Updated: View Site Map Site Map
Political Parties Electoral Districts Biographies Results Past Elections Voter Education
Jamaica General Election Results - 30 October 1980
Parliament Chamber, Jamaica

The ninth General Parliamentary Elections were held in Jamaica on 30 October 1980 for all 60 seats in the House of Representatives.

Electoral System

The 60 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 Prime Minister.

The Representation of the People Act permits the candidacy of voters above the age of 21. Any Commonwealth citizen residing in Jamaica can vote in the election if they are older than 18 years. To be included on the ballot, a nomination must include the signatures of at least ten eligible voters from the same constituency. The nomination form must then be submitted during a four-hour period on nomination day.


Following the 1976 general elections, the nationwide state of emergency was lifted in June 1977. However, the socialist People's National Party (PNP) Government of Prime Minister Michael Manley faced continuing problems as political tension and violent demonstrations were widespread by 1979, and Jamaica's economic situation (particularly unemployment, foreign debt, lack of foreign investment and exchange) steadily deteriorated. In February 1980, Manley called for a general election to seek support for his economic policies and a determination of what role, if any, aid from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) should play in the country's affairs.

Manley, announced the October 30 election date on October 5 at a People's National Party rally in Charles Square, Montego Bay. Mr. Manley made the announcement to a large crowd of PNP supporters at the end of the party's two-day annual conference in the western Jamaican city. 

The elections were the first since the adoption, in early 1980, of amendments aimed at electoral reform to limit fraudulent voting.

Political Parties & Candidates

The two main contenders were Michael Manley’s social-democratic People’s National Party (PNP) and Prime Minister Edward Seaga’s conservative Jamaica Labour Party (JLP). A total of 127 candidates contested the election with the PNP and JLP each presenting a full slate of 60 candidates. There were also seven independents.


The election campaign was marked by considerable violence. The principal challenger to the PNP was once again the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), which advocated free enterprise in a mixed economy and closer co-operation with the Western world.


Polling day culminated in a large JLP victory (51:9).  It was a devastating loss for Manley's People's National Party (PNP), which won the 1972 and 1976 elections in convincing fashion.

Edward P.G. Seaga, leader of the party, became Prime Minister. His !5-member Cabinet was sworn in on 7 November.

Voter Turnout

Voter turnout was 86.91%.

System First-past-the-post
Elected Members 60 single-member constituencies
Total Valid Votes 852,706
Invalid Votes 8,040
Total Votes Cast 860,746
Registered Voters 990,417
Voter Turnout 86.91%
Dissolution of House Mon, 13 Oct 1980
Nomination Day Tue, 14 Oct 1980
Polling Day Thu, 30 Oct 1980
  Photo Edward SEAGA
Jamaica Labour Party (JLP)
  Photo Michael MANLEY
People's National Party (PNP)
Representation of the People Act Download report
Jamaica Constitution Act Download report
  Party Code Votes Candidates Seats
Total % votes Change Number Change
  Jamaica Labour Party Winner JLP 502,115 43.32% +15.65% 60 51 +38
  People's National Party PNP 350,064 56.60% -15.710% 60 9 -38
  Independent Candidates IND 527 0.08% +0.06% 7 0 -
  Total   836,971 100% - 127 60 -
 PAST ELECTIONS learn more
   General Election Results 1944
   General Election Results 1949
   General Election Results 1955
   General Election Results 1959
   General Election Results 1962
   General Election Results 1967
   General Election Results 1972
   General Election Results 1976
   General Election Results 1980
   General Election Results 1983
   General Election Results 1989
   General Election Results 1993
   General Election Results 1997
   General Election Results 2002
   General Election Results 2007
   General Election Results 2011
   General Election Results 2016
JLP - Jamaica Labour Party
PNP - People's National Party
Download JLP 2016 Manifesto
Download PNP 2016 Manifesto
Download Jamaica Knowledge Centre
Learn more Jamaica Governors-General
Learn more Jamaica Heads of Government
Learn more Jamaica Leaders of the Opposition
Caribbean Elections
Caribbean Elections provides comprehensive information on the electoral process, politics, and citizenship in the Caribbean. The portal includes election data and resources for the public, teachers, students, and researchers.
Learn more about CE»
JLP = Jamaica Labour Party; PNP = People's National Party; IND = Inpendent candidate; * Incumbent; ** Political Leader
Electoral Commission of Jamaica
Fact Check
We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, or if you would like to share additional information on the topic, kindly contact us!
How to Reference Our Site
To reference our site, please use the following as a general guideline.
APA: KnowledgeWalk Institute. (Date Published).Title of Web Page. Retrieved from (URL)
MLA: "Title of Web Page." caribbeanelections.com. KnowledgeWalk Institute, (date published). Web. Date Accessed.
Chicago: "Title of Web Page," KnowledgeWalk Institute, last modified (date), URL.
Visit KnowledgeWalk Institute © 2008-2019 Knowledgewalk Institute. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Statement | Terms of Use  | Advertise With Us | About Us | Contact Us