Landslide victory

A landslide victory is an election result in which the victorious candidate or party wins by an overwhelming margin.[1] The term became popular in the 1800s to describe a victory in which the opposition is "buried",[1] similar to the way in which a geological landslide buries whatever is in its path. What constitutes a landslide varies by the type of electoral system. Even within an electoral system, there is no consensus on what sized margin makes for a landslide.[1]

Notable Examples of Landslide VictoryEdit

ArgentinaEdit

 
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's 2011 landslide victory in light blue.

AustraliaEdit

State and territory elections:

Federal elections:

Notable non-landslides:

  • The 1972 Australian federal election resulted in a victory for Labor under Gough Whitlam, ending 23 consecutive years of Coalition government. However, the result was not a landslide with Labor only winning 67 of 125 seats.
  • The 2022 Australian federal election resulted in a victory for Labor, ending 9 years of Coalition government. It was a historic loss for the Coalition, which was reduced to just 58 seats of 151 seats, their worst result in 70 years. However, Labor only won a slim majority, 77 of 151 seats. This is because the Coalition losses were split between Labor, teal independents and the Greens, while Labor themselves also lost seats to independent/Green.

BarbadosEdit

In Barbadian general elections, a landslide victory involves a large swing from one party to another as well as one party winning a large majority in parliament. Landslide victories have usually occurred after a long period of government from one particular party and a change in the popular mood.

CanadaEdit

 
A map of the vote by province in 1940 shows the scale of the Liberals' landslide victory.
 
A map of the vote by province in 1984 shows the scale of the Progressive Conservatives' landslide victory.

In a Canadian federal election, a landslide victory occurs when a political party gains a significant majority of the House of Commons of Canada.

Landslide victories may also occur during provincial elections, and territorial elections in Yukon. Landslide victories are not possible for territorial elections in the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut, as its members are elected without reference to political parties, operating as a consensus government.

National landslide victories

The following Canadian federal elections resulted in landslide victories:[2]

  • 1874 – The Liberals won 133 seats while the Conservatives won just 73 seats.
  • 1878 – The Conservatives won 137 seats while the Liberals won just 69 seats.
  • 1882 – The Conservatives won 139 seats while the Liberals won just 71 seats.
  • 1900 – The Liberals won 132 seats while the Conservatives won just 81.
  • 1904 – The Liberals won 139 seats while the Conservatives won just 75.
  • 1908 – The Liberals won 133 seats while the Conservatives won just 85.
  • 1911 – The Conservatives won 133 seats while the Liberals won just 86.
  • 1917 – The Conservatives won 153 seats while the Liberals won just 82.
  • 1930 – The Conservatives won 137 seats while the Liberals won just 91.
  • 1935 – The Liberals won 171 seats while the Conservatives won just 39.
  • 1940 – The Liberals won 178 seats while the Progressive Conservatives won just 39.
  • 1949 – The Liberals won 190 seats while the Progressive Conservatives won just 41.
  • 1953 – The Liberals won 171 seats while the Progressive Conservatives won just 51.
  • 1958 – The Progressive Conservatives won 208 seats while the Liberals won just 48.
  • 1968 – The Liberals won 155 seats while the Progressive Conservatives won just 72.
  • 1984 – The Progressive Conservatives won 211 seats while the Liberals won just 40.
  • 1993 – The Liberals won 177 seats while the Bloc Quebecois, which ran only in Québec, won 54. The ruling Progressive Conservatives dropped from 154 to 2.
  • 2015 – The Liberals led by Justin Trudeau won 184 seats, defeating Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who only won 99 seats.

Provincial examples

Costa RicaEdit

DominicaEdit

FranceEdit

Only include those after 1958.

GrenadaEdit

In Grenadian general elections, a landslide victory involves a large swing from one party to another as well as one party winning a large majority in parliament. Landslide victories have usually occurred after a long period of government from one particular party and a change in the popular mood.

Hong KongEdit

Legislative Cou=ncil elections:

Local elections:

  • 2019 – The pro-democracy camp seized control of 17 of the 18 District Councils, tripling their seats from about 124 to 389. The pro-Beijing parties and independents won only 61 seats, a loss of 242 seats, received their largest defeat in history.

HungaryEdit

ItalyEdit

  • 2005 Italian regional electionsThe Union centre-left coalition won the presidency in 12 out of 14 regions that were holding elections that year. After this election the centre-left controlled the presidency in 16 out of Italy's 20 regions.
  • 2020 Venetian regional election – Incumbent president of Veneto Luca Zaia (Lega) won carrying 76.79% of the vote, five times as many as his main opponent Arturo Lorenzoni's (PD) 15.72%.

