On 12 December, the UK took to the polls for the fourth time in five years. The Conservatives won the election with 365 seats, 48 more than they won in 2017.

This Insight summarises the result and what happens next. It also outlines the briefing materials the Library will publish following the results. These will delve deeper into the results and include analysis of turnout, marginality and the diversity of the new Parliament.

A summary of the seats

The chart below shows the number of seats each party won, compared to how they did in 2017.

A chart showing the total number of UK seats by party, comparing 2017 results with 2019. It also shows the seat change between the two elections. The Conservatives gained 48 seats and Labour lost 60.

Of the 650 seats, 81 changed hands between political parties. There were an additional 75 seats where the sitting MP stood down and was replaced by another MP from the same party. There were 495 MPs who were re-elected, 140 new MPs and 15 MPs who had held a seat before but were not MPs immediately before the election.

The number of women candidates in 2019 was a record 1,123 (although information on candidates’ gender remains provisional). The number of women MPs is now 220, the highest ever, from the previous all-time high of 208 in 2017.

More information on the candidates standing in this election is in our Insight Who stood in the General Election?

Mapping the result

The cartogram map below shows which seats the parties won. Click on the map to see an interactive version with labels for each seat.

Visual of election results as described in the text

The result by nation

The Conservatives won the most seats in England. Labour was the biggest party in Wales, and the SNP in Scotland. The DUP remained the biggest party in Northern Ireland.

A bar chart showing seats by party in the different parts of the UK, comparing 2017 and 2019.

Conservative Government

The Conservative Party won a majority of seats for the 10th time since 1945. Its majority is larger than it has been since 1992, but not as high as it was under Margaret Thatcher in 1983 and 1987. Government majority is calculated as the number of seats held by the governing parties minus the number of seats held by all other parties or independent Members. The Speaker is excluded when calculating the majority, but MPs who did not take their seats (for example Sinn Féin Members) are included.

A bar chart showing Conservative majorities following general elections by seats. In 1951 they had a majority by 16 seats. In 1983 they had a majority by 144 seats. In 2019 they had a majority of 81 seats.

The new Government said it will announce its legislative agenda in the Queen’s Speech on 19 December. Expect analysis of its policy priorities from the House of Commons Library shortly after.

Other parties

The Labour Party came second with 202 seats, 60 fewer than they held in 2017 (although Chorley went from being a Labour seat to being the seat of the Speaker). This is the lowest number of seats Labour has held since 1935.

The Scottish National Party came third, winning 48 seats. This was more than the 35 they won in 2017, but not as much as the 56 seats they won in 2015.

The Liberal Democrats and the Brexit Party started the campaign with high hopes. However, opinion polls showed a steady decline in support for these parties over the campaign period. The Liberal Democrats lost one of their seats. The Brexit Party did not gain any seats.

Commons Library election analysis

The data reported here is from BBC, the Press Association and other media sources. The House of Commons Library will now continue to collect detailed voting information from returning officers. 

Once that data is complete, checked and validated against other sources, we will publish a briefing giving an overview of the result. We will update this briefing with more in-depth analysis, including of the number of women elected, who supported different parties, and how accurate election polling was. Watch this space over the next month for a stream of Insights covering topics like how the vote compared to the EU referendum result, how parties performed in target seats, and the impact of electoral pacts.

This Insight was updated on 16.12.19 to reflect all results.

Authors: Elise Uberoi and Carl Baker specialise in social and general statistics at the House of Commons Library.