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Southern Rhodesian general election, 1946

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Title: Southern Rhodesian general election, 1946  
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Southern Rhodesian general election, 1946

The Southern Rhodesia general election of 25 April 1946 was held seven years after the previous election, the term of the Assembly having been extended so that there would be no general election during the Second World War. The election showed a strong shift to the right, as the United Party government led by Prime Minister Godfrey Huggins lost its overall majority; however, Huggins could count on the support of one of the factions of the Rhodesia Labour Party in any vote of confidence and therefore remained in office.


  • Franchise and electoral procedure 1
  • Electoral districts 2
  • Political parties 3
  • Summary result 4
  • Results 5
  • Changes during the Assembly 6
    • Lomagundi 6.1
    • Umtali North 6.2
    • Hartley 6.3
  • References 7

Franchise and electoral procedure

During the war a number of changes to the franchise had been made. The arrival of large numbers of British citizens to train as pilots for the Royal Air Force from 1940 led to a sudden increase in the electorate. Many Rhodesians felt that the forces personnel ought not to have the vote, given that their presence in Rhodesia was transitory and they had no long-term commitment. Therefore the Assembly passed the Electoral Amendment Act 1941 which disfranchised them. The Act also disfranchised British citizens from other dominions who were not prepared to make a declaration of willingness to serve in Southern Rhodesia's defence forces. A third provision of the Act was to extend a previous lifetime disqualification of those sentenced to imprisonment to those given suspended prison sentences.

In the Civil Disabilities Act 1942, anyone convicted of treasonable or seditious practices, those who had deserted from or evaded service in the Army, or who were cashiered or dishonourably discharged, was disqualified from registration as a voter. To cope with the large number of Rhodesians serving away from the colony in the armed forces, the Active Service Voters Act 1943 permitted them to record their votes in a general election. They were permitted to vote for a political party rather than an individual candidate.

Electoral districts

There were no alterations to the boundaries of the electoral districts.

Political parties

The twists and turns within the Rhodesia Labour Party which led it to divide into two parties at this election are recounted in the article on the Rhodesia Labour Party.

Jacob Smit, who had been an ally of Huggins in Reform Party days and previously served at the Ministry of Finance, went into opposition early in 1944. He joined a group of conservatives who were developing a new political party on the principles of economy in public spending, free enterprise, and seeking dominion status within the British Empire. Smit was soon appointed the Leader of this group, which named itself the Southern Rhodesia Liberal Party.

Summary result

Electorate: 40,943 Turnout: 67.1%

Party Seats in 1939 Candidates Elected Unopposed Popular vote
Votes %
United Party 23 30 13 - 11,865 43.2
Southern Rhodesia Liberal Party - 29 12 - 9,041 32.9
Rhodesia Labour Party - 23 3 - 4,583 16.7
Southern Rhodesia Labour Party 7 11 2 - 1,540 5.6
Independents - 6 - - 424 1.6
Totals 30 99 30 - 27,453 100%