JamaicaEdit

In Jamaican elections, a landslide victory involves a large swing from one party to another as well as one party winning a large majority in parliament. Landslide victories have usually occurred after a long period of government from one particular party and a change in the popular mood.

MexicoEdit

New ZealandEdit

Until 1993, New Zealand used the traditional first-past-the-post system as in the U.K. to determine representation in its Parliament. Thus, landslide elections at that time were defined in an identical fashion, i.e. where one party got an overwhelming majority of the seats. Since 1996, New Zealand has used the mixed member proportional system as in Germany, making landslides much less likely.[5]

First past the post

MMP

  • 2002 election – The Labour Party won 52 seats while the National Party won just 27 seats.[7]
  • 2011 election – The National Party won 59 seats while the Labour Party won just 34 seats.
  • 2014 election – The National Party won 60 seats while the Labour Party won just 32 seats.[8]
  • 2020 election – The Labour Party won 65 seats while the National Party won just 33 seats (the first time any party won an overall majority under MMP)[9]

PhilippinesEdit

 
Ramon Magsaysay (light green)'s 1953 landslide victory.

In 1941, the Nacionalista Party won the presidency, vice presidency, all seats in the Senate, and all but 3 seats in the House of Representatives. This was the biggest landslide in Philippine history. The legislators won't serve until 1945 though, due to World War II.

Starting in 1987, the Philippines evolved into a multi-party system, and coupled with the introduction of party-list elections in 1998, no party was able to win a landslide, much less a majority of seats, in the House of Representatives since then. This has also meant that no presidential and vice presidential election winner won a majority of votes, although, in 1998, the winners were described as having landslide victories, despite winning less than a majority of votes, due to large winning margins. Senatorial landslides are more possible though in midterm elections, as voters are usually presented with two distinct choices. The 2022 presidential election was the first landslide since 1987.

Presidential and vice presidential elections

In the Philippines, while there are presidential tickets, the positions of president and vice president are elected separately.

Senate

House of Representatives

PortugalEdit

Legislative Elections

  • 1987 - The centre-right Social Democratic Party led by Cavaco Silva won 148 out of the 250 seats and 50.2% of the toal voting. The second most voted party, the Socialist Party would receive just 22.2% of the total voting, falling 28 percentage points behind the winners.
  • 1991 - Following the success attained in the previous legislative elections, the Social Democratic Party led by Cavaco Silva won 135 out of the 230 seats and 50.6% of the toal voting. The Socialist Party would also rise in voting, receiving 29.1% of the votes, but would still be far short of the Social Democrats.

Presidential Elections

Regional Elections

Alberto João Jardim, member of the Social Democratic Party was the president of the Madeira region from 1978 to 2015. During this period of time, landslide victories for the Social Democrats were the norm.

SlovakiaEdit

 
This map shows the Direction – Social Democracy landslide victory in 2012.

SpainEdit

Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesEdit

A landslide victory in the elections of St. Vincent and the Grenadines involves a large swing from one party to another as well as one party winning a large majority in parliament. Landslide victories have usually occurred after a long period of government from one particular party and a change in the popular mood.

TaiwanEdit

 
In the 2020 election, the Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen won 8.17 million votes, 57.1% of the votes cast, a historic landslide victory.

Presidential and Legislative Election held on the same day

Trinidad and TobagoEdit

In Trinidad and Tobago's elections, a landslide victory involves a large swing from one party to another as well as one party winning a large majority in parliament. Landslide victories have usually occurred after a long period of government from one particular party and a change in the popular mood. Party politics and the political structure in Trinidad and Tobago has generally run along ethic lines with most Afro-Trinidadians supporting the People's National Movement (PNM) and most Indo-Trinidadians supporting various Indian-majority parties, such as the current United National Congress (UNC) or its predecessors.

Tobago

United KingdomEdit

 
This map shows the Conservative Party landslide victory in 1983.
 
This map shows the Labour Party landslide victory in 1997.
 
This map shows the Conservative Party landslide victory in 2019.

In UK General Elections, a landslide victory involves a large swing from one party to another as well as one party winning a large majority in parliament. Landslide victories have usually occurred after a long period of government from one particular party and a change in the popular mood.

