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South African general election, 1981


South African general election, 1981

South African general election, 1981

29 April 1981 (1981-04-29)

All 165 elected seats in the House of Assembly
  First party Second party
Leader P. W. Botha Frederik van Zyl Slabbert
Party National Progressive Federal
Last election 134 17
Seats won 131 26
Seat change Decrease3 Increase9

Prime Minister before election

P. W. Botha

Elected Prime Minister

P. W. Botha

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
South Africa
Foreign relations
During the 1981 South African general election, held on 29 April of that year, the National Party, under the leadership of P. W. Botha since 1978, achieved another landslide victory, winning 131 of 165 seats in the House of Assembly, which had become the sole legislative chamber following the abolition of the Senate that year. Meanwhile the Progressive Federal Party - led since 1979 by Frederik van Zyl Slabbert, an Afrikaner - increased its representation in parliament to 26 seats, thus consolidating its position as the official opposition.

The Herstigte Nasionale Party (HNP), which represented the right-wing conservative Afrikaners, received 14.1% of the popular vote but did not gain any seats in Parliament.


Party Leader Votes % Elected seats[1] Other seats1 Total seats
  National Party P.W. Botha 777 558 56.96% 131 12 143
  Progressive Federal Party Frederik van Zyl Slabbert 265 297 19.44% 26 1 27
  Herstigte Nasionale Party Jaap Marais 192 304 14.09% 0 0 0
  New Republic Party Vause Raw 106 764 7.82% 8 0 8
  Others 23 044 1.68% 0 0 0
Total 100.00% 165 13 178

1 Nominated seats partially based on the proportion of elected seats.


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