1924 South African general election

General elections were held in South Africa on 19 June 1924 to elect 135 members of the House of Assembly. Considered a realigning election, rising discontent with the government of Jan Smuts led to the defeat of his government by a coalition of the pro-Afrikaner National Party and the South African Labour Party, a socialist party representing the interests of the white proletariat.

1924 South African general election

← 1921 19 June 1924 (1924-06-19) 1929 →

All 135 seats in the House of Assembly
68 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
  JBM Hertzog - SA (cropped).jpg Genl JC Smuts (cropped).jpg Kolonel Cresswell (cropped).jpg
Leader J. B. M. Hertzog Jan Smuts F. H. P. Creswell
Party National South African Labour
Last election 38.17%, 44 seats 49.92%, 77 seats 10.68%, 10 seats
Seats won 63 53 18
Seat change Increase 19 Decrease 24 Increase 8
Popular vote 111,483 148,769 45,380
Percentage 35.25% 47.04% 14.35%

Prime Minister before election

Jan Smuts
South African

Elected Prime Minister

J. B. M. Hertzog

Smuts had angered South African nationalists by his moderate stance on South African independence from the British Empire. The worldwide depression after the end of the First World War had led to a strike in South Africa, known as the Rand Rebellion, which had been defused through a combination of military force and negotiation with the outgunned unions, earning Smuts the enmity of the labour vote. As a consequence Smuts's SAP was defeated by a Nationalist–Labour Pact, James Hertzog formed the government and became Prime Minister – a position he was to hold until 1939.

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 fourth delimitation report of 1923, is set out in the table below. The figures in brackets are the number of electoral divisions in the previous (1919) delimitation. If there is no figure in brackets then the number was unchanged.[1]

Provinces Cape Natal Orange Free State Transvaal Total
Divisions 51 17 17 50 (49) 135 (134)


South African Party148,76947.0453–24
National Party111,48335.2563+19
Labour Party45,38014.3518+8
Valid votes316,24299.12
Invalid/blank votes2,8050.88
Total votes319,047100.00
Registered voters/turnout413,13677.23
Source: South Africa 1982[2]


  • South Africa 1982: Official Yearbook of the Republic of South Africa, published by Chris van Rensburg Publications
  1. ^ South Africa 1982, page 129
  2. ^ South Africa 1982, pp. 174, 176