|46th Parliament||(February 1974)|
|47th Parliament||(October 1974)|
Notable figures among the 77 newcomers to the House of Commons included John Major, Jack Straw, Chris Patten, Matthew Parris, Michael Martin, Clive Soley, Peter Robinson, Frank Dobson, Richard Shepherd, Frank Field, David Mellor, Brian Mawhinney, William Waldegrave, John Patten, Antony Marlow and David Marshall. Of the 77, just two were woman (Sheila Faith) and Sheila Wright. In total, the Parliament had just 19 female members (8 Conservative, 11 Labour), fewer than any post-war parliament before or since, with the sole exception of 1951. Despite this however, it was the election from which Margaret Thatcher, the incumbent Conservative Party leader became Prime Minister, the first ever female head of government in the United Kingdom and Europe.
These representative diagrams show the composition of the parties in the 1979 general election.
Note: The Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru sit together as a party group. This is not the official seating plan of the House of Commons, which has five rows of benches on each side, with the government party to the right of the Speaker and opposition parties to the left, but with room for only around two-thirds of MPs to sit at any one time.
|Ulster Unionist Party||5|
|Democratic Unionist Party||3|
|Scottish National Party||2|
|Independent Ulster Unionist||1|
|Social Democratic and Labour Party||1|
|United Ulster Unionist Party||1|
|Notional government majority||43|
|Effective government majority||50|
|Table of contents:|
See the list of United Kingdom by-elections.
Two seats were vacant when Parliament was dissolved preparatory to the 1983 general election:
- Cardiff, North-West – Michael Roberts (Con) died 10 February 1983
- Rhondda – Alec Jones (Lab) died 20 March 1983