South African general election, 1943

South African general election, 1943

The 1943 South African general election was held for the 152 seats in the parliament of the Union of South Africa. The United Party of Jan Smuts won an absolute majority over its opponents.

Although the United Party was victorious, special wartime circumstances (for example, soldiers on active service were allowed to vote) and Smuts’s status as an international statesman probably exaggerated the depth and level of attachment to the United Party.

The election might also have understated Afrikaner support for nationalist policies, as many newly urbanised Afrikaners had not registered as voters. In addition, the infighting between the various Afrikaner political factions had a negative impact on their support during the election. However, this election was the beginning of the rise of DF Malan as the dominant spokesman for Afrikanerdom, which would come to fruition in the 1948 South African general election.

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