Southern Rhodesian general election, 1934

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Southern Rhodesian general election, 1934
Southern Rhodesia
← 1933 November 7, 1934 (1934-11-07) 1939 →

All 30 seats to the Legislative Assembly
16 seats needed for a majority
Turnout 64.6%
  First party Second party Third party
  Huggins.jpg Noimage.png Noimage.png
Leader Godfrey Huggins Harry Davies
Party United Labour Reform
Leader's seat Salisbury district Bulawayo South
Last election 5 seats, 17.5% 16 seats, 37.9%
Seats before 5 16
Seats won 24 5 1
Seat change Increase24 Steady Decrease15
Popular vote 11,076 4,816 2,012
Percentage 61.9% 26.9% 11.2%
Swing new party Increase9.4% Decrease26.7%

Prime Minister before election

Godfrey Huggins
United Party

Elected Prime Minister

Godfrey Huggins
United Party

The Southern Rhodesia general election of 7 November 1934 was the fourth election since the colony of Southern Rhodesia was granted self-government. The election was called only a year after the previous election when the Prime Minister, Godfrey Huggins, formed the United Party as a merger of the conservative section of his Reform Party and the former governing Rhodesia Party. Huggins succeeded in winning a landslide, defeating all but one of his Reform Party opponents.

Franchise and electoral procedure[edit]

No changes were made to the franchise, the procedure of elections, or electoral boundaries since the previous election.

Political parties[edit]

The Reform Party was believed by many in Rhodesia to be a left-wing party but Huggins had presented a cautiously conservative Cabinet after winning power in 1933. In particular, Finance Minister Jacob Smit was a strong believer in conventional economics and opponent of Keynesianism. The course of government led eventually to a confrontration in August 1934 with the left-wing of the party over reform to the Rhodesian railways. Huggins decided to approach Sir Percy Fynn, leader of the Rhodesian Party, who pledged support for a National Government under Huggins.

However, the Acting Governor refused a dissolution on the grounds that the Assembly had many years left, and the government had not been defeated. Huggins persuaded the majority of the Executive of the Reform Party to suspend the party's constitution to allow a National Government on 17 September, and then formed the United Party with Fynn, asking a second time for a dissolution on the basis of a changed party alignment. This time the Acting Governor acceded.

Summary result[edit]

Electorate: 27,388 (in contested seats, 25,879) Turnout: 64.6%

Party Seats in 1933 Candidates Elected Unopposed Popular vote
Votes %
United Party - 30 24 2 11,076 61.9
Rhodesia Labour Party 5 14 5 - 4,816 26.9
Reform Party 16 20 1 - 2,012 11.2
Totals 30 64 30 2 17,904 100%


