South African general election, 1961


South African general election, 1961

The 1961 South African general election was the first general election after South Africa became a republic following the 1960 South African referendum. The National Party under Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd won a majority.

The National Union Party - led by J.D. du P. Basson and ex-Chief Justice Fagan in alliance with the United Party - had been formed as a "bridge" to the United Party for moderate nationalists who were unhappy with Verwoerd's leadership, but the party failed and later merged with the United Party.

This election also saw the first appearance of the liberal Progressive Party , in the form of Helen Suzman. She was to remain its sole parliamentary representative until 1974.


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