Singaporean general election, 2011

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Singapore general election, 2011
Singapore
2006 ←
members
7 May 2011 (2011-05-07)
Members elected
→ Next

87 seats (82 contested) to the Parliament of Singapore

3 NCMP seats offered to opposition
44 seats needed for a majority

  First party Second party Third party
  Lee Hsien Loong - 20101112.jpg Low Thia Khiang at a Workers' Party general election rally, Sengkang, Singapore - 20110503 (cropped).jpg Goh Meng Seng 2011.JPG
Leader Lee Hsien Loong Low Thia Khiang Goh Meng Seng
Party PAP WP NSP
Leader since 2004 2001 2007
Leader's seat Ang Mo Kio GRC Aljunied GRC Tampines GRC
(lost)
Last election 82 seats, 66.6% 1 elected + 1 NCMP, 16.3% 0 seats, part of the SDA[note 1]
Seats after 81 6 elected + 2 NCMP 0
Seat change Decrease1 Increase5 elected Steady0
Popular vote 1,212,154 258,510 242,682
Percentage 60.1% 12.8% 12.0%
Swing Decrease6.5% Decrease3.5% Increase12.0%

Map of the results of the Singaporean general election 2011.svg

Results by constituency:
  People's Action Party
  Workers' Party of Singapore

Prime Minister before election

Lee Hsien Loong
PAP

Elected Prime Minister

Lee Hsien Loong
PAP

Coat of arms of Singapore (blazon).svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Singapore
Constitution
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Singapore's 16th parliamentary general election was held on 7 May 2011. The Parliament of Singapore's maximum term is five years, within which it must be dissolved by the President of Singapore and elections held within three months, as stated in the Constitution of Singapore.[1] Voting is mandatory in Singapore and is based on the first-past-the-post system. Elections are conducted by the Elections Department, which is under the jurisdiction of the Prime Minister’s Office. On 19 April 2011, President S.R. Nathan dissolved parliament. Nomination day was held on 27 April 2011, and for the second election in a row, the PAP was not returned to power on nomination day. This election also marked the first and the only three-cornered fight since 2001 in Punggol East SMC.

The election was described as a "watershed election" in various forms by various parties. The ruling PAP reminded voters that the election will determine "Singapore's next generation of leaders".[2] The Workers' Party called it a "watershed election" both for Singapore and the opposition, as it marked the first time in two decades that the only two incumbent opposition MPs moved out of their respective strongholds and contested in Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs), risking a situation where there would be "no elected opposition MPs".[3] This was despite the elections having the highest proportion of contested seats since independence, with 82 of 87 seats contested (or 94.3%).[4] 2011 was the year that saw the highest number of seats contested since post-independence; with the second being in 1972 when 87.7% of seats were contested (or 57 out of 65 seats),[5] It marked the first electoral contests in Bishan-Toa Payoh (since 1991) and Holland-Bukit Timah, and also marked Tanjong Pagar as the only constituency to remain uncontested since its formation in 1991.

The final results saw a 6.46% swing against the PAP from the 2006 elections to 60.14%, its lowest since independence.[6] While the PAP met most expectations to sweep into power and claim over two-thirds of parliamentary seats, it won 81 out of 87 seats, and lost Aljunied Group Representation Constituency to the Workers' Party of Singapore, the first time a GRC was won by an opposition party. Including the Hougang Single Member Constituency, the Workers' Party ended up with six seats in Parliament, the best opposition parliamentary result since independence.[7][8]

As six Members of Parliament from the opposition were elected, just three Non-Constituency Member of Parliament seats were offered, one to the Singapore People's Party's Lina Chiam; another to the WP's Yee Jenn Jong; and a third to Gerald Giam of the WP's East Coast Group Representation Constituency team. These offers were all accepted, resulting in a total of nine opposition MPs after the election.[9][10]

Background

The 2011 General Election was the 16th General Election in Singapore and the 11th since independence. The governing People's Action Party (PAP) sought to secure their 13th consecutive term in office since 1959. This was the second election since Lee Hsien Loong became its Secretary-General.

Parliamentary reform

On 11 March 2010, the Government tabled three bills in the parliament to amend the Constitution, the Presidential Elections Act and the Parliamentary Elections Act.[11] These amendments reduced the number of Group representation constituencies (GRC), increased the number of Non-Constituency Members of Parliament (NCMPs) to a maximum of nine (inclusive of the number of elected opposition members of Parliament), and the number of Nominated Members of Parliament (NMPs) permanent also to nine.[11] A one-day "cooling-off" day was implemented, during which campaigning was forbidden, with only party political broadcasts allowed. Internet campaigning was also formally legalized as a legitimate means of political campaigning.[11] On 26 April 2010, the amendments to the Constitution were passed by a vote of 74–1 after a three-hour debate on the bill.[12]

