1931 Ceylonese State Council election

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1st Ceylonese State Council election

← 1924 13–20 June 1931 1936 →

50 seats to the State Council of Ceylon
26 seats were needed for a majority

The first election to the State Council of Ceylon were held from 13 to 20 June 1931.[1] This was the first election in a British colony which used universal adult franchise.[2]


In 1931 the Donoughmore Constitution replaced the Legislative Council of Ceylon with the State Council of Ceylon as the legislature of British Ceylon. The State Council was to consist of 58 members of which 50 would be elected by universal suffrage and the remaining 8 members appointed the Governor.

The old Legislative Council was dissolved on 17 April 1931 and candidate nominations took place on 4 May 1931.[3] The Jaffna Youth Congress, an organisation that campaigned for Ceylon independence, called for a boycott of the election since the Donoughmore Constitution didn't grant dominion status to Ceylon.[3] Consequently no nominations were received in four constituencies in the north of the country (Jaffna, Kankesanthurai, Kayts and Point Pedro).[3] In addition, nine other constituencies only had a single nomination each and consequently the candidates were elected without a vote.[3] Elections in the remaining 37 constituencies took place between 13 and 20 June 1931.

In 1934 by-elections were held for the four vacant seats in the north.[4]

Elected members[edit]


  1. ^ "Dates of Elections". Handbook of Parliament. Parliament of Sri Lanka. Archived from the original on 24 March 2010. Retrieved 6 February 2010.
  2. ^ A. Jeyaratnam Wilson (1975). Electoral politics in an emergent state: the Ceylon general election of May 1970. Cambridge University Press. p. 45. ISBN 978-1-00-132712-9.
  3. ^ a b c d K T Rajasingham (22 September 2001). "Chapter 7: State Councils - elections and boycotts". SRI LANKA: THE UNTOLD STORY. Asia Times. Retrieved 6 February 2010.
  4. ^ T.D.S.A.Dissanayake. "Chapter 1: Was early universal franchise a disaster?". War or Peace... Sangam. Retrieved 6 February 2010.