Southern Rhodesian general election, 1939

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Southern Rhodesian general election, 1939
Southern Rhodesia
1934 ←
April 14, 1939 (1939-04-14) → 1946

All 30 seats to the Legislative Assembly
16 seats needed for a majority
Turnout 76.7%
  First party Second party Third party
  Godfrey Huggins 1937.jpg Blank.jpg Blank.jpg
Leader Godfrey Huggins Harry Herbert Davies
Party United Party Rhodesian Labour Party Reform Party
Leader's seat Salisbury North Hillside
Last election 24 seats, 61.9% 5 seats, 26.9% 1 seat, 11.2%
Seats before 24 5 1
Seats won 23 7 0
Seat change Decrease1 Increase2 Increase1
Popular vote 11,161 7,353 2,773
Percentage 50.4% 33.2% 12.5%
Swing Decrease11.5 Increase6.3% Increase1.3%

Prime Minister before election

Godfrey Huggins
United Party

Elected Prime Minister

Godfrey Huggins
United Party

The Southern Rhodesia general election of 14 April 1939 was the fifth election since the colony of Southern Rhodesia was granted self-government. Prime Minister Godfrey Huggins' United Party government were re-elected in a landslide. The election was called slightly earlier than the deadline as Huggins feared the German invasion of Czechoslovakia would lead to European War.

Franchise and electoral procedure[edit]

In 1937, a new Electoral Act was passed. The franchise was extended slightly to those who were not British subjects but who had been in active wartime service in the armed forces. Electors were also required to have lived for three months in their electoral districts. The requirement for qualifying for the vote on the basis of receiving salary or wages of £100 per annum was extended also to people with income of £100 per annum, a change which principally benefited those who had investment income but few assets. Voters were also no longer required to demonstrate proficiency in English through a dictation test. The postal vote, which had been introduced in 1928, was extended in 1937 to all voters living more than 25 miles away from the nearest polling station. Finally, those who had drawn government rations were disenfranchised.

Electoral districts[edit]

A boundary revision in 1938 enabled the elimination of the four remaining double-member electoral districts as the Colony was split into 30 single-member districts.

Summary result[edit]

Electorate: 28,894 (in contested seats, 28,032) Turnout: 76.7%

Party Seats in 1934 Candidates Elected Unopposed Popular vote
Votes %
United Party 24 29 23 1 11,161 50.4
Rhodesia Labour Party 5 26 7 - 7,353 33.2
Rhodesia Party 1 16 - - 2,773 12.5
Independents - 3 - - 492 2.2
Union Party - 2 - - 380 1.7
Totals 30 76 30 1 22,159 100%

Results[edit]