Political parties

The governing People's Action Party (PAP) has been in power since Singapore's independence in 1965, and is currently led by the Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Besides the ruling PAP, the other major political parties that may contest the upcoming elections are the Workers' Party of Singapore (WP) led by Low Thia Khiang, the Singapore People's Party led by Chiam See Tong which left the Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA) in 2011, the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) led by Chee Soon Juan,[note 2][13] the National Solidarity Party (NSP) led by Goh Meng Seng which left the SDA in 2007, the Reform Party (Singapore) led by Kenneth Jeyaretnam, and the Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA) led by Desmond Lim, which is composed of the Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Melayu Singapura (Singapore Malay National Organization) (PKMS) and the Singapore Justice Party (SJP). The Reform Party is the newest party and was created on 18 June 2008 and was then led by former Member of Parliament J.B. Jeyaretnam. He could have stood for election after he was discharged from bankruptcy and reinstated to the bar,[14] however, Jeyaretnam died of heart failure on 30 September 2008 at the age of 82.[15] His eldest son, Kenneth Jeyaretnam has since taken up leadership of the party and is now its secretary-general.[16]

Electoral divisions

The Electoral Boundaries Review Committee normally publishes an updated list of electoral divisions just before elections are called. Prior to the latest amendments, there were fourteen GRCs, each with five or six seats, and nine Single Member Constituencies (SMC). There were a total of 84 seats being contested in the general election of 2006.

The new electoral map for 2011 was announced on 24 February 2011.[17] 87 seats, crafted into 27 electoral divisions, were up for contests in the election. 12 are SMCs and 15 are GRCs.[18] The major changes in the electoral divisions are as follows:

  • New GRCs
    • Moulmein-Kallang GRC - 4 MP
    • Chua Chu Kang GRC - 5 MP
    • Nee Soon GRC - 5 MP
  • New SMCs
    • Hong Kah North
    • Mountbatten
    • Pioneer
    • Punggol East
    • Radin Mas
    • Sengkang West
    • Whampoa
    • Yuhua
  • Changes in electoral seats within GRCs
    • Holland-Bukit Timah GRC - five to four
    • Marine Parade GRC- six to five
    • Sembawang GRC - six to five
    • Tanjong Pagar GRC - six to five
  • Dissolved GRC
    • Jalan Besar GRC - Jalan Besar, Kolam Ayer, Kampong Glam division of the Jalan Besar GRC go into the newly formed Moulmein-Kallang GRC while Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng division from the Jalan Besar GRC will be absorbed by the Tanjong Pagar GRC.
    • Hong Kah GRC - renamed to Chua Chu Kang GRC
  • Dissolved SMC
    • Chua Chu Kang (absorbed into Chua Chu Kang GRC)
    • Macpherson (absorbed into Marine Parade GRC)
    • Nee Soon Central (absorbed into Nee Soon GRC)
    • Nee Soon East (absorbed into Nee Soon GRC)
    • Yio Chu Kang (absorbed into Ang Mo Kio GRC)
  • Changes in boundaries between GRCs
    • Aljunied-Hougang division of the Aljunied GRC was renamed to Ang Mo Kio-Hougang division of the Ang Mo Kio GRC. In return, Kaki Bukit division was taken from the Marine Parade GRC whereas some of it moved to Kembangan-Chai Chee (replacing Kampong Ubi-Kembangan).
    • The newly formed Nee Soon GRC which will take in voters from Nee Soon East and Nee Soon Central single divisions and parts of Sembawang and Ang Mo Kio GRCs.[19]
Singapore electoral boundaries, released in February 2011

Nomination

New candidates

Singapore Democratic Party

  • Dr Ang Yong Guan, 56-year old Consultant Psychiatrist at Paragon Medical, President of the Singapore Psychiatric Association from 1997 to 1998 and Chairman of the Chapter of Psychiatrists, Academy of Medicine from 2001 to 2003.
  • Alec Tok, 46-year old Artistic Director at One Kind Theatre LLC.
  • Mohd Isa Abdul Aziz, 53-year old Business Development Manager for an Australian Oil and Gas company and a member of the Central Executive Committee of the Singapore Democratic Party.
  • Sadasivam Veriyah, 58-year old ex-teacher and a unionist, former member of the People's Action Party.
  • Tan Jee Say, 57-year old investment adviser and former Principal Private Secretary to then-DPM Goh Chok Tong.
  • Dr. Vincent Wijeysingha, 41-year old Executive Director of Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2), a non-government organization advocating the rights of low-waged migrant workers.

People's Action Party

Retiring politicians

All politicians who were retiring or stepping down from their seats were from the PAP.

Staking claims

Soon after the announcement of the new electoral boundaries, various opposition parties indicated their intent to contest, subject to negotiations between political parties to avoid three-cornered fights. The parties declaring an interest to contest each constituency and their nomination status is reflected below.

Nominations by various opposition parties as on nomination day on 27 April 2011. Banded shading indicates constituencies with three-party contests. There was no contest in Tanjong Pagar after the opposition team intending to submit a nomination were disqualified.

