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A landslide victory is an electoral victory in a political system, when one candidate or party receives an overwhelming majority of the votes or seats in the elected body, thus all but utterly eliminating the opponents. The winning party has reached more voters than usual, and a landslide victory is often seen in hindsight as a turning point in people's views on political matters.
Part of the reason for a landslide victory is sometimes a bandwagon effect, as a significant number of people may decide to vote for the party which is in the lead in the pre-election opinion polls, regardless of its politics.
The term is borrowed from geology, where a landslide takes almost everything with it on its way.
As in other Commonwealth countries with single-member constituencies, a landslide in the Australian House of Representatives occurs when one party has a large majority of the seats.
1917: The Nationalists won 53 seats while the Labor Party won just 22.
1929: The Labor Party won 47 seats while the Nationalists won just 14.
1931: The United Australian Party won 40 seats while the Country Party won just 16.
1943: The Labor Party won 49 seats while the UAP and the Country Party tied with just 12.
1946: The Labor Party won 43 seats while the Coalition won just 29.
1949: The Coalition won 74 seats while the Labor Party won just 48.
1955: The Coalition won 75 seats while the Labor Party won just 49.
1958: The Coalition won 77 seats while the Labor Party won just 47.
1966: The Coalition won 82 seats while the Labor Party won just 41.
1975: The Coalition won 91 seats while the Labor Party won just 36.
1977: The Coalition won 86 seats while the Labor Party won just 38.
1983: The Labor Party won 75 seats while the Coalition won just 50.
1996: The Coalition won 94 seats while the Labor Party won just 49.
2007: The Labor Party won 83 seats while the Coalition won just 65.
2013: The Coalition won 90 seats while the Labor Party won just 55.
1968 legislative election: the Gaullist party wins 3/4 of all seats.
1981 legislative elections: the PS wins 266 out of 481
1993: the liberal-conservative coalition RPR-UDF wins 84% of the seats in parliament.
2002 - Jacques Chirac wins the presidential election with 82.1% of the popular vote. His party also has won 357 seats out of 577.
Because of Germany's multi-partymixed-member proportional representation system, it is extremely difficult for any one party to gain a majority in the Bundestag. Thus, a landslide election occurs when a party gains close to a majority and has a large margin over its main opponent in the popular vote and are very rare.
1953: The CDU/CSU received 45.2% of the popular vote and 249 seats (six shy of a majority) while the SPD received just 28.8% of the popular vote and 162 seats.
1957: The CDU/CSU received 50.2% of the popular vote and 277 seats (a majority of 17) while the SPD received just 31.8% of the popular vote and 181 seats.
2013: The CDU/CSU received 41.5% of the popular vote and 311 seats (five shy of a majority) while the SPD received just 25.7% of the popular vote and 193 seats.
Before 1993, New Zealand used the traditional first-past-the-post system as in the U.K. to determine representation in its Parliament. Thus, landslide elections at that time were defined in an identical fashion, i.e. where one party got an overwhelming majority of the seats. Since 1993, New Zealand has used the mixed member proportional system as in Germany, making landslides much less likely.
In UK General Elections, a landslide victory involves a large swing from one party to another as well one party winning a large majority in parliament. Landslide victories have usually occurred after a long period of government from one particular party and a change in the popular mood.
Notable landslide election results:
1906 General Election - Henry Campbell-Bannerman led his Liberal Party to a huge victory over Arthur Balfour's Conservative Party who lost more than half their seats, including his own seat in Manchester East, as a result of the large national swing to the Liberal Party (The 5.4% swing from the Conservatives to Liberals was at the time the highest ever achieved). The Liberal Party won 397 seats (an increase of 214) while the Conservative Party were left with 156 seats (a decrease of 246).
1945 General Election - Clement Attlee led his Labour Party to a huge victory over Winston Churchill's Conservative Party, a 12.0% swing from the Conservatives to Labour. Labour won 393 seats (an increase of 239) while the Conservative Party were left with 197 (a decrease of 190).
1983 General Election - Margaret Thatcher won her second term in office with a landslide victory for the Conservatives gaining an overall majority of 144 by winning 397 seats (a increase of 38 seats) on 42.4% of the national vote and forcing her main opponent Michael Foot to resign after Labour won just 209 seats.
1997 General Election - Tony Blair's Labour Party won 418 seats (an increase of 145) and gained an overall majority of 179 while the Conservative Party won just 165 seats (a decrease of 178). The swing from the Conservatives to Labour was 10.2% and was the biggest general election victory of the 20th Century.
1912 - Woodrow Wilson (D) received 435 (81.9%) of the electoral votes while Theodore Roosevelt (Progressive) received 88 (16.6%) and William Howard Taft (R) received only 8 (1.5%)—the worst showing ever by an incumbent president. Wilson won just 41.8% of the popular vote in the three-way race, compared to 27.4% for Roosevelt and 23.2% for Taft.
1936 - Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) received 523 (98.5%) of the electoral votes--the largest share since 1820--while Alf Landon (R) received only 8 (1.5%). Additionally, Roosevelt received 60.8% of the popular vote.
1964 - Lyndon B. Johnson (D) received 486 (90.3%) of the electoral votes while Barry Goldwater (R) received only 52 (9.7%). Additionally, Johnson received 61.1% of the popular vote, which still stands as the largest share since the national popular vote was first recorded in 1824.