For the first time in British election history, Oct 9 1959, a ruling party - the Conservatives - returns to power with two successive increased majorities.
For the first time in British election history, Oct 9 1959, a ruling party - the Conservatives - returns to power with two successive increased majorities. And for the third time, the Labour Party lost. This is how Britons on their way to work and the London Press hailed or lamented the prospects of a further five years of Conservative Government ...
Throughout the nation voting was brisk. For 14 hours Britons - the electorate totals 35 million flocked to the polls. Among those who did not: Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh. Although not banned constitutionally, the Queen does not take sides. The Duke and Princess Margaret are debarred as members of the House of Lords.
Less than four hours after the polls closed Labour's leader Hugh Gaitskell admitted his party's defeat: It's the will of the people and we accept it.
Then came Labour Party Secretary Morgan Phillips after him to estimate an overall Conservative majority of 106 compared with 54 at the dissolution.
Prime Minister Harold Macmillan went to his party headquarters soon after midnight and to thunderous applause pledged to increase the "happiness of our country" and help further the peace of the world. Asked if he intended to take the same team of Ministers to the summit conference - generally forecast for January of February - Macmillan said: Certainly.
Polling was expected to be heavier than at the previous election - but the final count late in the day was still to come. These consisted of about one third of the 630 results in constituencies with a predominant Conservative majority.
Main features of the election: Many Britons went to the polls early in the day. Many on this warm Autumn day went in Summer frocks or shirt sleeves. The Liberal Party, contesting one-third of the 630 seats, won more votes than at the previous general election. The Communist Party again failed to secure a seat. Though, as Macmillman the Victor put it: 'It's gone rather well for us' the result is no landslide -- some 45 per cent of the nation is still for Labour.