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1980 Parliamentary General Election 23rd Dec 1980

The 1980 parliamentary general election was held on 23 December. It was called after parliament was dissolved on 5 December.[1] On nomination day, which was held on 13 December, only 38 out of the 75 parliamentary seats were contested by the opposition parties, thus giving the governing People’s Action Party (PAP) walkovers in 37 constituencies.[2] A total of 81 candidates vied for the 38 seats: 38 candidates from PAP, 14 from United People’s Front, eight each from United Front and Workers’ Party, four each from Barisan Sosialis and Singapore Malay National Organisation (PKMS), three from Singapore Democratic Party and two from Singapore Justice Party.[3]

The PAP’s election manifesto emphasised political stability and the importance of continuing with an honest, strong and tested government.[4] The opposition parties, on the other hand, advocated the need for an opposition representation in parliament to act as a check against the PAP. Some parties also promised voters that they would introduce measures to bring down the high cost of living, advance special rights and privileges for the Malay community, and reduce the country’s reliance on multinational companies.[5]

The election resulted in a landslide victory for the PAP, which garnered 75.6 percent of the votes cast compared with 72.4 percent in the 1976 general election. The PAP was returned to power unopposed after capturing all 75 parliamentary seats.[6]

1. Fong, L. (1980, December 1). It’s Dec 23. The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
2. Fong, L. (1980, December 14). Now new-style hustings. The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3. Who fights whom and where. (1980, December 14). The Straits Times, p. 8; Who fights whom and where (cont’d). (1980, December 14). The Straits Times, p. 9. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
4. Fong, L. (1980, December 9). PAP unveils action plan. The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
5. Elections ’80: The parties and their platforms. (1980, December 18). The Straits Times, p. 19. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
6. 75-0: It’s another clean sweep. (1980, December 24). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.


The information in this article is valid as at 2011 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

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