1980 Singaporean general election

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1980 Singaporean general election

← 1976 23 December 1980 1984 →

38 seats needed for majority
  First party
  Lee Kuan Yew cropped.jpg
Leader Lee Kuan Yew
Party PAP
Leader's seat Tanjong Pagar
Last election 65 seats, 74.1%
Seats before 69
Seats won 75
Seat change Increase6
Popular vote 654,452
Percentage 77.7
Swing Increase3.6%

Singaporean election 1980 map.png
Winning party by constituency
Coat of arms of Singapore.svg
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General elections were held in Singapore on 23 December 1980. The result was a victory for the People's Action Party, which won all 75 seats, the last of four consecutive elections in which they repeated the feat. Voter turnout was 95.5%, although this figure represents the turnout in the 38 constituencies to be contested,[1] with PAP candidates earning walkovers in the other 37. 685,141 voters out of the total electorate of 1,290,426 went to vote on the elections.


Prior to the election, a series of by-elections were called on 1977 and 1979 after two and seven MPs, respectively, were vacated; however, the ruling PAP won every seat, allowing nine new candidates, which include Devan Nair and Tony Tan (both would later went on to become Presidents of Singapore) to enter Parliament.

On 2 April the following year, then-President of National Trades Union Congress, Phey Yew Kok, resigned his Boon Teck seat after Phey was initially charged from a funding fraud of trade union funds, and left Singapore to avoid a bail; however, Lee chose not to call a by-election in his place since the current Parliament term was due to end.


Friday 5 December Dissolution of the 4th Parliament
Saturday 13 December Nomination Day. 118 candidates were nominated, PAP won 37 uncontested seats.
Tuesday 23 December Polling day for 38 contested seats
Tuesday 3 February 1981 First meeting of the 5th Parliament


The school streaming system, as well as Phey Yew Kok's fraud, became highlights of the campaign for the election.

Independent candidate Chiam See Tong, who made his political debut in the previous election, founded Singapore Democratic Party on 8 September, and would later go on to win Potong Pasir Constituency on the 1984 election on his third attempt (his first attempt was in the by-election last year) after the retirement of incumbent and cabinet minister Howe Yoon Chong.

A total of 43 opposition candidates went on to contest in 38 constituencies, which was nearly half of the total, with United People's Front representing the most number of candidates at 14. This was the first election (of the only three in history, with the other being 2006 and 2011) none of the candidates run as Independents.


Similar to previous elections, constituencies were either dissolved or created due to population. The constituencies which saw changes were:

Constituency Changes
New Constituencies
Ayer Rajah
West Coast
Carved from Bukit Timah
Cheng San
Chong Boon
Carved from Serangoon Gardens
Kaki Bukit Carved from Kampong Chai Chee
Kebun Baru
Yio Chu Kang
Carved from Ang Mo Kio
Tanah Merah Carved from Bedok and Changi
Defunct Constituencies
Farrer Park Ward was absorbed to Moulmein
Geylang East Ward was absorbed to MacPherson
Upper Serangoon Ward was absorbed to Punggol


Party Votes % Seats +/–
People's Action Party 494,268 77.7 75 +6
Workers' Party 39,590 6.2 0 0
United People's Front 28,586 4.5 0 0
Singapore United Front 27,522 4.3 0 0
Barisan Sosialis 16,488 2.6 0 0
Singapore Malay National Organisation 13,435 2.1 0 0
Singapore Democratic Party 11,292 1.8 0 New
Singapore Justice Party 5,271 0.8 0 0
Invalid/blank votes 17,743
Total 654,452 100 75 +6
Registered voters/turnout 685,141 53.1
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