  • Lab – Rhodesia Labour Party
  • Ref – Reform Party
  • UP – United Party
Electorate and turnout
Candidate Party Votes
Two members
2,018 (61.4%)
James Cowden UP 683
Donald Macintyre Lab 654
Arthur James Butler UP 604
Edward Jonathan Davies Lab 536
Two members
1,989 (65.1%)
John Banks Brady UP 967
Allan Ross Welsh UP 910
David Bennie Lab 421
Frederick Martin Lab 291
1,257 (70.6%)
Harry Herbert Davies Lab 458
Hugh Beadle UP 430
Ernest Lucas Guest UP unopposed
John Louis Martin UP unopposed
842 (77.3%)
William Sydney Senior UP 366
Thomas Alfred Kimble Lab 285
677 (70.2%)
Sir Hugh Grenville Williams Ref 257
Herbert Hildeyard Phillips UP 218
1,048 (63.2%)
Frank Delano Thompson UP 377
Albert Hill Lab 285
571 (79.5%)
James Joseph Conway UP 256
Arthur Bertram Shepherd-Cross Ref 117
Christopher Holderness Lab 81
644 (69.9%)
Robert Clarkson Tredgold UP 273
Leo George Robinson Lab 110
Joseph Hussey Ref 67
756 (67.7%)
Frank Ernest Harris UP 334
John Bazeley Lab 178
818 (68.7%)
Lewis Aloys MacDonald Hastings UP 365
Frank Smith Ref 197
812 (58.6%)
Alfred William Vincent Crawley UP 251
Reginald Herbert Bruce Dickson Ref 225
966 (66.9%)
Robert Alexander Fletcher UP 412
Jonah William White Lab 234
891 (64.8%)
Edward Walter Lionel Noaks UP 467
Alexander Macintyre Hutchinson Ref 110
793 (71.6%)
Charles Walter Leppington UP 290
Edward Empson Webb Lab 243
John William Watkinson Ref 35
1,243 (70.7%)
Lawrence John Walter Keller Lab 440
William Hives Eastwood UP 439
Two members
2,257 (66.6%)
Jacob Hendrik Smit UP 1,125
Robert Thomson Anderson UP 848
James Kerr Taylor Lab 335
Roger Edward Downes Lab 315
Charles Olley Ref 245
Neil Housman Wilson Ref 204
966 (76.4%)
Godfrey Huggins UP 519
Thomas Nangle Ref 219
Two members
2,016 (69.7%)
Vernon Arthur Lewis UP 1,208
Percival Donald Leslie Fynn UP 1,198
William Lane Mitchell Ref 233
William Martin Lab 172
1,240 (71.5%)
George Henry Walker Lab 435
Alexander Daniel Kirstein UP 350
Mrs. Otilia Liebermann Ref 101
818 (68.7%)
Robert Dunipace Gilchrist UP 416
Ernest Edward Fitzroy Blackwell Ref 146
864 (66.9%)
Donald Murray Somerville UP 429
Albert Holman Lab 149
761 (75.7%)
Jonathan Hunter Malcolm Lab 329
Edgar Cuthbert Fremantle Whitehead UP 247
943 (76.6%)
William Alexander Eustace Winterton UP 641
John Davidson Ref 81
689 (57.9%)
Alexander Robert Thomson UP 258
William McDonald Lab 141



James Joseph Conway died on 10 May 1935, leading to a byelection on 4 July 1935.

Constituency Candidate Party Votes
HARTLEY Roger Edward Downes Ref 202
Charles Malcolm Davenport UP 146
Thomas Alfred Kimble Lab 79


Robert Dunipace Gilchrist resigned on 30 June 1935, leading to a byelection on 28 August 1935.

Constituency Candidate Party Votes
SELUKWE Max Danziger UP 353
Henry Frederick Edensor Ref 182
Ernest Millington Ind UP 117

Umtali South[edit]

Following his death, there was a byelection to replace Jonathan Hunter Malcolm on 15 September 1936.

Electorate and turnout
Candidate Party Votes
800 (62.0%)
James Brown Lister Lab 244
Edgar Cuthbert Fremantle Whitehead UP 153
William Arthur Rail Ref 99

Salisbury North[edit]

Following his resignation on 31 July 1936, there was a byelection to replace Vernon Arthur Lewis on 21 September 1936.

Electorate and turnout
Candidate Party Votes
2,035 (54.9%)
Harry Bertin UP 595
John Richard Dendy Young Ref 522


John Louis Martin died on 28 May 1938 and a byelection to replace him was held on 15 August 1938.

Electorate and turnout
Candidate Party Votes
751 (81.4%)
Jacobus Petrus De Kock UP 222
Douglas Abrahamson UNP 160
Reginald Herbert Bruce Dickson Ref 150
Roelof Hendrik Venter Lab 79


Following his death, there was a byelection to replace Roger Edward Downes on 30 August 1938.

Electorate and turnout
Candidate Party Votes
584 (76.7%)
Henry Hamilton Beamish Ind 144
Thomas James Golding RP 125
Leslie Manfred Noel Hodson UP 118
Thomas George Gibson Ref 61


  • 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)