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July 1960 Ceylonese parliamentary election

General elections were held in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in July 1960.

5th Ceylonese parliamentary election

← 1960 (March) 20 July 1960 1965 →

151 seats to 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
Party Sri Lanka Freedom Party United National Party
Leader since 1960 1957
Leader's seat n/a Dedigama
Last election 46 Seats, 21.28% 50 Seats, 29.89%
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
United National Party

Prime Minister-designate

Sirimavo Bandaranaike
Sri Lanka Freedom Party



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.

e • d Summary of the July 1960 Ceylonese parliamentary election[1]
Party Candidates Votes % Seats
  Sri Lanka Freedom Party 98 1,022,171 33.22% 75
  United National Party 128 1,144,166 37.19% 30
  Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi 21 213,733 6.95% 16
  Lanka Sama Samaja Party 21 224,995 7.31% 12
  Communist Party of Ceylon 7 90,219 2.93% 4
  Mahajana Eksath Peramuna 55 106,816 3.47% 3
  Lanka Democratic Party 6 30,207 0.98% 2
  National Liberation Front 2 14,030 0.46% 2
  All Ceylon Tamil Congress 10 46,804 1.52% 1
Others 45 183,728 5.97 6
Valid Votes 393 3,076,869 100.00% 151
Rejected Votes
Total Votes Polled
Total Electors Polled[a]
Registered Electors 3,724,507


  1. ^ Total electors polled is less than total votes polled due to multiple-member seats where electors can cast more than one vote.


  1. ^ "Table 35 Parliament Election (1960 July)". Sri Lanka Statistics. 10 February 2009.