From "Elections in the United Kingdom, 1900-1966"
Oxford University Press, 1999
The general election called by Alexander Bell for September of 1922 is commonly regarded as a watershed in British history, and rightly so, for it was the first to show the features that would be characteristic of every subsequent election until the Rexist takeover. Most notable among these was the gradual dissolution of the Liberal-Conservative dichotomy that had dominated the state since the dawn of party politics. The Labour Party, formed as the political wing of the Trades Union Congress and encompassing most of the democratic-socialist "new left", rose from a Parliamentary non-entity to the largest party, at the expense of the two old parties whom many blamed for the humiliating surrender and the post-war hardships.
Bell made several blunders on the campaign trail, such as referring to the "almost entirely successful recovery of most sections of British society", a statement that was probably true (for the worst of the post-war recession had, in fact, worn off) but which still cost the Liberals significant votes among the urban working class, their traditional support base. In contrast, Arthur Henderson appeared resolved and down-to-earth to the public, and his traditional rhetoric of radical change and an improvement in the working man's lot sounded very attractive to the battered nation. Come election day, the Liberals failed to be returned, and for the first time, a Labour government was formed.
Labour: 245 (+189)
Liberal: 168 (-132)
Conservative (Unionist): 110 (-63)
Conservative (Home Rule): 42 (-25)
Independent: 25 (+18)
National Democratic: 16 (+4)
BSP: 9 (+9)