Singaporean general election, 1972

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Singaporean general election, 1972
← 1968 2 September 1972 1976 →

33 seats needed for majority
Turnout 93.5%
  First party
  Lee Kuan Yew cropped.jpg
Leader Lee Kuan Yew
Party PAP
Leader's seat Tanjong Pagar
Last election 58 seats, 86.7%
Seats before 58
Seats won 65
Seat change Increase7
Popular vote 760,468
Percentage 70.4
Swing Decrease7%
Coat of arms of Singapore (blazon).svg
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General elections were held in Singapore on 2 September 1972. The result was a victory for the People's Action Party, which won all 65 seats, the second of four consecutive elections in which they repeated the feat. Voter turnout was 93.5% in the 57 constituencies that were contested,[1] with PAP candidates elected unopposed in the other eight.

Electoral system[edit]

The 65 members of Parliament were elected in 65 single-member constituencies, an increase from 58 in the 1968 elections. The new wards were Boon Teck (from Toa Payoh), Bukit Batok (from Bukit Panjang, Bukit Timah and Choa Chu Kang), Henderson (from Tiong Bahru), Kim Keat (from Toa Payoh), Kim Seng (from Bukit Ho Swee & Delta), Kuo Chuan (from Toa Payoh) and Leng Kee (from Bukit Merah).

Although the total electorate was 908,382, 95,456 were based in the eight uncontested constituencies.[2]


Unlike the previous elections in 1968, which saw the PAP win the election before election day as only seven of the 58 seats were contested, the 1972 elections saw the PAP challenged in nearly all seats. Barisan Sosialis renounced its boycott strategy and attempted to make a comeback, whilst the Workers' Party was rejuvenated by former district judge J. B. Jeyaretnam. The WP's former leader and ex-Chief Minister David Marshall contemplated standing as an independent, but did not due to a stingray wound.

Describing the alternative opposition parties as having lost their credibility with swerving political manoeuvres, coupled with Singapore's strong economic progress and successful housing development, the PAP declared that Singaporeans no longer saw need for political diversity, claiming that this led to squabbling that would impede its effective governance.


Despite expectations that the PAP would not coast to victory and Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew even anticipating that the PAP winning around 45 seats would be a convincing victory, the PAP still managed to capture every seat in Parliament for the second time.

Party Votes % Seats +/–
People's Action Party 524,892 70.4 65 +7
Workers' Party 90,885 12.2 0 0
United National Front 55,001 7.4 0 New
Barisan Sosialis 34,483 4.6 0 New
People's Front 22,462 3.0 0 New
Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Melayu Singapura 10,054 1.3 0 New
Independents 7,462 1.0 0 0
Invalid/blank votes 15,229
Total 760,468 100 65 +7
Registered voters/turnout 812,926 93.5
Source: Nohlen et al.


  1. ^ Dieter Nohlen, Florian Grotz & Christof Hartmann (2001) Elections in Asia: A data handbook, Volume II, p254 ISBN 0-19-924959-8
  2. ^ Parliamentary general election 1972 Singapore Elections