General election campaign

Party manifestos

Televised forum

In the first pre-election forum of this nature in Singapore since the 1988 General Election, Channel NewsAsia invited the main parties to record an hour-long programme. The programme, in English entitled, “A political forum on Singapore’s future” brought together the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) and four opposition parties to discuss long and short-term challenges for the country. [30] The forum included

The new media

The Worker's Party utilised social media in order to circumvent obstacles placed in front of them by Singapore's government-controlled media.[31]

Political rallies

The Singapore Police Force announced 41 political rally sites on 27 April which could be booked by political parties on a first-come-first-served basis. Rallies were allowed to be conducted from 28 April to 5 May, from 7 am to 10 pm. The 41st site is for lunch time rallies at Boat Quay near to the UOB Plaza.[32]

Controversies

Online video

During the 2011 elections campaigning, Vivian Balakrishnan said the SDP was "suppressing a certain YouTube video, which raises some very awkward questions about the agenda and motivations of the SDP and its candidates".[34] He issued the following statement:

I am not sure what [the SDP] strategy is...I can’t help feeling that part of the reason for their reticence is they have elements of their agenda they are not prepared to disclose and subject to scrutiny. Eventually, they will have to come out of the closet. (The Straits Times, 20 April 2011)

Vincent Wijeysingha rejected his comments stating, "We've been a very open party and we're very clear."[35]

This incident was cited in an article published in The Economist criticising the ruling party's election strategy[36] The New Paper released a story next day, with the headline: Is Singapore ready for a GAY MP?"[37] Kenneth Jeyaretnam of the Reform Party called Balakrishnan's campaign a "low attack." [34]

Balakrishnan received widespread controversy and criticism online for his remark,.[38] On 28 April, he told the press: "there is "no need" to further discuss [the] video". He said that his question was a "legitimate".[35]

Cooling-off day controversies

Nicole Seah from NSP team in Marine Parade GRC filed a complaint to the Elections Department on 6 May stating Tin Pei Ling had violated the state-mandated cooling-off period 24 hours before polls by posting a Facebook comment "in response to a video [in the state press] that showed Seah crying after being told about a Macpherson female resident who could not get a refund of her son's $80 tuition fees".[39]

The NSP team was advised by the Elections Department to file a police report before the Elections Department could investigate.[40]

The day after the election, Seah told reporters that her party had not received any response after making the complaint, and said no decision had been taken on whether or not to pursue the issue. She added that the NSP knew "it is an uphill battle to get any results out of this. I would rather devote my time and resources to the residents".[41]

A similar complaint was lodged against Seah alleging that material had been published on her Facebook page during Cooling-Off Day. On 10 August, the Singapore Police Force announced that it had concluded its investigations into the two incidents, and that aside from a "stern warning" to Tin's friend, no action would be taken against either Tin or Seah.[42]

Separately, the NSP also complained that the PAP had been distributing election material to residents in Tampines GRC in violation of cooling-off regulations.[40]

Election results

After polls closed at 8pm, vote counting began. Results were announced by Yam Ah Mee, chief executive director of the People's Association, who acted as the Returning Officer for the election.[43] The first result was declared at 11.58pm on 7 May 2011, where PAP candidate Lim Biow Chuan won the Mountbatten Single Member Constituency with a majority of 3,529.

At 1.31 am on 8 May 2011, the PAP team for Ang Mo Kio Group Representation Constituency was declared to have won the division, putting the PAP's seat tally at 44 seats, and thus formed the government.

The final result to be declared was for the Potong Pasir Single Member Constituency at 2.51am on 8 May, where the PAP gained the seat from the SPP on a razor-thin margin of 114 votes.

The political status quo was kept as the People's Action Party won a 13th consecutive term in office since 1959. However, the PAP saw its vote majorities reduced island-wide for yet a second election in a row. The PAP won 81 seats out of 87 despite losing Aljunied Group Representation Constituency to the WP, which also won in Hougang Single Member Constituency. None of the other five opposition parties won contests, including the SPP which lost Potong Pasir Single Member Constituency that it held prior to the election. The WP's win in Aljunied marked the first opposition GRC victory since GRCs were introduced.[44] The WP win in Aljunied meant an electoral defeat of Foreign Minister George Yeo[45][46] and a second Cabinet minister in Lim Hwee Hua. Yeo became the highest-ranking PAP cabinet minister to lose an election since 1963 when minister Kenneth Michael Byrne lost his seat of Crawford.[47] The PAP's national vote share was just little over 60 per cent, a vote swing of almost negative 7 per cent from 2006.[8]

Voter turnout for the election was 93.18%, with 2,060,373 votes cast.[48]

Results summary





Circle frame.svg

Popular vote

  PAP (60.14%)
  WP (12.83%)
  NSP (12.04%)
  SDP (4.83%)
  RP (4.28%)
  SPP (3.11%)
  SDA (2.78%)







Circle frame.svg

Seats

  81 seats (PAP) (93.10%)
  6 seats (WP) (6.89%)
Results as announced on polling day on 7 May 2011.
e • d Summary of the 7 May 2011 Parliament of Singapore election results
Parties and alliances Leader Contested seats Seats won Popular vote % of valid votes +/- % of valid votes in contested wards +/-
PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party Lee Hsien Loong 87 81 1,212,154 60.14
 
Decrease 6.46 60.14
 
Decrease 6.46
WP logo variation.png Workers' Party Low Thia Khiang 23 6 258,510 12.83
 
