The ITV show beat off competition from last year’s winner EastEnders, as well as Coronation Street, Doctors and Hollyoaks, for the public-voted prize.
There was further victory for Emmerdale’s Danny Miller, who plays Aaron Livesy, as he won both best actor and best male dramatic performance.
At the ceremony at the Hackney Empire Theatre in London, Miller said: “Soap actors and soap actresses, we’re the hardest working bunch of actors in the business as far as I’m concerned, we come in at seven, we go home at seven and we do 60 pages a day. And we’re paid shite.”
EastEnders actress Lacey Turner won awards for best actress and best female dramatic performance and was also recognised for her character Stacey Branning’s postpartum psychosis storyline.
However, her cast mate Danny Dyer lost out in the award for best actor, despite being nominated for three years running.
Emmerdale’s cast and producers were presented with their award by Joan Collins, who starred in 1980s American soap opera Dynasty.
She said: “It is a real, real honour to be here because having worked on a few soaps myself, I really know not only how hard you work, but how truly talented you all are.”
EastEnders’ actor Steve McFadden, who has played Phil Mitchell for 26 years, received an outstanding achievement award.
Others to win awards included Coronation Street’s Connor McIntyre (Pat Phelan) and Patti Clare (Mary Taylor), Sally Dynevor and Joe Duttine (Sally Webster and Tim Metcalfe) for best on-screen partnership, EastEnders’ Bonnie Langford (Carmel Kazemi) and Hollyoaks’ Ruby O’Donnell (Peri Lomax).