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1955 Singaporean general election

Singapore general election in 1955

Top 10 1955 Singaporean general election related articles

1955 Singaporean general election

← 1951 2 April 1955 1959 →

25 (of the 32) seats to the Legislative Assembly
  First party Second party Third party
Leader David Marshall Tan Chye Cheng Lee Kuan Yew
Leader's seat Cairnhill Cairnhill (defeated) Tanjong Pagar
Last election Did not contest 6 seats, 45.4% Did not contest
Seats won 10 4 3
Seat change New 2 New
Popular vote 42,300 38,695 13,634
Percentage 27.1% 24.8% 8.7
Swing New 20.6% New

Chief Minister before election

Newly created

Resulting Chief Minister

David Marshall

General elections were held in Singapore on 2 April 1955 to elect the 25 elected seats in the Legislative Assembly. Nomination day was on 28 February 1955.

1955 Singaporean general election Intro articles: 50


Following the promulgation of the Rendel Constitution, the 1955 elections were the first occasion on which a majority of the seats were to be elected rather than be appointed by the colonial authorities. The new constitution was written after recommendations by a committee to grant local citizens more autonomy, headed by George Rendel, were passed.

According to the new Constitution, locals would share executive power with the colonial authorities and there would be a Chief Minister among elected legislators. The number of elected seats was increased to 25, with the British government appointing the remaining seven members. For the first time, political parties were permitted to adopt a standard party symbol for all their candidates and independents to select theirs instead of balloting for them[1]

The Governor of Singapore and Colonial Secretary posts were replaced by a Chief Secretary, who inherited the power to appoint four nominated Assembly Members. Also scrapped were the seats of the Solicitor-General, two directors, two ex-officios, the three commercial organisations and the City Council representative.

Overview of "George William Rendel" article


Date Event
5 February Dissolution of the Legislative Council
28 February Nomination Day
2 April Polling day
6 April Inauguration of David Marshall as Chief Minister
7 April Formation of Council of Ministers
22 April Opening of 1st Legislative Assembly

Changes in electoral boundaries

Constituency Divisions formed from
Bukit Panjang Bukit Timah & Seletar
Cairnhill Balestier, Rochore & Tanglin
Farrer Park Balestier
Geylang Katong
Havelock City, Keppel & Tanglin
Kampong Kapor Rochore
Pasir Panjang Bukit Timah & Keppel
Paya Lebar Changi & Katong
Punggol–Tampines Changi
Queenstown Bukit Timah, Keppel & Tanglin
Sembawang Bukit Timah & Seletar
Serangoon Balestier, Changi & Seletar
Southern Islands Bukit Timah & Keppel
Stamford City & Rochore
Tanjong Pagar City & Keppel
Telok Ayer City
Tiong Bahru Keppel
Ulu Bedok Changi
Whampoa Balestier


Much to the surprise for British, who had anticipated a Progressive victory and its leader, Tan Chye Cheng, to emerge as Chief Minister, it was the Labour Front that garnered the most seats and its chairman, David Marshall, thus became Singapore's first Chief Minister. Both losing and winning parties were shocked by the results.[2] Labour Front formed a government with support of the Malayan Chinese Association (MCA), UMNO and the Malay Union.

In its first elections, the newly formed People's Action Party, led by lawyer and former Progressive Party election agent Lee Kuan Yew, chose to field only a handful of candidates to protest against the Rendel Constitution. As independent member Ahmad bin Ibrahim joined PAP following the election, PAP had 4 members in the Assembly and thus Lee became the new Leader of the Opposition.[3]

Party Votes % Seats +/–
Labour Front 42,300 27.1 10 New
Progressive Party 38,695 24.8 4 –2
Democratic Party 32,115 20.5 2 New
People's Action Party 13,634 8.7 3 New
Malayan Chinese Association (SA) 6,203 4.0 1 New
United Malays National Organisation (SA) 5,721 3.7 1 New
Labour Party 1,325 0.8 0 –2
Malay Union (SA) 1,233 0.8 1 New
Independents 15,098 9.7 3 +2
Invalid/blank votes 1,751
Total 158,075 100 25 +16
Registered voters/turnout 300,199 52.7
Source: Singapore Elections

1955 Singaporean general election Timeline articles: 9

See also


  1. ^ "1955 Legislative Assembly general election". National Library Board. 24 January 2018. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  2. ^ "1955 Legislative Assembly general election". National Library Board. 24 January 2018. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  3. ^ "History of leader of Opposition in S'pore, from LKY to Chiam See Tong and Low Thia Khiang". mothership.sg. 18 February 2018. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  • Sr, Pugalenthi (1996) Elections in Singapore VJ Times International Pte Ltd, Singapore ISBN 981-221-025-3

External links