Facts & Data: 5 Facts From General Election History

Click to enlarge. Source: Electoral Commission of Jamaica

With election fever in the air, it’s fitting that we bring you some information on Jamaican election history. Above see a graph of the number of seats won by each party in every general election in Jamaican history. From the graph, let’s take a look at five interesting facts in Jamaica’s election history:

  1. The first general parliamentary election did not come with independence in 1962, but rather happened in 1944 when the island gained universal adult suffrage
  2. In that 1944 election, independent candidates won 5 seats. This is the only time in Jamaican election history that independent candidates have won seats in a general election
  3. The JLP won all 60 seats in 1983 as the PNP boycotted this election
  4. Not seen on the graph but interesting all the same, the highest voter turnout happened in 1980 when 86.1% of the electorate turned out
  5. Also not seen above, but interesting nonetheless, is that The National Democrat Movement (NDM) contested elections for the first time in 1997 and gained 36,707 votes, but won no seats

So, did you learn anything new from this recap of history? Did anything from the graph surprise you or were you already an expert on the topic? Comment to let us know! Stay up-to-date on all things related to the upcoming general election here on diGJamaica by checking out our special ElectionJa page.