British general election, 1708

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Great Britain general election, 1708

← 1705
(England only)
30 April to 7 July 1710 →

All 558 seats of the House of Commons
280 seats were needed for a majority
  First party Second party
  Sidney Godolphin, 1st Earl of Godolphin by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt (2).jpg
Leader Whig Junto Earl of Godolphin
Party Whig Tory
Leader since c. 1695 c. 1707
Seats won 291 222
Seat change Increase 45 Decrease 45
Popular vote - -
Percentage - -

The British general election, 1708, was the first general election to be held after the Acts of Union had united the Parliaments of England and Scotland. The new Parliament of Great Britain was essentially a continuation of the English parliament elected in 1705, with the addition of 45 Scottish Members to the Commons and sixteen Scottish Representative peers to the Lords.

The election saw the Whigs finally gain a majority in the House of Commons, and by November the Whig-dominated parliament had succeeded in pressuring the Queen into accepting the Junto into the government for the first time since the late 1690s. The Whigs were unable to take full control of the government, however, owing to the continued presence of the moderate Godolphin in the cabinet and the opposition of the Queen. Contests were held in 95 of the 269 English and Welsh constituencies and 28 of the 45 new Scottish constituencies.

Summary of the constituencies

See British general election, 1796 for details. The constituencies used were the same throughout the existence of the Parliament of Great Britain.

Dates of election

The first general election held since the Union took place between 30 April 1708 and 7 July 1708. At this period elections did not take place at the same time in every constituency. The returning officer in each county or borough fixed the precise date (see hustings for details of the conduct of the elections).

See also

External links


  • British Electoral Facts 1832-1999, compiled and edited by Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher (Ashgate Publishing Ltd 2000). (For dates of elections before 1832, see the footnote to Table 5.02).