July 1960 Ceylonese parliamentary election

Snap parliamentary elections were held in Ceylon in July 1960.

July 1960 Ceylonese parliamentary election

← March 1960 20 July 1960 1965 →

151 seats in the House of Representatives of Ceylon
76 seats were needed for a majority
  First party Second party
  Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranayaka (1916-2000) (Hon.Sirimavo Bandaranaike with Hon.Lalith Athulathmudali Crop).jpg Dudley Shelton Senanayaka (1911-1973).jpg
Leader Sirimavo Bandaranaike Dudley Senanayake
Last election 21.28%, 46 seats 29.89%, 50 seats
Seats won 75 30
Seat change Increase29 Decrease20
Popular vote 1,022,171 1,144,166
Percentage 33.22% 37.19%

Prime Minister before election

Dudley Senanayake

Prime Minister-designate

Sirimavo Bandaranaike


The March 1960 election had left neither of Ceylon's two major parties with a majority, so another election was inevitable.

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party, which had been in disarray since the murder of its leader S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike the previous year, settled on his widow, Sirimavo, as its new leader. She pledged to continue her husband's policies, notably the Sinhala Only Act, and to proceed with repatriation of the estate Tamils to India. However, she promised to reach a compromise with the Federal Party.

The United National Party, led by Dudley Senanayake, refused to compromise with the Federal Party. It also differed with the SLFP over economic policy. The SLFP called for a socialist program of nationalization of both private enterprises and religious schools; the UNP preferred to leave both in private hands.


The SLFP obtained a bare majority, despite getting a lower share of the popular vote than the UNP, and Mrs. Bandaranaike became prime minister.

United National Party1,144,16637.1930
Sri Lanka Freedom Party1,022,17133.2275
Lanka Sama Samaja Party224,9957.3112
Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi213,7336.9516
Mahajana Eksath Peramuna106,8163.473
Communist Party of Ceylon90,2192.934
All Ceylon Tamil Congress46,8041.521
Lanka Democratic Party30,2070.982
National Liberation Front14,0300.462
Registered voters/turnout3,724,50775.9
Source: Nohlen et al.[1]


  1. ^ Dieter Nohlen, Florian Grotz & Christof Hartmann (2001) Elections in Asia: A data handbook, Volume I, pp710–722 ISBN 0-19-924958-X