Notable landslide election results

  • 1906Henry Campbell-Bannerman led his Liberal Party to victory over Arthur Balfour's Conservative Party who lost more than half their seats, including his own seat in Manchester East, as a result of the large national swing to the Liberal Party (The 5.4% swing from the Conservatives to Liberals was at the time the highest ever achieved). The Liberal Party won 397 seats (an increase of 214) while the Conservative Party were left with 156 seats (a decrease of 246).[10][11]
  • 1945Clement Attlee led his Labour Party to victory over Winston Churchill's Conservative Party, a 12.0% swing from the Conservatives to Labour. Labour won 393 seats (an increase of 239) while the Conservative Party were left with 197 (a decrease of 190).[12]
  • 1966Harold Wilson led the Labour Party to win 364 seats (an increase of 47) and gained an overall majority of 98 while the Conservative Party won 253 seats (a decrease of 51).
  • 1983Margaret Thatcher won her second term in office with a landslide victory for the Conservatives gaining an overall majority of 144 by winning 397 seats (an increase of 38 seats) on 42.4% of the national vote and forcing her main opponent Michael Foot to resign after Labour won 209 seats.
  • 1987 – Margaret Thatcher won her third term in office with a second landslide victory for the Conservatives gaining an overall majority of 102 by winning 376 seats (a decrease of 21 seats).
  • 1997Tony Blair led the Labour Party to win 418 seats (an increase of 145) and gained an overall majority of 179 while the Conservative Party won 165 seats (a decrease of 178). The swing from the Conservatives to Labour was 10.2% and was the second biggest general election victory of the 20th Century after 1931.[13]
  • 2001 – Tony Blair led the Labour Party win 412 seats (a decrease of 6) and gained an overall majority of 167 while the Conservative Party won 166 seats (an increase of 1). Making Tony Blair the first Labour Prime Minister to serve two consecutive full terms in office.[14]
  • 2019Boris Johnson led the Conservative Party win a total of 365 seats (an increase of 48) and a majority of 80 seat, the party's largest majority since 1987. It left the Labour Party, who were led by Jeremy Corbyn, with 202 seats (a decrease of 60, their worst result since 1935). The election led to 54 Labour seats changing to Conservative predominantly in the Midlands and Northern England - some of which had been held by Labour since the first half of the 20th century.[15]

Scotland

2010
2015
A landslide victory in Scotland at the 2015 UK General Election (Scotland). The SNP (yellow) won 56 of Scotland's 59 seats; Conservatives (blue), Labour (red) and Lib Dems (orange) won just one seat each.

United StatesEdit

 
The map of the Electoral College in 1936 shows the scale of Franklin D. Roosevelt's landslide victory.
 
The map of the Electoral College in 1964 shows the scale of Lyndon B. Johnson's landslide victory.
 
The map of the Electoral College in 1972 shows the scale of Richard Nixon's landslide victory.
 
The map of the Electoral College in 1984 shows the scale of Ronald Reagan's landslide victory.

A landslide victory in U.S. Presidential elections occurs when a candidate has an overwhelming majority in the Electoral College.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Murse, Tom (8 October 2020). "Landslide Victory: Definition in Elections". ThoughtCo. Retrieved 18 October 2020.
  2. ^ "Party Standings in the House of Commons (1867-date)". PARLINFO. Library of Parliament. 24 March 2016. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  3. ^ "Dominating victory in Jamaica elections even surprises winning opposition side". Washington Post. 30 December 2011. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
  4. ^ "Political Tsunami turns Jamaica green with massive JLP victory". Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  5. ^ Electoral Commission (17 July 2014). Mixed Member Proportional Representation in New Zealand (Video). Wellington.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "General elections 1890–1993 – seats won by party". Electoral Commission. 9 September 2013. Archived from the original on 30 December 2015. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  7. ^ "Official Count Results -- Overall Status". 2002 General Election – Official Results. Electoral Commission. 8 October 2002. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  8. ^ "Official Count Results -- Overall Status". 2014 General Election – Official Results. Electoral Commission. 10 October 2014. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  9. ^ "New Zealand election: Jacinda Ardern's Labour Party scores landslide win". BBC News. 17 October 2020. Archived from the original on 16 October 2020. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  10. ^ "1906: The Liberal landslide". 9 February 2006 – via bbc.co.uk.
  11. ^ Liberal Landslide: The General Election of 1906.
  12. ^ Labour Landslide, July 5-19, 1945.
  13. ^ Labour's Landslide: The British General Election 1997.
  14. ^ "The rise and fall of New Labour". BBC News. 3 August 2010. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  15. ^ "Boris Johnson must fulfil his One Nation pledge". Financial Times. 13 December 2019. Retrieved 14 December 2019.