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UK general election, 1974 (February)

The UK general election of February 1974 was held on February 28, 1974. It was the first of two United Kingdom general elections held that year, and the only election since the Second World War not to produce an overall majority in the House of Commons for the winning party. The incumbent Conservative government of Edward Heath polled the most votes by a tiny margin, but the Tories were overtaken in terms of Commons seats by Harold Wilson's Labour Party due to the decision by Ulster Unionist MPs not to take the Conservative whip. After failed negotiations between Heath and Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe, Heath resigned and Wilson returned for his second spell as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He would call another election in October of the same year.

This election saw Northern Ireland diverging heavily from the rest of the UK, with all twelve MPs elected being from local parties, following the decision of the Ulster Unionists to withdraw support from the Conservative Party in protest over the Sunningdale Agreement.

Party Votes Seats Loss/Gain Share of Vote (%)
Conservative 11,834,346 296 - 34 37.7
Labour 11,641,143 301 + 14 37.2
Liberal 6,059,550 14 + 8 13.8
Others 1,800,059 23 + 7 5.7