1924 South African general election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

1924 South African general election

← 1921 19 June 1924 (1924-06-19) 1929 →

All 135 seats in the House of Assembly
68 seats needed for a majority
Turnout77.22% Increase
  First party Second party Third party
  JBM Hertzog - SA.jpg Genl JC Smuts.jpg Kolonel Cresswell.jpg
Leader J. B. M. Hertzog Jan Smuts F. H. P. Creswell
Party National Party South African Labour
Last election 44 seats 79 seats 9 seats
Seats won 63 53 18
Seat change Increase19 Decrease26 Increase9
Popular vote 111,483 148,769 45,380
Percentage 35.25% 47.05% 14.35%
Swing -1.58% -1.12% +0.53%

South African House of Assembly 1924.svg
House of Assembly after the election

Prime Minister before election

Jan Smuts
South African

Elected Prime Minister

J. B. M. Hertzog
National Party

Insigne Africae australis.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
South Africa
Flag of South Africa.svg South Africa portal

The 1924 South African general election was a realigning election in the Union of South Africa's House of Assembly held on 19 June 1924 to elect 135 members. Rising discontent with the government of Jan Smuts led to the defeat of his government by a coalition of the pro-Afrikaner National Party and the South African Labour Party, a socialist party representing the interests of the white proletariat.

Smuts had angered South African nationalists by his moderate stance on South African independence from the British Empire. The worldwide depression after the end of the First World War had led to a strike in South Africa, known as the Rand Rebellion, which had been defused through a combination of military force and negotiation with the outgunned unions, earning Smuts the enmity of the labour vote. As a consequence Smuts's SAP was defeated by a Nationalist–Labour Pact, James Hertzog formed the government and became prime minister – a position he was to hold until 1939.

Delimitation of electoral divisions[edit]

The South Africa Act 1909 had provided for a delimitation commission to define the boundaries for each electoral division. The representation by province, under the fourth delimitation report of 1923, is set out in the table below. The figures in brackets are the number of electoral divisions in the previous (1919) delimitation. If there is no figure in brackets then the number was unchanged.[1]

Provinces Cape Natal Orange Free State Transvaal Total
Divisions 51 17 17 50 (49) 135 (134)


The vote totals in the table below may not give a complete picture of the balance of political opinion, because of unopposed elections (where no votes were cast) and because contested seats may not have been fought by a candidate from all major parties.

The total registered electorate was 413,136. The votes cast were 319,047 (including 2,805 spoilt votes).[2]

Party Seats[3] Seats % Votes[4] Votes % Leader
National Party 63 46.67 111,483 35.25 General J. B. M. Hertzog
South African 53 39.26 148,769 47.04 General Jan Smuts
Labour 18 13.33 45,380 14.35 Colonel F. H. P. Creswell
Independent 1 0.74 10,610 3.36 -
Total 135


  • South Africa 1982: Official Yearbook of the Republic of South Africa, published by Chris van Rensburg Publications
  1. ^ South Africa 1982, page 129
  2. ^ South Africa 1982, page 176
  3. ^ South Africa 1982, page 174 (seats by party)
  4. ^ South Africa 1982, page 176 (votes by party)