General Elections were held in Trinidad and Tobago on 9 November 1981 for all 36 seats in the House of Representatives.
The 36 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 Trinidad and at this time; hence, the choice of election date is the prerogative of the Prime Minister.
Leading contenders for the 36 House of Representatives seats were the ruling People's National Movement (PNM) and the newly-formed National Alliance, a three-party coalition comprising the outgoing main opposition United Labour Front (ULF), the Tobago-based Democratic Action Congress (DAC) and the Tapia House Movement. The PNM was led by Prime Minister George Chambers, who succeeded Dr. Eric Williams when the latter died in office in March 1981.
Political Parties & Candidates
A total of 156 candidates and 12 political parties contested the 1981 election.
Chambers stated that the main election issue was the defense of the basic democratic freedoms which Dr. Williams (Prime Minister since the country's independence) had established.
On polling day, the PNM upped its House total to 26 seats while the National Alliance captured the remaining 10 (ULF 8, DAC 2). . Chambers was given a full mandate as Prime Minister and named his new Cabinet on 17 November 1981.
Voter turnout was 56.43%.