Decrease 3.51 46.58
 
Increase 8.15
NSP logo variation.png National Solidarity Party Goh Meng Seng 24 0 242,682 12.04
 
Decrease 0.95* 39.25
 
Increase 6.37*
SDP logo variation.png Singapore Democratic Party Chee Soon Juan 11 0 97,369 4.83
 
Increase 0.76 36.76
 
Increase 13.53
RP logo variation.png Reform Party Kenneth Jeyaretnam 11 0 86,294 4.28
 
New party 31.78
 
New party
SPP logo variation.png Singapore People's Party Chiam See Tong 7 0 62,639 3.11
 
Decrease 9.88* 41.42
 
Increase 8.90*
SDA logo variation.png Singapore Democratic Alliance Desmond Lim 7 0 55,988 2.78
 
Decrease 10.21 30.06
 
Decrease 2.46
Total 87 2,015,636 85.63
Spoilt votes 44,737 2.2
Did not vote (including walk-overs) 292,913 12.46
Total voting electorate 2,350,873 100.0
 Includes uncontested victories.
* Formerly a constituent party of Singapore Democratic Alliance. Swings reflected are from the SDA's 2006 vote share.

Defeated incumbents

People's Action Party
Singapore People's Party
  • Defeated in Potong Pasir SMC, which was held by Chiam See Tong prior to the election. Chiam did not run in Potong Pasir in these elections, instead letting his wife contest it.

