Since the last election in 2007, the number of seats was increased from 60 (an even number) to 63 (an odd number). The close results of the 2007 general election spurred the change as the Electoral Commission concluded that a tie would not be resolved.
Opinion polls indicated a slim lead for the opposition PNP six days before the election. The win by the PNP shocked even its leaders, such as Peter Phillips who said that "the results certainly exceeded our most optimistic scenarios". Despite the intentions of the opinion polls to give a fair idea of the directions of the election results, reports from the Electoral Office of Jamaica indicates that only just over 50 per cent of the entire voting population voted on Election Day 2011. This low voter turnout may have thrown off the prediction of opinion polls to some extent.
The People's National Party (PNP) secured 42 seats to 21 for the Jamaica Labour Party, in a result described as a landslide victory. None of the minor parties won seats in the new Parliament. As a result the PNP ended four years of rule for the Labour Party. Several Labour Party cabinet ministers lost their seats including National Security Minister Dwight Nelson and Energy Minister Clive Mullings.
Polling was reported to have proceeded fairly smoothly, despite glitches with fingerprint scanners at some polling stations, and without the violence that has marred previous elections. The Organization of American States sent an observation mission to oversee the elections and they reported that they had not witnessed "any disturbances or any issues that would cause us any serious concern".