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1977 South African general election

The 1977 South African general election was held on 30 November 1977. The National Party, led by John Vorster won a landslide victory in the House of Assembly. The newly formed Progressive Federal Party, led by Colin Eglin became the official opposition. The New Republic Party, successor to the United Party, won only 10 seats,[1] all but one of them in Natal Province. Once again, the Herstigte Nasionale Party failed to win any seats.

1977 South African general election

← 1974 30 November 1977 (1977-11-30) 1981 →

All 165 seats in the House of Assembly
  First party Second party Third party
  John Vorster.jpg Colin Eglin.jpg No image.svg
Leader B. J. Vorster Colin Eglin Radclyffe Cadman
Party National Party Progressive Federal New Republic
Leader since 1966 1971 1977
Leader's seat Nigel Sea Point Zululand (lost)
Last election 123 7 41
Seats won 135 17 10
Seat change Increase11 Increase10 Decrease31
Popular vote 689,108 177,705 123,245
Percentage 64.8% 16.7% 12.1%
Swing Increase7.7% Increase11.4% Decrease20.6%

South African House of Assembly 1977.svg
House of Assembly after the election

Prime Minister before election

B. J. Vorster
National Party

Elected Prime Minister

B. J. Vorster
National Party

In the 1977 elections, the National Party got its best-ever result in the elections with support of 64.8% of the white voters and 135 seats in parliament out of 165. Vorster, however resigned as Prime Minister for alleged health reasons, not even a year later on 28 September 1978.

Formation of Progressive Federal PartyEdit

On 11 February 1975 four liberal MPs led by Harry Schwarz broke away from the United Party and created the Reform Party. The party merged with the Progressive Party on 25 July 1975 to form the Progressive Reform Party. In 1977 another group of United Party members left the party to form the Committee for a United Opposition, which then joined the Progressive Reform Party to form the Progressive Federal Party. This proved to realign the opposition in Parliament, as the PFP became the official opposition party.


e • d Summary of the 30 November 1977 South African general election results
Party Leader Votes %Votes Seats Change %Seats
  National Party John Vorster 689 108 64.8% 135[1] +15 81.2%
  Progressive Federal Party Colin Eglin 177 705 16.7% 17[1] +11 10.3%
  New Republic Party Radclyffe Cadman 123 245 12.1% 10[1] -31 6.1%
  Herstigte Nasionale Party Jaap Marais 34 161 3.2% 0 ±0 0.0%
  South African Party Myburgh Streicher 17 915 1.7% 3 +3 2.2%
  Others 6 171 0.6% 1 +0 0.6%
Total 100.0% 166 -1 100.0%


African elections

  1. ^ a b c d Alexander, Douglas (31 July 1979). "South Africa Opposition Leader falls". The Age. Retrieved 19 May 2017.