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Jamaica General Election Results - 14 December 1944
Parliament Chamber, Jamaica

The first General Parliamentary Elections under universal adult suffrage were held in Jamaica on 14 December 1944 for all 32 seats in the House of Representatives.

Electoral System

The 32 members of the House of Representatives are elected in single-member constituencies by first-past-the-post voting. There is no fixed election date in effect in Jamaica at this time; hence, the choice of election date is the prerogative of the Head of Government.

Background

A new Constitution came into effect on 20 November 1944. In anticipation of the impending General Election under the new system, an announcement was made on 9 October 1944 that candidates seeking to be elected would be required to deposit £50 which would be forfeited if they attained less than one-twelfth of the votes polled. On 1 November 1944, Governor Sir John Huggins announced General Election to be held on Thursday, 14 December 1944 and Nomination Day on 29 November 1944. So, after being the country's legislative body since 1868, the Legislative Council ceased to exist on 29 November 1944, having completed all of the business on its agenda and leaving a clean slate for the new House of Representatives to be elected.

Political Parties & Candidates

Neither of the two major parties contested all 32 seats. Formed out of the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU) in 1943, the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) contested 29 seats. he People's National Party (PNP), which was formed in 1938 (and declared itself a socialist party in 1940),  contested only 19 seats. The Jamaica Democratic Party (JDP), which was formed largely by influential business interests in 1942, contested nine seats. A total of 68 Independent candidates contested 29 constituencies.

Results

Led by Alexander Bustamante, the JLP won 22 of the 32 seats to become the 'Majority Party,' The PNP with five seats became the Opposition or the 'Minority Party,' but without their president, Norman Manley, who failed in his bid to win the East St Andrew seat.. 

Voter Turnout

Voter turnout was 58.38%.

ELECTORAL SYSTEM
System First-past-the-post
Elected Members 32 single-member constituencies
VOTER TURNOUT
Total Valid Votes 347,127
Invalid Votes 39,982
Total Votes Cast 387,109
Registered Voters 663,069
Voter Turnout 58.38%
   
CRITICAL DATES
Nomination Day Wed, 29 Nov 1944
Polling Day Thu, 14 Dec 1944
POLITICAL LEADERS
  Photo Alexander BUSTAMANTE
Jamaica Labour Party (JLP)
  Photo Norman MANLEY
People's National Party (PNP)
SUMMARY RESULTS
  Party Code Votes Candidates Seats
Total % votes
  Jamaica Labour Party Winner JLP 144,661 41.67% 29 22
  People's National Party PNP 82,029 23.63% 19 5
  Jamaica Democratic Party JDP 12,123 3.49% 9 0
  Other Parties OTHER 3,500 1.01% 5 0
  Independent Candidates IND 104,814 30.19% 68 5
  Total   347,127 100% 130 32
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Key
JLP = Jamaica Labour Party; PNP = People's National Party; IND = Inpendent candidate; * Incumbent; ** Political Leader
Sources
Electoral Commission of Jamaica
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