Southern Rhodesian general election, 1939

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Southern Rhodesian general election, 1939
Southern Rhodesia
← 1934 14 April 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
  Huggins Blank.jpg Blank.jpg
Leader Godfrey Huggins Harry Davies
Party United Labour Reform
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
Reform 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]

Avondale
Party Candidate Votes % ±
United Harry Bertin 571 N/A
Labour Colin Ross McLachlan 217 N/A
Majority 354 N/A
Turnout 962 82.9 N/A
United win (new seat)
Bulawayo Central
Party Candidate Votes % ±
United William Hives Eastwood 393
Reform James Cowden 272
Labour Philip Harvey Veale 251
Majority
Turnout 1,116 82.1
United win (new seat)
Bulawayo East
Party Candidate Votes % ±
United John Banks Brady 639
Reform Donald MacGillivray 227
Majority
Turnout 1,025 84.5
United win (new seat)
Bulawayo North
Party Candidate Votes % ±
United Hugh Beadle 461
Reform Charles Edward Harrison 243
Labour William John Phelps 165
Majority
Turnout 1,023 84.9
United win (new seat)
Bulawayo South
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Donald MacIntyre 534
United Robert Woodward Hammond 461
Majority
Turnout 1,279 77.8
Labour hold Swing
Charter
Party Candidate Votes % ±
United Ernest Lucas Guest 355
Union Party Johan Christoffel Kruger 181
Labour Henry Stephen Sharp 151
Majority
Turnout 838 82.3
United hold Swing
Eastern
Party Candidate Votes % ±
United Jacobus Petrus De Kock 399
Union Party Douglas Abrahamson 199
Labour Reginald Herbert Bruce Dickson 182
Majority
Turnout 1,004 77.7
United hold Swing
Gatooma
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Thomas Alfred Kimble 416
United James Dalton 293
Reform Thomas James Golding 173
Majority
Turnout 1,031 85.5
Labour hold Swing
Gwanda
Party Candidate Votes % ±
United Frank Ernest Harris 381
Reform David Wood Young 216
Majority
Turnout 839 71.2
United gain from Reform Swing
Gwelo
Party Candidate Votes % ±
United Frank Delano Thompson 326
Reform Robert Williamson 243
Labour William John Bassett 184
Majority
Turnout 954 78.9
United hold Swing
Hartley
Party Candidate Votes % ±
United Hugh Volant Wheeler 264
Reform William Muter Leggate 215
Independent Henry Hamilton Beamish 196
Labour John Allen 121
Majority
Turnout 969 82.1
United gain from Independent Swing
Highlands
Party Candidate Votes % ±
United Leslie Benjamin Fereday 447
Labour William Frith Wilson 267
Reform John Arthur Douglas Hawksley 68
Majority
Turnout 953 82.1
United win (new seat)
Hillside
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Harry Davies 544
United George Victor Wallace 329
Majority
Turnout 1,017 85.8
Labour win (new seat)
Insiza
Party Candidate Votes % ±
United Robert Clarkson Tredgold 335
Labour James Turner Durward 198
Reform Leo George Robinson 116
Majority
Turnout 887 73.2
United hold Swing
Lomagudi
Party Candidate Votes % ±
United Lewis Aloys MacDonald Hastings 393
Labour Otilia Liebermann 142
Majority
Turnout 834 64.1
United hold Swing
Marandellas
Party Candidate Votes % ±
United William Henry Ralston 366
Labour Alexander Aitken Draper 148
Reform Alfred William Vincent Crawley 147
Majority
Turnout 891 74.2
United hold Swing
Mazoe
Party Candidate Votes % ±
United Edward Walter Lionel Noaks 402
Labour Jack Herbert Keightley 139
Reform James Murdoch Eaton 75
Independent Mark Douglas Claxton 73
Majority
Turnout 873 78.9
United hold Swing
Que Que
Party Candidate Votes % ±
United Charles Walter Leppington 434
Labour de Lacey Henry Stowe 422
Majority
Turnout 1,072 79.9
United hold Swing
Raylton
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Lawrence John Walter Keller 559
United Charles Spencer 210
Majority
Turnout 954 80.6
Labour hold Swing
Salisbury Central
Party Candidate Votes % ±
United Edgar Pope Vernall 408
Labour Gladys Maasdorp 288
Reform George Harry Stone 139
Majority
Turnout 1,089 76.4
United win (new seat)
Salisbury City
Party Candidate Votes % ±
United Jacob Hendrik Smit 519
Labour Alec Pelham 276
Majority
Turnout 1,012 78.6
United win (new seat)
Salisbury Gardens
Party Candidate Votes % ±
United Sir Percival Donald Leslie Fynn 410
Reform Lancelot Middleton Foggin 155
Labour Rex Atherton Rawstorne 111
Majority
Turnout 966 76.4
United win (new seat)
Salisbury North
Party Candidate Votes % ±
United Godfrey Huggins unopposed
Majority 862
Turnout
United win (new seat)
Salisbury South
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour George Henry Walker 546
United Heiman Joseph Hoffman 283
Majority
Turnout 1,049 79.0
Labour hold Swing
Selukwe
Party Candidate Votes % ±
United Max Danziger 410
Reform Ernest Millington 321
Majority
Turnout 954 76.6
United hold Swing
Umtali North
Party Candidate Votes % ±
United Edgar Whitehead 498
Labour Thomas Norris 209
Majority
Turnout 844 83.8
United hold Swing
Untali South
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour James Brown Lister 401
Independent Matthew Henry Gibson 223
Majority 820 76.
Turnout
Labour hold Swing
Victoria
Party Candidate Votes % ±
United William Alexander Eustace Winterton 497
Labour Robert Joseph Austin 286
Majority
Turnout 1104 77.2
United hold Swing
Wankie
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Allan Watson Whittington 346
United Cyril Mainwaring Newman 311
Reform Henry Robert Barbour 73
Majority
Turnout 1,000 73.0
Labour gain from United Swing
Western
Party Candidate Votes % ±
United Patrick Bissett Fletcher 366
Labour Albert James Davies 247
Reform Wilfred Denton Estment 93
Majority
Turnout 894 79.0
United win (new seat)

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)