Sign up ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

There is a sentence:

It now has a small presence in parliament, after a landslide win in by-elections deemed generally free and fair in April.

What does a phrase landslide win mean here? Thank you.

share|improve this question

closed as general reference by MετάEd, Carlo_R., Barrie England, Roaring Fish, J.R. Nov 19 '12 at 10:08

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

This kind of question can easily be answered by a little bit of research. Just look up "landslide" in any reasonable dictionary. There are dozens online. – user21497 Nov 19 '12 at 9:05
You might be interested in our sister site for English language learners. Please support it. Thank you. – RegDwigнt Nov 19 '12 at 11:07

2 Answers 2

It's just landslide not landslide win. And it means the majority of votes for one party in an election. Here is a description from NOAD:

2 an overwhelming majority of votes for one party in an election: winning the election by a landslide | [ as modifier ] : a landslide victory.

share|improve this answer
Obama "won by a landslide" in the Electoral College but by only a slim majority in the popular vote. The little word "overwhelming" means "at least a 60-40" (3:2) victory, not a mere 50.1-49.9% victory, which is a "simple majority". – user21497 Nov 19 '12 at 9:03

Landside is not really used to describe by-elections, which have very little, if any effect on who's in power. It would be used about, for example, general elections. In these instances it would refer to a state of affairs where one party had a majority of MP's, forming the government of the UK before the election and another party overturns this by getting a massive number of MP's elected and forming the government after the election.

A case in point occurred in 1997: before the general election the Conservatives had 343 MP's to Labour's 274; after it the Conservatives had only a rump of 165 MP's remaining while Labour had an overwhelming 418.

It would not be used in circumstances where one party had, say, a small majority of MP's prior to an election and a huge majority of them afterwards. Just as an actual landslide changes the physical landscape, an election landslide changes the political landscape.

share|improve this answer
I don't know is this is US vs UK, but here in the US, if a party had a big majority before the election and won re-election by a large margin, we would call that a landslide even though the end result is that nothing has changed. – Jay Nov 19 '12 at 16:54

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.