Electorate and turnout
Candidate Party Votes
1,632 (75.4%)
Albert Rubidge Washington Stumbles L 567
Cecil Douglas Dryden UP 488
Neil Housman Wilson Ind 77
Alexander Aitken Draper SR Lab 57
George Arthur Henry Radford Lab 41
1,644 (63.8%)
Donald Macintyre SR Lab 353
Henry Alfred Holmes UP 327
Mathew Henry Gibson Lab 242
Olive Hope Robertson L 127
1,231 (70.8%)
David Wood Young UP 632
Llewellyn Davies L 239
1,407 (61.3%)
Thomas Hugh William Beadle UP 666
Cecil Maurice Baker Lab 196
1,949 (61.5%)
James Stuart McNeillie Lab 518
Malcolm Granger Fleming UP 425
Theodore Albert Edward Holdengarde L 185
Arthur Harold Bean SR Lab 71
1,051 (74.8%)
Jacob Letterstedt Smit L 360
Herbert Jordan Posselt UP 304
Mrs. Louise Hosea Fourie Lab 122
1,247 (71.2%)
Aubrey William Dunn L 490
Jacobus Petrus De Kock UP 398
1,175 (62.0%)
George Munro L 287
William George Vowles UP 243
Arthur Henry Edwin Haycock Lab 198
1,113 (67.3%)
William Henry Elliott UP 292
George Wilburn Rudland L 287
Edwin Harley Lab 170
1,405 (70.6%)
Robert Williamson L 441
Max Danziger UP 385
Harry Joseph Filmer Lab 166
1,360 (68.6%)
Thomas James Golding L 487
Hugh Volant Wheeler UP 446
1,951 (75.7%)
Charles Arden Bott L 757
Leslie Benjamin Fereday UP 595
Charles Findlay Lab 124
1,690 (71.0%)
Harry Herbert Davies Lab 673
Eric Tom Hepburn UP 438
John Wilfred Bush L 88
1,165 (61.4%)
Reginald Stephen Garfield Todd UP 330
Victor Henry van Breda Lab 195
Guy Maxwell Foy Southey L 190
1,128 (66.1%)
Patrick Archibald Wise L 374
George Henry Hackwill UP 372
1,292 (74.0%)
Leslie Major Cullinan UP 476
William Thomas Edward Fitzsimons L 340
Edward Bostock Harben SR Lab 140
918 (64.4%)
Edward Walter Lionel Noaks UP 360
Jack Herbert Keightley L 213
William Ramsay Ramsay SR Lab 18
1,361 (79.9%)
George Arthur Davenport UP 377
John Henry Cremer L 257
Thomas Nangle Lab 246
1,613 (67.2%)
Lawrence John Walter Keller Lab 470
Kenneth Mackenzie Goodenough UP 360
Barend Gerhardus Retief SR Lab 183
David Graham Johnstone L 71
1,470 (63.5%)
Leslie Manfred Noel Hodson UP 438
Ronald Leo Thomas L 224
Charles Olley Ind 191
Edgar Pope Vernall Lab 73
Mrs. Agnes Tait Wilson Ind 7
1,683 (66.7%)
Jacob Hendrik Smit L 565
Robert Wynne Truscott UP 352
Arthur Tom North Lab 115
Mrs. Gladys Maasdorp SR Lab 91
1,408 (66.4%)
Sir Ernest Lucas Guest UP 472
David Keith Watt L 390
Ernest Roy Wright SR Lab 39
Edwin Robert Wilson Major Lab 34
1,199 (67.8%)
Godfrey Martin Huggins UP 525
Eric Kenneth Hockey L 265
David Heurtley Linton Ind 23
1,741 (65.4%)
Denzil Crichton Paul L 453
George Henry Walker Lab 338
Mrs. Muriel Ena Rosin UP 295
Mrs. Otilia Liebermann Ind 52
1,237 (68.0%)
George Baden-Powell Tunmer L 421
Egon Aage Klifborg Lab 232
Charles William Fenton Wells UP 188
1,036 (65.9%)
Tom Ian Findlay Wilson UP 413
Harry Thomas Fairbridge Went SR Lab 129
Christopher Henry Perrem L 96
Roelof Hendrik Venter Lab 45
1,181 (70.9%)
James Brown Lister SR Lab 421
Edgar Cuthbert Fremantle Whitehead UP 331
George Cyril Hamilton-Browne L 68
Hajo Spandow Lab 17
1,333 (67.8%)
Raymond Osborne Stockil L 522
William Alexander Eustace Winterton UP 342
John Theodore Appel Lab 40
1,125 (46.2%)
John Alexander Ewing UP 200
Allan Watson Whittington Lab 197
Benjamin Austen Williams L 123
1,198 (66.1%)
Patrick Bissett Fletcher UP 395
Frederick William Sauerman L 154
Francis Edward John Patrick Murray Lab 131
Frank Richard Peach Ind 74
Martin Olds SR Lab 38

Changes during the Assembly


On 15 July 1946 an election petition from George Henry Hackwill in relation to the Lomagundi district was allowed. As a result Patrick Archibald Wise was unseated, and Hackwill was declared elected.

Umtali North

Tom Ian Findlay Wilson resigned from the Assembly in September 1946. A byelection was held to replace him on 8 November 1946.

Electorate and turnout
Candidate Party Votes
800 (79.3%)
Edgar Cuthbert Fremantle Whitehead UP 427
Christopher Henry Perrem L 207


Thomas James Golding died on 2 August 1947. A byelection was held in his constituency on 26 September 1947.

Electorate and turnout
Candidate Party Votes
943 (49.9%)
Patrick Archibald Wise L 543
Ralph Drew Palmer UP 294


  • Source Book of Parliamentary Elections and Referenda in Southern Rhodesia 1898–1962 ed. by F.M.G. Willson (Department of Government, University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, Salisbury 1963)
  • Holders of Administrative and Ministerial Office 1894–1964 by F.M.G. Willson and G.C. Passmore, assisted by Margaret T. Mitchell (Source Book No. 3, Department of Government, University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, Salisbury 1966)
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