Full results

[49]
Division Seats Voters Party Candidate(s) Votes Votes %
Group Representation Constituency (GRC) (75 seats)
Aljunied GRC 5 143,148 PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party George Yeo
Lim Hwee Hua
Zainul Abidin bin Mohamed Rasheed
Cynthia Phua
Ong Ye Kung
59,829
45.28 / 100
WP logo variation.png Workers' Party Low Thia Khiang
Sylvia Lim
Chen Show Mao
Pritam Singh
Muhamad Faisal bin Abdul Manap
72,289
54.72 / 100
Ang Mo Kio GRC 6 179,071 PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party Lee Hsien Loong
Yeo Guat Kwang
Inderjit Singh
Seng Han Thong
Ang Hin Kee
Intan Azura Mokhtar
112,677
69.33 / 100
RP logo variation.png Reform Party Alex Tan Zhixiang
Arthero Lim Tung Hee
Vignes Ramachandran
Lim Zi Rui
Mansor Rahman
Osman Sulaiman
49,851
30.67 / 100
Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC 5 122,492 PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party Wong Kan Seng
Ng Eng Hen
Josephine Teo Li Min
Hri Kumar
Zainudin Nordin
62,385
56.93 / 100
SPP logo variation.png Singapore People's Party Chiam See Tong
Benjamin Pwee
Wilfred Leung
Jimmy Lee
Mohamad Hamim Aliyas
47,205
43.07 / 100
Chua Chu Kang GRC 5 158,648 NSP logo variation.png National Solidarity Party Teo Kway Huang Sebastian
Tan Lay Thiam Tony
Poa Koon Koon Hazel
Nor Lella Mardiiiah Mohamed
Jeisilan Sivalingam
56,885
38.80 / 100
PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party Gan Kim Yong
Alvin Yeo
Zaqy Mohamad
Alex Yam
Low Yen Ling
89,710
61.20 / 100
East Coast GRC 5 120,324 PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party Lim Swee Say
Maliki Osman
Lee Yi Shyan
Jessica Tan
Raymond Lim
59,992
54.83 / 100
WP logo variation.png Workers' Party Eric Tan Heng Chong
Png Eng Huat
Glenda Han
Gerald Giam
Mohamed Fazli Bin Talip
49,429
45.17 / 100
Holland-Bukit Timah GRC 4 91,607 PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party Vivian Balakrishnan
Christopher de Souza
Liang Eng Hwa
Sim Ann
48,773
60.08 / 100
SDP logo variation.png Singapore Democratic Party Tan Jee Say
Ang Yong Guan
Vincent Wijeysingha
Michelle Lee
32,406
39.92 / 100
Jurong GRC 5 125,276 NSP logo variation.png National Solidarity Party Neo Ting Wei Christopher
Abdul Rasheed
Ong Beng Soon Elvin
Ong Hock Siong
Noraini Yunus
37,786
33.04 / 100
PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party Tharman Shanmugaratnam
Halimah Bte Yacob
Ang Wei Neng
Desmond Lee Ti-Seng (Li Zhisheng)
David Ong
76,595
66.96 / 100
Marine Parade GRC 5 154,451 NSP logo variation.png National Solidarity Party Cheo Chai Chen
Ivan Yeo Tiong Boon
Abdul Salim Harun
Spencer Ng Chung Hon
Seah Xue Ling, Nicole Rebecca
59,926
43.36 / 100
PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party Goh Chok Tong
Tan Chuan Jin
Fatimah Lateef
Seah Kian Peng
Tin Pei Ling
78,286
56.64 / 100
Moulmein-Kallang GRC 4 87,595 PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party Lui Tuck Yew
Yaacob Ibrahim
Denise Phua Lay Peng
Edwin Tong
44,886
58.55 / 100
WP logo variation.png Workers' Party Mohd Rahizan
Toh Hong Boon
L Somasundram
Frieda Chan
31,773
41.45 / 100
Nee Soon GRC 5 148,290 PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party K. Shanmugam
Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim
Lee Bee Wah
Lim Wee Kiak
Patrick Tay Teck Guan
80,740
58.40 / 100
WP logo variation.png Workers' Party John Yam Poh Nam
Angela Faye Oon
Sajeev K. R. Kamalasanan
Chong Cham Weng, Winston
Poh Lee Guan
57,523
41.60 / 100
Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC 6 168,971 PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party Teo Chee Hean
Teo Ser Luck
Penny Low
Janil Puthucheary
Gan Thiam Poh
Zainal Bin Sapari
100,493
64.79 / 100
SDA logo variation.png Singapore Democratic Alliance Harminder Pal Singh
Sidney Soon
Jeffrey Lim
Noraine Anabi
Tony Tan
Mohammad Shafni Ahmad
54,601
35.21 / 100
Sembawang GRC 5 142,459 PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party Khaw Boon Wan
Ellen Lee
Hawazi Daipi
Ong Teng Koon
Vikram Nair
84,252
63.9 / 100
SDP logo variation.png Singapore Democratic Party James Gomez
John Tan
Jarrod Luo Jie
Mohd Isa Abdul Aziz
Sadasivam Veriyah
47,605
36.1 / 100
Tampines GRC 5 137,532 NSP logo variation.png National Solidarity Party Goh Meng Seng
Reno Fong Chin Leong
Syafarin Sarif
Raymond Lim Peng Ann
Gilbert Goh
54,381
42.78 / 100
PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party Mah Bow Tan
Ng Phek Hoong Irene
Masagos Zulkifli Bin Masagos Mohamad
Baey Yam Keng
Heng Swee Keat
72,728
57.22 / 100
Tanjong Pagar GRC 5 139,771 PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party Lee Kuan Yew
Lily Neo
Indranee Thurai Rajah
Chan Chun Sing
Chia Shi-Lu
Walkover
West Coast GRC 5 121,045 PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party Lim Hng Kiang
Fong Jen Arthur
S Iswaran
Foo Mee Har
Lawrence Wong Shyun Tsai
72,563
66.57 / 100
RP logo variation.png Reform Party Kenneth Jeyaretnam
Frankie Low
Andy Zhu
Kumar Appavoo
Ho Soak Harn
36,443
33.43 / 100
Single Member Constituency (SMC) (12 seats)
Bukit Panjang SMC 1 33,053 PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party Teo Ho Pin 20,375
66.27 / 100
SDP logo variation.png Singapore Democratic Party Alec Tok 10,372
33.73 / 100
Hong Kah North SMC 1 27,701 PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party Amy Khor Lean Suan 18,156
70.61 / 100
SPP logo variation.png Singapore People's Party Sin Kek Tong 7,556
29.39 / 100
Hougang SMC 1 24,560 PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party Choo Pey Ching Desmond 8065
35.2 / 100
WP logo variation.png Workers' Party Yaw Shin Leong 14,850
64.8 / 100
Joo Chiat SMC 1 22,069 PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party Chong You Fook Charles 9,666
51.02 / 100
WP logo variation.png Workers' Party Yee Jenn Jong 9,278
48.98 / 100
Mountbatten SMC 1 23,731 NSP logo variation.png National Solidarity Party Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss 8,461
41.38 / 100
PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party Lim Biow Chuan 11,985
58.62 / 100
Pioneer SMC 1 25,745 NSP logo variation.png National Solidarity Party Steve Chia Kiah Hong 9,437
39.27 / 100
PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party Cedric Foo 14,593
60.73 / 100
Potong Pasir SMC 1 17,327 PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party Sitoh Yih Pin 7,992
50.36 / 100
SPP logo variation.png Singapore People's Party Lina Chiam 7,878
49.64 / 100
Punggol East SMC 1 33,281 PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party Michael Palmer 16,994
54.54 / 100
SDA logo variation.png Singapore Democratic Alliance Desmond Lim 1,387
4.45 / 100
WP logo variation.png Workers' Party Lee Li Lian 12,777
41.01 / 100
Radin Mas SMC 1 31,014 NSP logo variation.png National Solidarity Party Yip Yew Weng 9,123
32.90 / 100
PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party Sam Tan Chin Siong 18,609
67.10 / 100
Sengkang West SMC 1 26,882 PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party Lam Pin Min 14,689
58.11 / 100
WP logo variation.png Workers' Party Koh Choong Yong 10,591
41.89 / 100
Whampoa SMC 1 21,622 PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party Heng Chee How 13,028
66.10 / 100
NSP logo variation.png National Solidarity Party Ken Sun 6,680
33.90 / 100
Yuhua SMC 1 23,195 PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party Grace Fu 14,093
66.86 / 100
SDP logo variation.png Singapore Democratic Party Teo Soh Lung 6,986
33.14 / 100

