LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY GENERAL ELECTION 1955

The first Legislative Assembly election was held under a new Rendel Constitution, which was drafted by a committee headed by Sir George Rendel that would grant local citizens more autonomy. Locals would share executive power with the British colonial authorities. Elected seats were increased to form a majority of the legislature. The constituencies were significantly redrawn, with the five names of Bukit Timah, Changi, Katong, Seletar and Tanglin retained but carved out from their old boundaries into new smaller wards. Non-elected seats were reduced to seven, adding up to a total number of 32 seats. The Governor and Colonial Secretary roles were replaced by a Chief Secretary who was vested with the power to appoint four nominated Assembly Members. Along with the Attorney-General and Financial Secretary, the CS would be part of a Council of Ministers formed by a Chief Minister from among the elected legislators. The City Council President was excluded from the Assembly and the remaining five "official" and three commerce chamber seats were scrapped. For the first time, political parties were permitted to adopt a standard party symbol for all their candidates and independents could select theirs instead of balloting for them. PP, representing the English-speaking bourgeois and DP, the Mandarin-speaking, fielded the most candidates. MU joined the UMNO-MCA alliance after dissenting from the decision by the three-party LF to converge into one party, which led to the merger of Democratic Labour Party and Singapore Socialist Party. LP was a spent force. One of its only two AMs joined LF and the other became independent. A seat was vacated after the death of PP's popular Dr C. J. P. Paglar from a stroke. Anticipating a PP victory and its leader C. C. Tan to emerge as CM, the British were chagrined after the socialist LF garnered the most seats and its chairman, David Marshall, became Singapore's first CM. Short of a majority, LF formed a coalition with the UMNO-MCA-MU alliance. CS William Goode appointed another two LF members among the four nominated seats. R. Jumabhoy, previously nominated through the Indian Chamber of Commerce, also won a seat. In its debut election, PAP, led by lawyer and former PP election agent Lee Kuan Yew, fielded only a handful of candidates in protest of the Rendel Constitution. In the aftermath, bus union leaders launched strikes all over the island to protest against poor working conditions and low salaries under the LF government. This turned violent and cumulated into full-scale riot known today as the Hock Lee Bus Riots.

Council dissolution: 5 February 1955 [Sat]
Nomination day: 28 February 1955 [Mon]
Polling day: 2 April 1955 [Sat]
Assembly convention: 22 April 1955 [Fri]

Electorate: 300,199
Voter turnout: 158,075 (52.7%)

Election deposit: $500

RESULTS
Bukit Panjang Geylang Paya Lebar Sembawang Tanjong Pagar
Bukit Timah Havelock Punggol-Tampines Serangoon Telok Ayer
Cairnhill Kampong Kapor Queenstown Southern Islands Tiong Bahru
Changi Katong Rochore Stamford Ulu Bedok
Farrer Park Pasir Panjang Seletar Tanglin Whampoa
Total seats = 25


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