Finding James

The 1956 Gold Coast Legislative Elections was significant for the fact that it was the final pre-independence contest between CPP and its opponents. The elections would determine the government of the anticipated independent state. Dennis Austin captured the mood in his 1970 book, Politics in Ghana: 1946-1960 (London: Oxford University Press. Page 316):

“The result of the two days’ of voting would determine not only the timing of independence– a question raised by the United Gold Coast Convention in 1947 and still undecided–but the nature of the regime which would possess the full control of the state. If CPP won by a comfortable margin of seats, then the movement was likely to continue... towards a unitary centralized state under a radical party leadership. If, on the other hand, the NLM and its allies won, by whatever margin of votes and seats, it was difficult to see what the outcome might be. It was not easy to see how an effective government, whether federal or unitary, would emerge from the uneasy coalition…”

"Was it possible that the CPP would lose? Had the NLM any chance of winning? The opposition leaders were convinced in 1955 and the  early months of 1956 that they had the CPP at their mercy..."

Kurankyi Taylor and fellow party members of NLM and its allies faced a populist leader in Nkrumah, whose CPP had won precious pre-independent elections. Kwesi Kurankyi's brother, Kojo Taylor was also a NLM candidate in the elections in Saltpond. When the results were announced at high noon on July 19, CPP had collected 71 legislative seats out of 104. Kojo was unsuccessful in his bid. It was a resounding defeat for  the NLM and a convincing victory for the CPP. However, Kurankyi was elected Member of Parliament for Kumasi South with the most votes cast for one candidate, 11,882.