General elections were held in Bermuda on 16 May 1963 for all 36 seats in the House of Assembly using a first-past-the-post system. Each constituency returned two members to the House of Assembly.
The Parliamentary Election Act was passed, giving every adult twenty-five years and over the right to vote. The Watlington Amendment was also passed, giving landowners who possessed rateable property anywhere in Bermuda a second or “plus” vote in the constituencies in which they lived. Parishes were retained as electoral districts, but were now each divided into two constituencies – i.e. 18 in total, each of which returned two Members to the House of Assembly.
They were the first elections to include political parties as the newly established Progressive Labour Party (PLP) put forward nine candidates, of which six were elected. A total of 57 independent candidates also contested the election, with 30 being elected.
The new Parliamentary Election Act introduced universal suffrage, as previously non-property owners had been disenfranchised. However, powerful white businessmen, who were the dominant force in Parliament at the time, had also passed the Watlington Amendment, which gave landowners with rateable property in the territory a second vote in their home constituency, as well as increasing the age of voting from 21 to 25. Of the 14,896 registered voters, 8,207 could cast only a single vote and 6,689 were eligible to cast a second vote.
Voter turnout was 78.15%.