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1921 South African general election

The 1921 South African general election was held for the 134 seats in the House of Assembly of the Union of South Africa, on 8 February 1921.[1] The South African Party, which since the previous election had fused with the Unionist Party, won an absolute majority.

1921 South African general election

← 1920 8 February 1921 (1921-02-08) 1924 →

All 134 seats in the House of Assembly
Turnout55.60% Decrease
  First party Second party Third party
  Genl JC Smuts.jpg JBM Hertzog.jpg Kolonel Cresswell.jpg
Leader Jan Smuts J. B. M. Hertzog F. H. P. Creswell
Party South African National Party Labour
Last election 41 seats 44 seats 21 seats
Seats won 79 45 9
Seat change Increase38 Increase1 Decrease12
Popular vote 137,389 105,039 39,406
Percentage 48.17% 36.83% 13.82%
Swing +11.69% +4.21% -0.82%

South African House of Assembly 1921.svg
House of Assembly after the election

Prime Minister before election

Jan Smuts
South African

Elected Prime Minister

Jan Smuts
South African

Delimitation of electoral divisionsEdit

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 third delimitation report of 1919, is set out in the table below. The figures in brackets are the number of electoral divisions in the previous (1913) delimitation. If there is no figure in brackets then the number was unchanged.[2]

The electoral divisions used for this general election were the same as those for the 1920 election.

Provinces Cape Natal Orange Free State Transvaal Total
Divisions 51 17 17 49 (45) 134 (130)


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 499,531. The votes cast were 277,742 (no figure for spoilt votes at this election is available).[3]

Party Seats[4] Seats % Votes[5] Votes % Leader
South African 79 58.96 137,389 48.17 General Jan Smuts
National Party 45 33.58 105,039 36.83 General J. B. M. Hertzog
Labour 9 6.72 39,406 13.82 Colonel F. H. P. Creswell
Independent 1 0.75 3,385 1.19 -
Total 134


  • South Africa 1982: Official Yearbook of the Republic of South Africa, published by Chris van Rensburg Publications
  1. ^ The Times, edition of 7 February 1921, page 11 confirms the election date
  2. ^ South Africa 1982, page 129
  3. ^ South Africa 1982, page 176
  4. ^ South Africa 1982, page 174 (seats by party)
  5. ^ South Africa 1982, page 176 (votes by party)

1921 in South Africa