Singaporean general election, 2001
People's Action Party
Workers' Party of Singapore
Singapore Democratic Alliance
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The Singaporean parliamentary general elections of 2001 were held on 3 November. The People's Action Party, the incumbent ruling party, won 82 out of 84 seats in the election, including 55 walkovers. Due to the large number of uncontested seats, only 675,306 of the 2,036,923 eligible voters (33.2%) actually voted.
Background and issues
The ruling PAP was facing one of the toughest hurdles in its history. Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong originally intended for the election to take place in 2002, but in late 2001, Singapore was saddled with the worst economic crisis since independence, after the events of the September 11 attacks in the United States.
For the first time since 1963, a formal political umbrella emerged from within the opposition. The four-party Singapore Democratic Alliance was established with Chiam See Tong as chief, consisting of the Singapore People's Party he led, which was the leader party, National Solidarity Party (NSP), PKMS and Singapore Justice Party (SJP). NSP provided the bulk of nine candidates, SPP four and PKMS providing a required minority candidate.
Former WP Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam (J. B. Jeyaretnam), who lost his seat after being declared a bankrupt owing to lawsuits by PAP leaders, resigned from the party, citing disagreements with the present leadership. Sole WP MP Low Thia Khiang took over as secretary-general.
This election saw the end of four-member GRCs and a shortest campaigning period of 17 days after opening of the register of electors. A seat had been vacated in 1999 after the conviction of PAP MP Choo Wee Khiang over commercial crimes, but no by-election was held as the seat was within a GRC. Under the law, an entire electoral constituency, be it GRC or SMC, has to be vacated before a by-election is required.
Another increase of the election deposit amount this time was the most significant one in history, which almost doubled.
On nomination day, the sole WP GRC team was disqualified for filing incomplete papers in Aljunied Group Representation Constituency. Opposition parties ended up contesting only a-third of the seats, the lowest portion since 1968, which resulted in the largest number of walkovers for PAP in history.
WP's Low and SDA's Chiam retained their seats, but saw their winning margins slashed from the previous GE. With these two opposition wins, one NCMP seat was offered to and accepted by Steve Chia of SDA-NSP, who became the youngest and first ever non-WP NCMP.
- Boon Lay SMC merged into West Coast GRC
- Bukit Gombak SMC merged into Hong Kah GRC
- Cheng San GRC merged into Aljunied GRC, Ang Mo Kio GRC and Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC.
- Kampong Glam SMC merged into Jalan Besar GRC
- Kreta Ayer-Tanglin GRC merged into Jalan Besar GRC and Tanjong Pagar GRC
- Pasir Ris GRC merged into Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC and Tampines GRC
- New GRCs
- New SMCs
- Changes in electoral seats within GRCs
PAP won a landslide victory and its best result since 1980. The party achieved its third highest score among the general elections it has contested, since 1959. The PAP's vote percentage of 75.3% signalled an overwhelming endorsement of the PAP to lead the nation out of the crisis that came at a time of great uncertainty over world security and the recession that came after 9/11. This was also the last time Goh Chok Tong lead the party into a general election.
|Parties and alliances||Leader||Contested
|Seats won||Popular vote||%||+/-|
|People's Action Party||Goh Chok Tong||84||82†||470,765||75.3%||+10.3%|
|Singapore Democratic Alliance||Chiam See Tong||13||1||75,248||12.0%||-|
|Singapore Democratic Party||Chee Soon Juan||11||0||50,607||8.1%||-2.5%|
|Workers' Party||Low Thia Khiang||2||1||19,060||3.0%||-11.2%|
|Democratic Progressive Party||Tan Lead Shake||2||0||5,334||0.9%||+0.2%|
|Did not vote||36,403||-|
|Total voting electorate||675,306||-|
|†includes uncontested victories|
- "Hsien Loong: Election soon". (Nov. 8, 2005). New Straits Times, p. 31.