1951 Singaporean general election

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1951 Singaporean general election
Flag of Singapore (1946–1952).svg
← 1948 8 March 1951 1955 →

9 (of the 22) seats to the Legislative Council
  Majority party Minority party
  Noimage.png Noimage.png
Leader Tan Chye Cheng Lim Yew Hock
Party PP Labour Party
Leader's seat Tanglin Keppel
Last election 3 seats, 49.5% New
Seats won 6 2
Seat change +3 New
Popular vote 11,202 7,335
Percentage 45.4% 29.7
Swing –4.1% New

Singaporean election 1951 map.png
Winner by constituency
Coat of arms of Singapore.svg
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General elections were held in Singapore on 10 April 1951 to elect nine seats on the Legislative Council, up from six seats in the 1948 elections. A 32-day-long campaign period was scheduled, with nomination day on 8 March 1951; the result was a victory for the Progressive Party, which won six of the nine seats.[1]

Electoral system[edit]

The Legislative Council was increased from 22 to 25 members, with the number of elected seats increased from six to nine. Three seats were nominated by the three commercial organisations (the Singapore Chamber of Commerce, Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Indian Chamber of Commerce), whilst the British colonial government appointed the remaining 13 seats, which were given to the Governor, Colonial Secretary, Financial Secretary, Attorney-General, Solicitor-General, two Directors, two ex officio Commissioners and four non-officio ones. One of the four non-officio members, only one woman was appointed, war heroine Elizabeth Choy, who ran unsuccessfully in the 1950 Municipal Commission elections.

The British government approved the suggestion by political parties to create six constituencies within the city according to municipal districts, including Balestier (North), Keppel (South), Katong (East) and Tanglin (West), while the rural area was divided into three instead of two; the joint districts were scrapped. Voting was again not compulsory and the franchise restricted.


The Progressive Party's main political opponent at the municipal level, the Labour Party, entered the legislative fray. Well-known Malay politician Mansoor bin Adabi, husband of Maria Bertha Hertogh (also known as Natra binte Maarof), the young Dutch woman whose parentage controversy sparked a racial riot in Singapore the previous year, planned to contest Bukit Timah under the PP banner but withdrew his nomination at the final minute for unknown reasons; the campaign manager for PP vice-chairman John Laycock was Lee Kuan Yew, a legal assistant in the former's law firm who would form the People's Action Party in 1954.

Out of 48,155 registered voters, only 52% voted. There had been boycott calls and the city was still suffering from the after-effects of the Maria Hertogh riots four months before the elections.


Party Votes % Seats +/–
Progressive Party 11,202 45.4 6 +3
Labour Party 7,335 29.7 2 New
Independents 6,156 24.9 1 –2
Invalid/blank votes 372
Total 25,065 100 9 +3
Registered voters/turnout 48,155 52.1
Source: Singapore Elections

See also[edit]