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Only on two occasions in the past 60 years has a General election resulted in the party with the lower share of the vote forming the government. In 1951 the Conservative Party polled fewer votes than the Labour Party but won more seats and governed with the support of the National Liberals. In February 1974 the Labour Party polled fewer votes than the Conservative Party, but won more seats and formed a minority administration until a further election in October of that year.

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