The reasons for the biggest batch of by-elections in history were the demise of PAP Member of Parliament for Anson last year, P. Govindaswamy, and the resignations of six veteran PAP Ministers and MPs, including former minister Yong Nyuk Lin on 12 January 1979. This was to facilitate the ruling party's continued efforts to renew its ranks. Although key opposition stalwarts emerged to contest, Barisan stayed out and its decision was criticised by UPF. UF aimed to contest the most seats, putting up three candidates but one was disqualified in Geylang West. Former Malaysia MP and Democratic Action Party leader C. V. Devan Nair, who returned to Singapore ten years ago to lead the National Trade Union Congress, was elected into Singapore's legislature for the first time but served less than three years before his subsequent appointment as President.

Writ of election: 22 January 1979 [Mon]
Nomination day: 31 January 1979 [Wed]
Polling day: 10 February 1979 [Sat]
Members swearing-in: 5 March 1979 [Mon]

Electorate: 116,881
Walkover voters: 36,806 (31.5%)
Eligible voters: 80,075 (68.5%)
Voter turnout: 74,887 (93.5%)

Election deposit: $1,200

Anson Geylang West Mountbatten Nee Soon Potong Pasir Sembawang Telok Blangah

General Election 1976
Previous: By-Election July 1977
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