The fifth General Parliamentary Elections were held in Jamaica on 10 April 1962 for all 45 seats in the House of Representatives.
The 45 members of the House of Representatives are elected in single-member constituencies by first-past-the-post voting. There is no fixed election date in effect in Jamaica at this time; hence, the choice of election date is the prerogative of the Premier.
On 11 February 1962, Premier Manley issued to the Jamaican Press, embargoed until midnight, London time, the statement that Jamaica's general election to choose its first Government under Independence would be held on 10 April 1962.
A general election was not really due until 1964. But after the PNP’s humiliating defeat in the September 1961 Referendum which supported Sir Alexander Bustamante and the JLP’s stance for Jamaica’s exit from the West Indies Federation and for Jamaican independence – largely precipitated by Bustamante’s refusal to contest the St Thomas federal by-election caused by the resignation of the JLP’s Robert Lightbourne from the Federal Parliament, Premier Norman Manley, disappointed, but gracious in defeat, decided to call the general election early to determine which of the two major parties would lead Jamaica into independence.
Political Parties & Candidates
A total of 114 candidates contested the election. The People's National Party (PNP) and the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) each presented full slates of 32 candidates. The People's Political Party (PPP) presented 16 candidates. There were also eight independent candidates.
The result was a victory for the Jamaica Labour Party, which won 26 of the 45 seats. and 50.04% of the votes, and the PNP 19 seats with 48.6% of the votes.
On 6 August 1962, the Rt. Hon. Sir Alexander Bustamante became the first Prime Minister of Independent Jamaica.
Voter turnout was 72.88%.