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General Election Results - 21 August 1961

The parliament was dissolved by the Governor on 14 June 1961, and elections were held in British guiana on 21 August 1961 under the "first past the post" system.

The elections were the first to be held under the 1961 constitution, which had created a bicameral Legislature with an appointed Senate and an elected Legislative Assembly. The 36 members of the Senate included 35 members elected in single-member constituencies and the Speaker, who was elected by the other members. The 13 members of the Senate included eight nominated by the ruling party, three by the opposition and two by the Governor.

A total of 98 candidates contested the elections. The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) ran 29 candidates, the People's National Congress (PNC) 35 and the United Force (TUF) 34 .

After an incident-free day of voting, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) was declared the winner with 20 seats. The People’s National Congress (PNC) won 11 and the The United Force (TUF) the remaining 4. TUF was able to win the Amerindian districts of the Rupununi and the North West District where Catholic and Anglican missionaries were very influential. The party also won two marginal seats in Georgetown where PPP supporters, angered by the PNC supporters' campaign of violence, decided in the absence of PPP candidates in their districts, to cast their votes for the UF which they saw as the "lesser of two evils".

The overall results of the elections showed that the PPP won 42.6 percent of the total votes cast while the PNC obtained 41 percent and TUF 16.3 percent.

PPP leader Cheddi Jagan remained as Primier.

Voter turnout was 89.44%.

Post-election Note

Although the PPP had only received 1.6% more of the vote than the new People's National Congress, it had won almost double the number of seats. This resulted in mass demonstrations led by the PNC, a general strike and severe inter-racial violence. After a few weeks the British authorities intervened by sending in troops and the Governor declared a state of emergency. Following these events, the country's electoral system was changed to use proportional representation. The first elections held under the new system took place in 1964.

35 elected seats
Total Valid Votes 218,357
Invalid Votes 1,768
Total Votes Cast 220,125
Registered Voters 246,120
Voter Turnout 89.44%
Dissolution of House Wed, 14 Jun 1961
Nomination Day -
Polling Day Mon, 21 Aug 1961
First Meeting of New Parliament Thu, 5 Oct 1961
Official Results Download report
  Political Group Code Votes % votes Candidates Seats
  People’s Progressive Party Winner PPP 93,085 42.63% 29 20
  People’s National Congress PNC 89,501 40.99% 35 11
  The United Force TUF 35,771 16.38% 34 4
  Total Valid Votes   218,357 100% 98 35
 PAST ELECTIONS learn more
   General Election Results 1953
   General Election Results 1957
   General Election Results 1961
   General Election Results 1964
   General Election Results 1968
   General Election Results 1973
   General Election Results 1980
   General Election Results 1985
   General Election Results 1992
   General Election Results 1997
   General Election Results 2001
   General Election Results 2006
   General Election Results 2011
   General Election Results 2015
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2016 Party Key
A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC); People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C); Healing the Nation Theocracy Party (HTNTP); Independent Party (IP); National Independent Party (NIP); Organisation for the Victory of the People Party (OVPP); The United Force (TUF); United Republican Party (URP); Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM)
Party Codes          
A Good and Green Guyana AGGG Justice Party JP People’s National Congress/Reform PNC/R
Alliance for Change AFC Liberal Democratic LD People’s Progressive Party  PPP
Alliance for Guyana AFG Liberator Party LP People’s Republic Party PRP
Democratic Labour Movement DLM National Democratic Front NDF People's Progressive Party/Civic PPP/C
God Bless Guyana GBG National Front Alliance NFA Rise Organise And Rebuild ROAR
Guiana National Party GNP National Independent Party NIP The United Force TUF
Guyana Action Party/Rise Organise And Rebuild GAP/ROAR National Labour Front NLF Union of Guyanese International UGI
Guyana Action Party/Working People’s Alliance GAP/WPA National Republican Party NRP United Democratic Party UDP
Guyana Democratic Party GDP Peace, Equality and Prosperity Party PEPP United Republican Party URP
Guyana National Congress GNC People’s Democratic Movement PDM United Workers Party UWP
Guyana United Muslim Party GUMP People’s National Congress PNC Working People’s Alliance WPA
Independents IND People’s National Congress PNC/R
Justice for All People JFAP People’s National Congress Reform - 1 Guyana PNCR-IG
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