There are rumours floating around that the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson may switch seats from his current Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency to a safer Tory seat:

And as yet there is still no official confirmation that the prime minister is defending his Uxbridge and South Ruislip seat, where his majority is just 5,034, instead of moving to a much safer Tory seat. Sky News 14/11/2019

Have there been any previous cases where the incumbent Prime Minister has switched seats to try to ensure their continuation as an MP?

  • I am a bit ignorant of UK politics, but I am interested in understanding - what does it mean to "switch seats"?
    – Burt
    Commented Nov 15, 2019 at 6:12
  • The UK is split up into 650 Constituencies where people vote for a candidate to become their elected representitive in the House of Commons, when a candidate is elected they are said to have won their seat. However there is no restriction on which 'seat' a candidate can nominate themselves to stand in. Depending on the demographic some seats are seen to be 'safe' seats for a certain party, for example the Islington Constituency is seen as a Labour Party safe seat, if however Jeremy Corbyn felt that he would lose, he could stand in a different seat where he felt more likely to be re elected.
    – PandaPops
    Commented Nov 15, 2019 at 10:35

1 Answer 1


No. Several other Prime Ministers have represented multiple seats in Parliament (notably Churchill, who represented 5 over the course of his career) however to my knowledge none has ever changed seat during the course of their premiership, let alone specifically to avoid being removed as an MP. Sitting PM's have lost their seat though, but Balfour's government was defeated in its entirety so we didn't get to see what happened to Balfour himself (I.E. if he tried to remain as PM or force a colleague to resign so he could contest a byelection or something). Usually where they've represented multiple seats, it's simply due to constituency reboundarying

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