LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY GENERAL ELECTION 1955
This first LA election was held under the new Rendel Constitution after recommendations by a committee to grant local citizens more autonomy, headed by Sir George Rendel, were passed. Locals would share executive power with the British colonial authorities and there would be a Chief Minister among elected legislators. Elected seats were increased again, this time to form a majority of the legislature. The existing nine constituencies were significantly redrawn and the five names of Bukit Timah, Changi, Katong, Seletar and Tanglin were retained but carved out from within their old boundaries into new smaller wards. The colonial authorities would appoint a lesser seven seats, with the Governor and Colonial Secretary posts replaced by a Chief Secretary, who was vested with the power to appoint four nominated Assembly Members. Also scrapped were the seats of the Solicitor-General, two Directors, two Ex-Officios, the three commercial organisations and the City Council representative. 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. SMU joined the UMNO-MCA alliance after leaving the three-party LF alliance, which had converged into a single party. LP was a spent force. Both AMs had left the party, with one joining LF and one going independent. A seat was earlier vacated due to the demise of PP's popular Dr C. J. P. Paglar, who died of a stroke. To the chagrin of the British, which had anticipated a PP victory and leader C. C. Tan to emerge as CM, it was LF that 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-SMU alliance and the CF William Goode further appointed two LF members to two of the four nominated seats. A former legislator nominated through the Indian Chamber of Commerce, R. Jumabhoy, 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 a protest against the Rendel Constitution. However, PAP was largely recognised as the main opposition party due to its membership size and grassroots strength.
Council dissolution: 5 February 1955 [Sat]
Election deposit: $500