South African general election, 1929

South African general election, 1929

12 June 1929 (1929-06-12)

All 148 seats in the House of Assembly
75 seats needed for a majority

  First party Second party Third party
Leader J. B. M. Hertzog Jan Smuts Disputed
Party National Party South African Labour
Last election 63 seats 53 seats 18 seats
Seats won 78 61 8
Seat change 15 8 10
Popular vote 141,579 159,896 33,919
Percentage 41.16% 46.51% 9.86%
Swing +5.91% -0.54% -4.49%

House of Assembly after the election

Prime Minister before election

J. B. M. Hertzog
National Party

Elected Prime Minister

J. B. M. Hertzog
National Party

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
South Africa

In the 1929 South African general election, held on 12 June 1929,[1] the National Party under James Barry Munnik Hertzog won an outright majority in the House of Assembly. Hertzog had the opportunity to form a government without the aid of the Labour Party. In fact the Pact government continued, with two ministers from the Creswell Labour faction remaining in office. The National Party remained the dominant party, for its second consecutive term.

Due to the split in the Labour Party, just eight MPs were elected for the party, of whom only four sat on the government benches.[2]

Delimitation of electoral divisions

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 fifth delimitation report of 1928, is set out in the table below. The figures in brackets are the number of electoral divisions in the previous (1923) delimitation. If there is no figure in brackets then the number was unchanged.[3]

ProvincesCapeNatalOrange Free StateTransvaalTotal
Divisions58 (51)1718 (17)55 (50)148 (135)


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 461,820. The votes cast were 347,924 (including 4,027 spoilt votes).[4]

Party Seats[5] Seats % Votes[6] Votes % Leader
National Party 78 52.70 141,579 41.16 General J. B. M. Hertzog
South African 61 41.22 159,896 46.51 General Jan Smuts
Labour 8 5.41 33,919 9.86 Disputed [7]
Independent 1 0.68 8,503 2.47 -
Total 148


  1. "Elections in South Africa". African Elections Database. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  2. The South African Constitution, page 135
  3. South Africa 1982, page 129
  4. South Africa 1982, page 176
  5. South Africa 1982, page 174 (seats by party)
  6. South Africa 1982, page 176 (votes by party)
  7. The leadership was in dispute between Colonel F. H. P. Creswell (of the Creswell Labour faction) and Walter Madeley (from the National Council Labour faction), following the 1928 split in the Labour Party - see South African Labour Party for more details.


  • South Africa 1982: Official Yearbook of the Republic of South Africa, published by Chris van Rensburg Publications
  • The South African Constitution, by H.J. May (3rd edition 1955, Juta & Co)

See also

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