey||Liberal Democrats|
|Keith Mans||Wyre, contesting Lancaster and Wyre||1987||Hilton Dawson||Labour Party|
|Timothy Kirkhope||Leeds North East||Under-Secretary of State at the Home Office (1995-1997)||1987||Fabian Hamilton||Labour Party|
|Keith Hampson||Leeds North West||1974||Harold Best||Labour Party|
|Tim Rathbone||Lewes||1974||Norman Baker||Liberal Democrats|
|Graham Bright||Luton South||1979||Margaret Moran||Labour Party|
|Peggy Fenner||Medway||1979||Bob Marshall-Andrews||Labour Party|
|Michael Bates||Langbaurgh, contesting Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland||Paymaster-General (1996-1997)||1992||Ashok Kumar||Labour Party|
|Barry Legg||Milton Keynes South West||1992||Phyllis Starkey||Labour Party|
|Angela Rumbold||Mitcham and Morden||1982||Siobhain McDonagh||Labour Party|
|Roger Evans||Monmouth||1992||Huw Edwards||Labour Party|
|Mark Lennox-Boyd||Morecambe and Lunesdale||Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Foreign Office (1990-1994)||1979||Geraldine Smith||Labour Party|
|Richard Alexander||Newark||1979||Fiona Jones||Labour Party|
|Peter Butler||North East Milton Keynes||1992||Brian White||Labour Party|
|Bill Walker||Tayside North||1979||John Swinney||Scottish National Party|
|David Ashby||North West Leicestershire||1983||David Taylor||Labour Party|
|Henry Bellingham||North West Norfolk||1983||George Turner||Labour Party|
|Tony Marlow||Northampton North||1979||Sally Keeble||Labour Party|
|Michael Morris||Northampton South||Chairman of Ways and Means (1992-1997)||1974||Tony Clarke||Labour Party|
|John Cope||Northavon||Paymaster General (1992-1994)||1974||Steve Webb||Liberal Democrats|
|Peter Griffiths||Portsmouth North||1979||Syd Rapson||Labour Party|
|David Martin||Portsmouth South||1987||Mike Hancock||Liberal Democrats|
|David Mellor||Putney||Secretary of State for National Heritage (1992)||1979||Tony Colman||Labour Party|
|John Watts||Slough, contesting Reading East||Minister of State for Transport (1994-1997)||1983||Jane Griffiths||Labour Party|
|Jeremy Hanley||Richmond and Barnes, contesting Richmond Park||Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1995-1997)||1983||Jenny Tonge||Liberal Democrats|
|Michael Neubert||Romford||Under-Secretary of State for the Armed Forces (1994-1997)||1974||Eileen Gordon||Labour Party|
|Jim Pawsey||Rugby and Kenilworth||1979||Andy King||Labour Party|
|John Sykes||Scarborough, contesting Scarborough and Whitby||1992||Lawrie Quinn||Labour Party|
|Irvine Patnick||Sheffield Hallam||Lord Commissioner of the Treasury (1990-1994)||1987||Richard Allan||Liberal Democrats|
|Marcus Fox||Shipley||Chairman of the 1922 Committee (1992-1997)||1970||Chris Leslie||Labour Party|
|Derek Conway||Shrewsbury and Atcham||Vice-Chamberlain of the Household (1996-1997)||1983||Paul Marsden||Labour Party|
|Roger Moate||Faversham, contesting Sittingbourne and Sheppey||1970||Derek Wyatt||Labour Party|
|Mark Robinson||Somerton and Frome||1992||David Heath||Liberal Democrats|
|Robert Atkins||South Ribble||Minister of State for Environment and Countryside (1994-1995)||1979||David Borrow||Labour Party|
|Simon Coombs||Swindon, contesting Swindon South||1983||Julia Drown||Labour Party|
|Jonathan Aitken||South Thanet||Chief Secretary to the Treasury (1994-1995)||1974||Stephen Ladyman||Labour Party|
|James Hill||Southampton Test||1979||Alan Whitehead||Labour Party|
|Matthew Gordon-Banks||Southport||1992||Ronnie Fearn||Liberal Democrats|
|Timothy Wood||Stevenage||Comptroller of the Household (1995-1997)||1983||Barbara Follett||Labour Party|
|Michael Forsyth||Stirling||Secretary of State for Scotland (1995-1997)||1983||Anne McGuire||Labour Party|
|Tim Devlin||Stockton South||1987||Dari Taylor||Labour Party|
