The Colombian general elections of 1980 were held on May 25 to solely determine representatives to the Congress of Colombia, in which 400 Deputies and 160 Senators were chosen. The ruling Social Party, benefactors of huge gains in the 1974 elections but unpopular due to the ongoing Brazilian War and their perceived lack of urgency in conducting it, suffered heavy losses, losing control of the Chamber of Deputies for the first time since the 1962-68 Congress and narrowly keeping control of the Senate by three Senators. With a majority of 245 prior to the election, the Socialists lost 105 seats to fall to 140 Deputies.

The Coalition of Conservative Parties, which included the center-right, liberal Republicans, the Catholic traditionalist, conservative Christian Democrats, and the right-wing populist Colombian Revolutionary Movement, took a majority of 260 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, with the PR controlling 151 of those seats, it's highest total in history. The Christian Democrats had an additional 105 of the coalition's total, while the MRC had the remaining four seats, the first time it had seen representation in government in history.

In the Senate, where the Socialists had had 105 of the 160 seats against the combined 55 of the right coalition, their representation dropped to 83 Senators, barely a majority. The swing of 22 seats was the largest loss of seats in the Senate by a single party in Colombian electoral history since the return of democracy in 1916. With 54 Senators, the Republican Party had the most Senate seats it had ever had in its history, cementing it's status as the anti-PS leader that had for decades been held by the Christian Democrats. As a result of the Senate elections, six moderate PS Senators known as the "Six Turncoats" crossed the floor to elect compromise candidate Rafael Gusto Villana as Secretary of the Senate, setting up a tripartisan Senate coalition determined to successfully execute the war effort.

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