Constituency
Electorate and turnout
Candidate Party Votes
AVONDALE
962 (82.9%)
Harry Bertin UP 571
Colin Ross McLachlan Lab 217
BULAWAYO CENTRAL
1,116 (82.1%)
William Hives Eastwood UP 393
James Cowden RP 272
Philip Harvey Veale Lab 251
BULAWAYO EAST
1,025 (84.5%)
John Banks Brady UP 639
Donald MacGillivray RP 227
BULAWAYO NORTH
1,023 (84.9%)
Thomas Hugh William Beadle UP 461
Charles Edward Harrison RP 243
William John Phelps Lab 165
BULAWAYO SOUTH
1,279 (77.8%)
Donald Macintyre Lab 534
Robert Woodward Hammond UP 461
CHARTER
838 (82.3%)
Ernest Lucas Guest UP 355
Johan Christoffel Kruger Union 181
Henry Stephen Sharp Lab 154
EASTERN
1,004 (77.7%)
Jacobus Petrus De Kock UP 399
Douglas Abrahamson Union 199
Reginald Herbert Bruce Dickson Lab 182
GATOOMA
1,031 (85.5%)
Thomas Alfred Kimble Lab 416
James Dalton UP 293
Thomas James Golding RP 173
GWANDA
839 (71.2%)
Frank Ernest Harris UP 381
David Wood Young RP 216
GWELO
954 (78.9%)
Frank Delano Thompson UP 326
Robert Williamson RP 243
William John Bassett Lab 184
HARTLEY
969 (82.1%)
Hugh Volant Wheeler UP 264
William Muter Leggate RP 215
Henry Hamilton Beamish Ind 196
John Allen Lab 121
HIGHLANDS
953 (82.1%)
Leslie Benjamin Fereday UP 447
William Frith Wilson Lab 267
John Arthur Douglas Hawksley RP 68
HILLSIDE
1,017 (85.8%)
Harry Herbert Davies Lab 544
George Victor Wallace UP 329
INSIZA
887 (73.2%)
Robert Clarkson Tredgold UP 335
James Turner Durward Lab 198
Leo George Robinson RP 116
LOMAGUNDI
834 (64.1%)
Lewis Aloys MacDonald Hastings UP 393
Mrs. Otilia Liebermann Lab 142
MARANDELLAS
891 (74.2%)
William Henry Ralston UP 366
Alexander Aitken Draper Lab 148
Alfred William Vincent Crawley RP 147
MAZOE
873 (78.9%)
Edward Walter Lionel Noaks UP 402
Jack Herbert Keightley Lab 139
James Murdoch Eaton RP 75
Mark Douglas Claxton Ind 73
QUE QUE
1,072 (79.9%)
Charles Walter Leppington UP 434
de Lacey Henry Stowe Lab 422
RAYLTON
954 (80.6%)
Lawrence John Walter Keller Lab 559
Charles Spencer UP 210
SALISBURY CENTRAL
1,089 (76.4%)
Edgar Pope Vernall UP 408
Mrs. Gladys Maasdorp Lab 288
George Harry Stone RP 136
SALISBURY CITY
1,012 (78.6%)
Jacob Hendrik Smit UP 519
Alec Pelham Lab 276
SALISBURY GARDENS
966 (76.4%)
Sir Percival Donald Leslie Fynn UP 410
Lancelot Middleton Foggin RP 155
Rex Atherton Rawstorne Lab 111
SALISBURY NORTH
862
Godfrey Martin Huggins UP unopposed
SALISBURY SOUTH
1,049 (79.0%)
George Henry Walker Lab 546
Heiman Joseph Hoffman UP 283
SELUKWE
954 (76.6%)
Max Danziger UP 410
Ernest Millington RP 321
UMTALI NORTH
844 (83.8%)
Edgar Cuthbert Fremantle Whitehead UP 498
Thomas Norris Lab 209
UMTALI SOUTH
820 (76.1%)
James Brown Lister Lab 401
Matthew Henry Gibson Ind 223
VICTORIA
1,014 (77.2%)
William Alexander Eustace Winterton UP 497
Robert Joseph Austin Lab 286
WANKIE
1,000 (73.0%)
Allan Watson Whittington Lab 346
Cyril Mainwaring Newman UP 311
Henry Robert Barbour RP 73
WESTERN
894 (79.0%)
Patrick Bissett Fletcher UP 366
Albert James Davies Lab 247
Wilfred Denton Estment RP 93

Byelections[edit]

Salisbury Gardens[edit]

Sir Percival Fynn died on 25 April 1940. Owing to the war, normal party politics had been suspended and a joint selection conference including members of both the United Party and the Rhodesia Labour Party was included. Four candidates stood for the selection: Cecil Douglas Dryden (United Party), Mrs. Gladys Maasdorp (Rhodesia Labour Party), Arthur William Redfern (Independent) and O.P. Wheeler (Independent). Redfern was selected and returned unopposed on 26 June 1940.

Umtali North[edit]

Edgar Whitehead resigned from the Assembly on 24 June 1940. A byelection was held to replace him on 27 August 1940.

Constituency
Electorate and turnout
Candidate Party Votes
UMTALI NORTH
821 (53.8%)
Tom Ian Finlay Wilson UP 312
Thomas Norris Lab 130

Hartley[edit]

Hugh Volant Wheeler resigned on 30 June 1940. A byelection was held in his constituency on 27 August 1940.

Constituency
Electorate and turnout
Candidate Party Votes
HARTLEY
943 (49.9%)
William Muter Leggate RP 247
Tom Cecil Leonard Howard Ind 120
Leonard Tolcher Tracey Ind 104

Lomagundi[edit]

Lewis Aloys MacDonald Hastings resigned on 30 June 1940. A byelection was held in his constituency on 27 August 1940.

Constituency
Electorate and turnout
Candidate Party Votes
LOMAGUNDI
827 (48.1%)
George Henry Hackwill UP 220
Edward George Holman Ind 178

Victoria[edit]

William Alexander Eustace Winterton resigned on 30 October 1940. A byelection was held on 10 December 1940.

Constituency
Electorate and turnout
Candidate Party Votes
VICTORIA
1,014 (61.4%)
Walter Brumage Richards UP 232
Harry Joseph Filmer Lab 228
Richard Fraser Dott Ind National 163

Insiza[edit]

Robert Clarkson Tredgold resigned on 28 February 1943. A byelection was held on 21 April 1943 to replace him.

Constituency Candidate Party Votes
INSIZA Leslie Thomas Smith The Labour Party 280
Victor Henry Sauerman Lab 197
John Everett Chick UP 151

References[edit]

  • Source Book of Parliamentary Elections and Referenda in Southern Rhodesia 1898–1962 ed. by F.M.G. Willson (Department of Government, University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, Salisbury 1963)
  • Holders of Administrative and Ministerial Office 1894–1964 by F.M.G. Willson and G.C. Passmore, assisted by Margaret T. Mitchell (Source Book No. 3, Department of Government, University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, Salisbury 1966)