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Trinidad and Tobago General Election Results - 9 November 1981
Parliament Building, Trinidad and Tobago

General Elections were held in Trinidad and Tobago on 9 November 1981 for all 36 seats in the House of Representatives.

Electoral System

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.

Background

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.

Campaign

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.

Results

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

Voter turnout was 56.43%.

ELECTORAL SYSTEM
System First-past-the-post
Elected Members 36 single-member constituencies
VOTER TURNOUT
Total Valid Votes 412,778
Invalid Votes 2,638
Total Votes Cast 415,416
Registered Voters 736,104
Voter Turnout 56.43%
   
CRITICAL DATES
Dissolution of House Fri, 18 Sep 1981
Nomination Day Mon, 26 Oct 1981
Polling Day Mon, 9 Nov 1981
First Meeting of Parliament Fri, 27 Nov 1981
RELATED RESOURCES
Representation of the People Act Download report
Constitution Act Download report
SUMMARY RESULTS
  Party Code Votes Candidates Seats
Total % votes Change Number Change
  People's National Movement Winner PNM 218,557 52.95% -1.28% 36 26 +2
  Organisation for National Reconstruction ONR 91,704 22.22% +22.22% 34 0 -
  United Labour Front ULF 62,781 15.21% -11.96% 12 8 -2
  Democratic Action Congress DAC 15,390 3.73% -4.47% 8 2 -
  National Joint Action Committee NJAC 13,710 3.32% +3.32% 34 0 -
  Tapia House Movement THM 9,401 2.28% -1.58% 16 0 -
  National Freedom Party NFP 864 0.21% +0.21% 10 0 -
  Fargo House Movement FHM 143 0.03% +0.03% 1 0 -
  West Indian Political Congress Movement WIPCM 130 0.03% +0.03% 1 0 -
  Trinidad Labour Party TLP 34 0.01% +0.01% 1 0 -
  People's Republican Party PRP 25 0.01% +0.01% 1 0 -
  Independent Candidates IND 39 0.01% -0.53% 2 0 -
  Total   412,778 100% - 156 36 -
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PNM - People's National Movement
PP - People's Partnership
ILP - Independent Labour Party
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Key
PNM= People's National Movement; PP=People's Partnership; ILP=Independent Labour Party; IND = Inpendent candidate; * Incumbent; ** Political Leader
Sources
Elections and Boundaries Commission of Trinidad and Tobago
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