1747 British general election

The 1747 British general election returned members to serve in the House of Commons of the 10th Parliament of Great Britain to be summoned, after the merger of the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland in 1707. The election saw Henry Pelham's Whig government increase its majority and the Tories continue their decline. By 1747, thirty years of Whig oligarchy and systematic corruption had weakened party ties substantially; despite the fact that Walpole, the main reason for the split that led to the creation of the Patriot Whig faction, had resigned, there were still almost as many Whigs in opposition to the ministry as there were Tories, and the real struggle for power was between various feuding factions of Whig aristocrats rather than between the old parties. The Tories had become an irrelevant group of country gentlemen who had resigned themselves to permanent opposition.

← 1741 26 June – 4 August 1747 (1747-06-26 – 1747-08-04) 1754 →

All 558 seats in the House of Commons
280 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
  Henry Pelham by William Hoare.jpg Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, 3rd Bt by Michael Dahl.jpg No image.svg
Leader Henry Pelham Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn
Party Whig Tory Opposition / Patriot Whigs
Leader's seat Sussex Denbighshire
Seats won 338 117 94
Seat change Increase52 Decrease19 Decrease37

Prime Minister before election

Henry Pelham

Prime Minister after election

Henry Pelham

Summary of the constituenciesEdit

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

Dates of electionEdit

The general election was held between 26 June 1747 and 4 August 1747.

At this period elections did not take place at the same time in every constituency. The returning officer in each county or parliamentary borough fixed the precise date (see hustings for details of the conduct of the elections).



Seats summaryEdit

Parliamentary seats

See alsoEdit


  • 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).