The Peoples National Party, commonly just referred to as the PNP, was founded by Norman Washington Manley in 1938.
Since its inception, the party has maintained a continuous agitation for constitutional reform.
The PNP is consistent in supporting the internal self-government for Jamaica and dominion status within the Commonwealth.
The People's National Party uses the hatted head, the rising sun, the fist, the trumpet and the colours orange, red and yellow as its electoral symbols.
The 1944 elections saw the PNP becoming the official Opposition in the House of Representatives losing to the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) who won control of 24 seats.
They also lost to the JLP in the 1949 general elections who won 19 of the 32 seats in the House.
The Peoples National Party was in the opposition seat until the 1955 elections when it became the majority party after winning 18 of the 32 seats in the House. This number was increased upon after they won the by-election in February 1956.
The PNP went on again to winning 29 of the available 45 seats in the House of Representatives in the July 28, 1959 general elections.
This win led to the then Party leader, Norman Washington Manley, being formally appointed as the FIRST and ONLY Premier on August 14, 1959.
We refer to Manley as the Premier because we did not gain independence until August 6, 1962 where all the other successful party heads were referred to as Prime Ministers.
The 1962 general elections were held to determine Jamaica's FIRST Government on the achievement of Independence. The Peoples National Party (PNP), after serving for seven years as the Government, lost to the JLP who won 26 of the 45 seats in the House. The PNP held the other 19 seats on the Opposition side. They held that opposition title right up until the 1972 general elections.
In the 1972 elections, the PNP, under the leadership of Norman Manley's son Michael Manley, won 37 seats in the House. This win was as a result of the party promising social and economic reform. The People's National Party held the country's leadership again after its success in the 1976 elections.
Prime Minister, Michael Manley, felt confident with his party so he called an early election in October 1980. This move resulted in the defeat of the PNP to the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), who was being led then by Edward Seaga.
The PNP stayed in Opposition until 1989 when they were successful in the elections grabbing the reigns of a whopping 45 of the 60 available seats in the House of Representatives.
The Peoples National Party is now in power following the massive victory over the JLP in the December 2011 general elections where they won 42 of the 63 seats available in the House of Representatives.
The party is still lead by the Hon. Portia Simpson-Miller, who has been party leader since 2006.
Handbook of Jamaica (1964) - Jamaica Information Service (JIS)
History of Jamaica - Clinton V. Black F.S.A.
Jamaica Journal - Vol 16 no. 3 1983
Visit the People's National Party website for additional information on the party!
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