|Warren Hawksley||Halesowen and Stourbridge, contesting Stourbridge||1992||Debra Shipley||Labour Party|
|Roger Knapman||Stroud||Lord Commissioner of the Treasury (1996-1997)||1987||David Drew||Labour Party|
|Olga Maitland||Sutton and Cheam||1992||Paul Burstow||Liberal Democrats|
|Neil Hamilton||Tatton||Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Corporate Affairs (1992-1994)||1983||Martin Bell||Independent|
|David Nicholson||Taunton||1987||Jackie Ballard||Liberal Democrats|
|Rupert Allason||Torbay||1987||Adrian Sanders||Liberal Democrats|
|Toby Jessel||Twickenham||1970||Vince Cable||Liberal Democrats|
|Nicholas Bonsor||Upminster||Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (1995-1997)||1979||Keith Darvill||Labour Party|
|Walter Sweeney||Vale of Glamorgan||1992||John Smith||Labour Party|
|Dudley Smith||Warwick and Leamington||1968||James Plaskitt||Labour Party|
|David Porter||Waveney||1987||Bob Blizzard||Labour Party|
|Peter Fry||Wellingborough||1969||Paul Stinchcombe||Labour Party|
|David Evans||Welwyn Hatfield||1987||Melanie Johnson||Labour Party|
|Charles Goodson-Wickes||Wimbledon||1987||Roger Casale||Labour Party|
|Gerry Malone||Winchester||1992||Mark Oaten||Liberal Democrats|
|David Hunt||Wirral West||Secretary of State for Wales (1995)||1976||Stephen Hesford||Labour Party|
|Nicholas Budgen||Wolverhampton South West||1974||Jenny Jones||Labour Party|
|Anthony Coombs||Wyre Forest||1987||David Lock||Labour Party|
|Liberal Democrats (UK)
||Diana Maddock||Christchurch||1993||Christopher Chope||Conservative Party|
|Chris Davies||Littleborough and Saddleworth, contesting Oldham East and Saddleworth||1995||Phil Woolas||Labour Party|
|Liz Lynne||Rochdale||1992||Lorna Fitzsimons||Labour Party|
|Social Democratic and Labour Party||Joe Hendron||Belfast West||1992||Gerry Adams||Sinn Féin|
|Democratic Unionist Party||William McCrea||Mid Ulster||1983||Martin McGuinness||Sinn Féin|
|Referendum Party||George Gardiner||Reigate||1974||Crispin Blunt||Conservative Party|
The poor results for the Conservative Party led to infighting, with the One Nation group, Tory Reform Group, and right-wing Maastricht Rebels blaming each other for the defeat. Party chairman Brian Mawhinney said on the night of the election that defeat was due to disillusionment with 18 years of Conservative rule. John Major resigned as party leader, saying "When the curtain falls, it is time to leave the stage".
Following the defeat, the Conservatives began their longest continuous spell in opposition in the history of the present day (post-Tamworth Manifesto) Conservative Party, and indeed the longest such spell for any incarnation of the Tories/Conservatives since the 1760s, lasting 13 years, including the whole of the 2000s. Throughout this period, their representation in the Commons remained consistently below 200 MPs.
Meanwhile Paddy Ashdown's continued leadership of the Liberal Democrats was assured, and they were felt to be in a position to build positively as a strong third party into the new millennium, culminating in their sharing power in the 2010 coalition with the Conservatives.
With the huge rise in internet use since the previous general election, BBC News created a special website - BBC Politics 97 - covering the election. This site was an experiment for the efficiency of an online news service which was due for a launch later in the year.
We suggest that 1997 was significant because it helped normalise a large female presence at Westminster which absolved women MPs of the obligation to act as 'token women' and thus as spokeswomen for their sex.
The research suggests that women MPs consider that women's presence has the potential to transform the parliamentary political agenda and style.