Analysis

Top 10 best PAP performers

  • Constituencies with no comparison to 2006 were either due to them being new constituencies or the constituencies experiencing walkovers in the last election.
# Constituency PAP Votes  % Swing Opposition Votes  % Swing
1 Hong Kah North SMC PAP logo variation.png 18,156 70.6 - SPP logo variation.png 7,556 29.4 -
2 Ang Mo Kio GRC PAP logo variation.png 112,677 69.3 Increase 3.2 RP logo variation.png 49,851 30.67 Decrease 3.2
3 Radin Mas SMC PAP logo variation.png 18,609 67.1 - NSP logo variation.png 9,123 32.9 -
4 Jurong GRC PAP logo variation.png 76,595 67.0 - NSP logo variation.png 37,786 33.0 -
5 Yuhua SMC PAP logo variation.png 14,093 66.87 - SDP logo variation.png 6,986 33.1 -
6 West Coast GRC PAP logo variation.png 72,563 66.6 - RP logo variation.png 36,443 33.4 -
7 Bukit Panjang SMC PAP logo variation.png 20,375 66.3 Decrease 10.9 SDP logo variation.png 10,372 33.74 Increase 10.9
8 Whampoa SMC PAP logo variation.png 13,028 66.1 - NSP logo variation.png 6,683 33.9 -
9 Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC PAP logo variation.png 100,493 64.8 Decrease 3.9 SDA logo variation.png 54,601 35.2 Increase 3.9
10 Sembawang GRC PAP logo variation.png 84,252 63.9 Decrease 12.8 SDP logo variation.png 47,605 36.1 Increase 12.8

Top 10 best opposition performers

  • Constituencies with no comparison to 2006 were either due to them being new constituencies or the constituencies experiencing walkovers in the last election.
  • Punggol East SMC is excluded from the table as there were two opposition parties which competed against the incumbent. If the WP's 12,765 votes (41.02%) and the SDA's 1,386 votes (4.45%) were summed up, the opposition won 14,151 votes (45.47%), which would place it fifth in the table below.
# Constituency Opposition Votes  % Swing PAP Votes  % Swing
1 Hougang SMC WP logo variation.png 14,850 64.8 Increase 2.1 PAP logo variation.png 8,065 35.2 Decrease 2.1
2 Aljunied GRC WP logo variation.png 72,289 54.72 Increase 10.81 PAP logo variation.png 59,829 45.28 Decrease 10.81
3 Potong Pasir SMC SPP logo variation.png 7,878 49.64 Decrease 6.18 PAP logo variation.png 7,992 50.36 Increase 6.18
4 Joo Chiat SMC WP logo variation.png 9,278 49.0 Increase 14.00 PAP logo variation.png 9,666 51.0 Decrease 14.0
5 East Coast GRC WP logo variation.png 49,429 45.2 Increase 9.1 PAP logo variation.png 59,992 54.8 Decrease 9.1
6 Marine Parade GRC NSP logo variation.png 59,926 43.4 - PAP logo variation.png 78,286 56.6 -
7 Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC SPP logo variation.png 47,205 43.07 - PAP logo variation.png 62,385 56.93 -
8 Tampines GRC NSP logo variation.png 54,381 42.8 Increase 11.3 PAP logo variation.png 72,728 57.2 Decrease 11.3
9 Nee Soon GRC WP logo variation.png 57,523 41.6 - PAP logo variation.png 80,740 58.4 -
10 Sengkang West SMC WP logo variation.png 10,591 41.9 - PAP logo variation.png 14,689 58.1 -

Vote Swings

  • Only the following constituencies may be compared with 2006 results as they existed in both elections, although most had changes in their electoral boundaries.
# Constituency PAP Votes  % Swing Opposition Votes  % Swing
1 Joo Chiat SMC PAP logo variation.png 9,666 51.0 Decrease 14.0 WP logo variation.png 9,278 49.0 Increase 14.0
2 Sembawang GRC PAP logo variation.png 84,252 63.9 Decrease 12.8 SDP logo variation.png 47,605 36.1 Increase 12.8
3 Tampines GRC PAP logo variation.png 72,728 57.22 Decrease 11.29 NSP logo variation.png 54,381 42.78 Increase 11.29
4 Bukit Panjang SMC PAP logo variation.png 20,375 66.27 Decrease 10.92 SDP logo variation.png 10,372 33.73 Increase 10.92
5 Aljunied GRC PAP logo variation.png 59,829 45.28 Decrease 10.81 WP logo variation.png 72,289 54.72 Increase 10.81
6 East Coast GRC PAP logo variation.png 59,992 54.83 Decrease 9.03 WP logo variation.png 49,429 45.17 Increase 9.03
7 Potong Pasir SMC PAP logo variation.png 7,992 50.36 Increase 6.18 SPP logo variation.png 7,878 49.64 Decrease 6.18
8 Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC PAP logo variation.png 100,493 64.79 Decrease 3.91 SDA logo variation.png 54,601 35.21 Increase 3.91
9 Ang Mo Kio GRC PAP logo variation.png 112,677 69.33 Increase 3.19 RP logo variation.png 49,851 30.67 Decrease 3.19
10 Hougang SMC PAP logo variation.png 8,065 35.19 Decrease 2.07 WP logo variation.png 14,850 64.81 Increase 2.07

Interpretive maps

Vote share won by the ruling People's Action Party by constituency. There was no contest in Tanjong Pagar Group Representation Constituency as there was a walkover.

