School of Politics and International Relations

History books are being written, but this is not the final chapter

16 January 2019

Professor Philip Cowley has scoured the history books for the biggest political defeat on record. In 1924 the first Labour government lost three big votes, including one by 166 votes. However, it is worth pointing out that at the time Labour only had 200 MPs and was propped up by the Liberals. “After that,” Cowley says. “There is a defeat by 89 (in 1979), albeit on a very low turnout. The largest post-war defeat where at least 50 per cent of the House voted came in 1978, with the Callaghan government going down by 86 votes.”

Read more in the New York Times