Dudley Senanayake endorsed as Prime Minister
Parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka began in 1947. The general election for the House of Representatives was held in August/September 1947, spread over a period of 19 days. The First Parliament was dissolved on April 8, 1952 following the death of Prime Minister D. S. Senanayake on March 22.
||Dudley with D.S. Senanayake
Dudley Senanayake who succeeded him as Prime Minister thought it best to get a fresh mandate for the people and advised the Governor-General to dissolve Parliament and call for fresh elections.
The general election to elect members for the Second Parliament was held in May 1952. The number of days of the election was reduced from 19 to four days - 24, 26, 28 & 30 May. The country had to elect 95 members from 89 electoral districts. Six more members were nominated by the Governor-General to represent unrepresented interests.
Nine parties contested the 1952 general election - the same number as the 1947 election. However, some parties had moved out and several new parties had been formed.
Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) had been formed by S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike who left the D. S. Senanayake government in July 1951. Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) stalwart Philip Gunawardena had parted company with Dr N. M. Perera and formed the Viplavakari Sama Samaja Party (VLSSP). The new party contested the general election along with the Communist Party (CP). The Federal Party had been formed by S. J. V. Chelvanayagam in opposition to G. G. Ponnambalam's Tamil Congress.
The number of Independent candidates reduced from 181 in 1947 to 85. Twelve got elected.
Though symbols had replaced colours, each political party was not allocated a particular symbol.
Out of a total of 2,990,912 registered voters, 2,114,615 (70.7%) cast their vote. It was an improvement on the first election when 61.6% had voted.
SLFP leader S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike once again won the Attangalla seat recording the highest number of votes (38,478) as well as the highest majority (32,544). In 1947 as the United National Party (UNP) candidate, he polled 36,489 votes and won by a majority of 26,854.
It was a landslide victory for the UNP with 54 out of 81 candidates getting elected. SLFP and LSSP had nine seats each with CP/VLLSP and Tamil Congress gaining four each. Federal Party (2), Republican Party (1) and Labour Party (1) were the other parties which won. Buddhist Republican Party which fielded three candidates did not win a single seat.
Dudley Senanayake was sworn in as Prime Minister with Bandaranaike becoming Leader of the Opposition. The government was further strengthened with a number of Tamil Congress and Independent candidates joining thereby increasing the total number of members to 67.