Post-election events

Ruling party's immediate reactions

The People's Action Party's secretary-general, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, described the results as delivering his party a "clear mandate to form the next government".[50] In his post-election press conference, Lee said the polls had "heightened (voters') political consciousness and awareness", and admitted that "many of them desire to see more opposition voices in Parliament to check the PAP government".[51] He described the PAP's loss of Aljunied GRC, which resulted in George Yeo being voted out of Parliament and losing his position as foreign minister, as a "heavy loss to my Cabinet and my team of MPs", but said that the party would "accept and respect the voters' decision".[52] The country's Senior Minister, Goh Chok Tong, also admitted that "there is a sea change in the political landscape" after his team won Marine Parade Group Representation Constituency with just 56.6 percent of the vote.[53]

Opposition parties' immediate reactions

The Workers Party's secretary-general Low Thia Khiang said his team's win in Aljunied meant that voters had "accepted the WP as a rational, responsible and respected party".[54] In his victory speech, Low declared his win as a "political landmark in modern Singapore".[55][56] He added that it meant the electorate wanted to tell the PAP to be "a more responsive, inclusive, transparent and accountable government”.[6]

In a statement on its website, the Singapore Democratic Party thanked its supporters for their support, saying that it was for them that the party "(continues) to labour on in this undemocratic system with all the odds stacked against us."[57] Its assistant treasurer Vincent Wijeysingha, who stood in Holland-Bukit Timah Group Representation Constituency, said that the party's positive vote swing in its contested wards of almost 13 percent from the last elections was an "indicator that things are beginning to move up for our party."[58] In a second statement on its website, the SDP described its results as "disappointing", but promised to "build on the foundation that we have laid" for the next elections.[59] The party's secretary-general Chee Soon Juan, barred from standing in the election, went on to write an opinion piece for the Guardian, in which he said it "would have been a miracle" had the SDP won any seats, and accused the media in Singapore of suppressing news of the SDP's campaigning.[60]

Other than the PAP and WP, the only other opposition seat pre-election had been held by the Singapore People's Party, which lost it in the polls by just 114 votes. Chiam See Tong, the SPP's secretary-general, said his party would fight to win back Potong Pasir Single Member Constituency, and said that despite being defeated in Bishan-Toa Payoh Group Representation Constituency, he would continue in politics, health permitting.[61] He also questioned the margin of votes in Potong Pasir, contested by his wife, saying there was "funny business" happening. A petition calling for a by-election in the constituency was started by SPP supporters and Potong Pasir residents.[62]

The National Solidarity Party, which contested the most seats of all opposition parties, admitted it may have taken on too much, with its leader Goh Meng Seng telling reporters that he would be "personally responsible" for the party's failure to win a single seat.[58] Its star candidate, Nicole Seah, said Singaporeans now had to unite as a country.[63] Seah, who contested in Marine Parade, also said there was "so much that needs to be done", and that she would continue her work in the area despite her team's defeat.[64]

The leader of the newest opposition party contesting the elections, the Reform Party's Kenneth Jeyaretnam, described his party as having "learnt a lot" and said they had "done very well", as the first new party in over 20 years. He added that the party was "very happy" at its result in West Coast Group Representation Constituency,[58] and that its second team had done "creditably" in Ang Mo Kio Group Representation Constituency. Jeyaretnam also said the team being able to win the votes it did despite being a new party meant that its "core values resonate with the voters".[65]

The worst-performing party at the polls was the Singapore Democratic Alliance, whose secretary-general Desmond Lim polled under 5 percent of votes in Punggol East Single Member Constituency—the only three-way contest of the election—and lost a S$16,000 election deposit. He said voters had voted based on brand name, as the other opposition candidate in the ward was from the WP. The SDA also contested Pasir Ris-Punggol Group Representation Constituency, and Lim said the party was "very happy" at its positive vote swing from 2006 of over 4 percent. However, the SDA's anchorman in the constituency Harminder Pal Singh described the loss as a "time for painful reflection" and said the party would work harder to win more votes.[66]

Foreign reactions

At an ASEAN heads-of-state meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia, leaders of ASEAN nations reportedly told S Jayakumar, Singapore's representative at the event, that they were "saddened, disappointed and surprised" at the news that foreign minister Yeo had been defeated, according to the state-run Straits Times,[67] while at the same meeting the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Tun Razak, said the PAP's win would mean a continuity in understanding between the Malaysian and Singaporean governments on bilateral issues.[68]

Non-Constituency Member of Parliament offers

Three Non-Constituency Members of Parliament (NCMP) seats were offered after the election to the top three losing opposition candidates. The Singapore People's Party accepted the seat for Lina Chiam, ensuring that the Chiam family retained representation in Parliament. While Chiam See Tong has said he is opposed to the scheme, the SPP reasoned that it was "critical" to ensure an "alternative voice in Parliament", to allow the party to "remain engaged in national issues", and to be publicly visible until the next election due by 2016. Mrs Chiam also pointed out that she was "influenced by the wishes of Potong Pasir residents" and she accepted the post as her losing margin was too small.[69]

The Workers' Party was offered the final two NCMP seats for having the second and third best performing losing candidates, which it accepted despite Mr Low also disputing the scheme. Yee Jenn Jong was thus appointed for his performance in Joo Chiat SMC, but as it had to choose one member from the East Coast GRC team, the younger Gerald Giam was chosen over team leader and party treasurer Eric Tan as part of its leadership renewal process. Eric Tan resigned from the party, citing his disagreement with the appointment.[70]

On 16 May 2011, the three proposed NCMPs were formally appointed.[71]

Legacy

Use of social media

The election saw a heavier use of social and online media compared to Singapore general election, 2006, especially to evade censorship in Singapore. It is widely perceived by the populace that the major state-run newspapers and broadcasters "align[ed] itself with the party's ideals and decisions" and that the electoral system was tilted against the Opposition.[36] It had been difficult to create alternative media until the rise of sites such as The Online Citizen and such internet tools such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs, which saw increased significance in the 2006 elections but became especially prominent in the 2011 elections. [72] According to The Economist, the PAP's aggressive modernisation of Singapore created "one of the world's most wired societies," leading to new media that "transformed" the electoral scene in Singapore. Characterising the state-run mainstream press as "docile", the Economist also argued that this also forced significantly more news coverage of the Opposition than in previous elections, since the mainstream media feared their readership deserting them.[36] One blogger from CNN wrote, "Thanks to social media, it doesn’t matter that the country’s largely state-run media leans towards reporting the actions of the PAP, no one’s reading anyway.".[72] The Economist however was more cynical in its analysis of the election: "in Singapore, winning 7% of parliamentary seats is tantamount to an opposition triumph".[36]

The first election in which a GRC was won by the Opposition

Traditionally regarded as a PAP "fortress", a GRC fell to the opposition for the first time in Singapore's political history. In previous elections, the Opposition had never won a GRC, which ostensibly ensure minority representation in parliament but also shut out smaller opposition parties with less resources. GRCs comprise over 86% of the seats, but the Opposition in previous elections would contest "less than half the seats". The election saw the most extensive use of coordination to avoid "three-cornered fights" and was also notable for seeing "two veteran MPs" making immense risks by choosing to contest in GRCs rather than their historical SMC strongholds.[36]

Signals to the ruling party

The election results were widely used in national and international discussions that the population was trying to send a message to a ruling party that "can also come across as smug, arrogant and high-handed" despite a win margin of over 20%, which usually counts as a landslide victory for most democratic nations but has been one of the narrowest margins since 1965.[36] The last election with a similarly narrow victory occurred in the Singapore general election, 1963, when the PAP's major opponent was the Barisan Sosialis—which in itself was a splinter group formed from the leftist wing of the PAP, where it had comprised 80% of the PAP grassroots membership, 35 out of the PAP's 51 branch committees and 19 of its 23 organising secretaries. According to the Economist, Singaporeans would prefer not to have an alternative government but a humbler one, as well as a "stronger opposition".

On 14 May, exactly a week after the election, Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew announced in a joint statement that they would be quitting the country's Cabinet, saying it was time for a "team of younger ministers" to "engage with this young generation in shaping the future of Singapore."[73] In a similar analysis by Bloomberg, the resignations and the ensuing cabinet reshuffle were the actions of a ruling party "seeking to overhaul its image with voters" whose "narrowest election victory on record signaled a shortfall in support among younger voters".[74] Lee Kuan Yew was also quoted as saying that a younger generation was required to "carry Singapore forward in a more difficult and complex situation" while Lee Hsien Loong declared the party "would change the way it governs" and do some "soul-searching". A Singapore Management University professor said "[The PAP] will have to demonstrate that it remains a mass movement, and not [Lee Kuan Yew]’s alter ego," noting that younger Singaporeans do not see Lee Kuan Yew with the same godlike perception as older Singaporeans born before 1980.

Further retirements

Both losing ministers in Aljunied GRC, George Yeo and Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Lim Hwee Hua, announced their retirements from politics in separate news conferences given in the days after the election.[75][76] George Yeo, who remained popular online and continued to have "a flood of support" after the election and had been repeatedly urged to contest the next election, or even contest the Singaporean presidential election, 2011 turned his supporters down, declaring, "I'm a free spirit, and I don't think I'm temperamentally suited for such a job." [77]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ In the 2006 elections, the NSP, together with three other parties, was a constituent of the Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA) which won 13.0%. In 2007, the NSP retired from the SDA which had only two remaining components and 2.8% in the 2011 election.
  2. ^ After the ruling government sued him into bankruptcy, Chee Soon Juan is barred from standing in elections. The SDP was thus led by its assistant secretary-general, John Tan, contesting in Sembawang GRC.

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External links

Other official information