2020 Singaporean general election

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Next Singapore general election

← 2015 No later than 14 April 2021

All 93 seats to the Parliament of Singapore
47 seats needed for a majority
Registered2,653,942
  Lee Hsien Loong June 2018.JPG Pritam Singh at the Workers' Party general election rally, Serangoon Stadium, Singapore - 20110505.jpg
Leader Lee Hsien Loong Pritam Singh
Party PAP WP
Leader since 2004 2018[1]
Leader's seat Ang Mo Kio GRC Aljunied GRC
Last election 83 seats
69.9%
6 elected + 3 NCMPs
12.5%
Current seats 83 6 + 3 NCMPs
Seats needed Steady Increase 41

Map of the results of the Singaporean general election 2020.svg

Incumbent Prime Minister of Singapore

Lee Hsien Loong
PAP



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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Singapore
Constitution
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The Next Singaporean general election is due to be held by 14 April 2021, after the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC) was convened on 1 August 2019 and its report released on 13 March 2020.[2][3][4] It will elect Members of Parliament to the 14th Parliament of Singapore since independence in 1965.

According to article 65(4) of the Constitution, the maximum term of any given Parliament is five years from the date of its first sitting following a general election, after which it is dissolved by operation of law. However, the Prime Minister may advise the President to dissolve Parliament at any time during the five-year period.[5][6][7][8] A general election must be held within three months after every dissolution of Parliament. Singapore uses the first-past-the-post system of election, and voting is mandatory for all Singaporeans aged 21 or above. Elections are conducted by the Elections Department, which is under the Prime Minister's Office.[9]

Background[edit]

This election will be the 18th general election in Singapore and the 13th since independence. The ruling People's Action Party will seek to secure their 15th consecutive term in government since 1959.

Political developments since the 2015 General Election[edit]

People's Action Party[edit]

One of the five PAP candidates who contested in Aljunied Group Representation Constituency (GRC) but lost to the Workers' Party during the 2015 General Election, Murali Pillai, was elected as PAP Member of Parliament (MP) for Bukit Batok Single Member Constituency (SMC) in a by-election on 7 May 2016.[10] This comes after the resignation of the constituency's former MP, David Ong over a personal indiscretion.[11]

On 7 August 2017, Speaker of Parliament and PAP MP for Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC Halimah Yacob resigned to be a candidate in the 2017 Presidential Election.[12] Presidential candidates are not allowed to be affiliated with any political party and MPs who resign from the party that they were elected under will automatically have their seats vacated.

The PAP elected Heng Swee Keat and Chan Chun Sing as the party's first and second assistant Secretary-General respectively to the PAP's 35th Central Executive Committee on 23 November 2018.[13] The post of assistant Secretary-General is an indicator of Lee Hsien Loong's successor as Secretary-General given that the upcoming election is likely to be Mr Lee's last as Secretary-General of the PAP.[14]

On 1 May 2019, Heng Swee Keat took over from Teo Chee Hean and Tharman Shanmugaratnam as Deputy Prime Minister (DPM).[15] This is a clear signal that DPM Heng will succeed Lee Hsien Loong as Prime Minister after he retires.[16]

The Workers' Party[edit]

The Workers' Party (WP) elected Pritam Singh as the party's new secretary-general on 8 April 2018.[17] This comes after the party's previous secretary-general, Low Thia Khiang, who has served the position for 17 years since 2001 has indicated that he will step down to make way for new blood.[18]

Other political parties[edit]

Changes in election process[edit]

The Elections Department introduced several new features for this election to help ease the election process for voters, candidates and election volunteers. Voters will be able to mark their candidate(s) choices more clearly using self-inking pens and enjoy shorter queuing time with the introduction of the e-registration system. Candidates are able to fill in most of the necessary documents online while election volunteers are able to count the number of votes within a shorter duration with the help of counting machines, enabling election results to be released at least 50 minutes earlier.[26][27]

Electoral divisions[edit]

Singapore electoral boundaries, released in March 2020

The Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC) normally publishes an updated list of electoral divisions just before elections are called. Prior to the latest amendments, there were 16 GRCs, each with four, five or six seats, and 13 Single Member Constituencies (SMC). There were a total of 89 seats contested in the 2015 general election.

On 1 August 2019, Lee convened the EBRC. The formation was only publicly announced on 4 September 2019, however the formation date was superficially stated as the month of August.[28][29] The exact date of formation was not known until it was publicly answered on 7 October that year, when Opposition Leader Pritam Singh asked Trade and Industry Minister, Chan Chun Sing in a written reply.[30]

Release of EBRC Report[edit]

The EBRC released its report on 13 March 2020. The report revealed there were 14 Single Member (SMC) and 17 Group Representation Constituencies (GRC), up from one each from the previous election, while six-member GRCs ceased to exist in the map for the first time since 1991. The election reveals the formation of four new Single Member Constituencies (Kebun Baru, Yio Chu Kang, and two newly-created SMCs of Marymount and Punggol West), while three (Fengshan, Punggol East and Sengkang West) were absorbed into neighboring GRCs. A new GRC, Sengkang was formed while all but four GRCs (Aljunied, Holland-Bukit Timah, Jurong and Tanjong Pagar), as well as Hong Kah North and Potong Pasir SMCs, saw changes to the boundaries, including Tampines GRC which saw its first change since 2001.[31][32]

2015 2020
Seats
89
93
Electoral divisions
29
31
Group representation constituencies
16
17
Four-Member GRCs 6 6
Five-Member GRCs 8 11
Six-Member GRCs 2 0
Single member constituencies
13
14
Voters
2,458,058
TBA
Voters (overseas votes inclusive)
2,462,926
2,594,740

The changes made in the electoral divisions are as follows:

Name of GRC Changes
Aljunied GRC No Change in Boundaries
Ang Mo Kio GRC Ward downsized to five members
Absorbed western portions of Sengkang West SMC
Carved out Yio Chu Kang division into SMC
Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC Carved out Bishan North division into SMC, and Novena and Balestier to Jalan Besar GRC
Absorbed Toa Payoh Blocks 210 to 224 from Potong Pasir SMC
Chua Chu Kang GRC Carved out Nanyang division to West Coast GRC and portions of Tengah New Town into Hong Kah North SMC
East Coast GRC Ward upsized to five members
Absorbed Fengshan SMC
Holland-Bukit Timah GRC No Change in Boundaries
Jalan Besar GRC Absorbed portions of Novena and Balestier portion from Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC
Jurong GRC No Change in Boundaries
Marine Parade GRC Carved out a major portion of Bidadari into Potong Pasir SMC
Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC Absorbed portions of Woodlands and Innova (including Woodlands MRT station, Woodlands Temporary Bus Interchange and former Innova Junior College) from Sembawang GRC
Nee Soon GRC Carved out Kebun Baru division into SMC
Absorbed portions of Sembawang and Yishun from Sembawang GRC
Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC Ward downsized to five members
Carved out Punggol West division into SMC, Sengkang Central division to Sengkang GRC, and Tampines Retail Park to Tampines GRC
Sembawang GRC Carved out Woodlands MRT station, Woodlands Temporary Bus Interchange, former Innova Junior College and a few parts of Innova to Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC, and portions of Sembawang and Yishun to Nee Soon GRC
Sengkang GRC New Constituency
Formed from Punggol East SMC, eastern portions of Sengkang West SMC, and Sengkang Central from Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC
Tampines GRC Absorbed Tampines Retail Park from Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC
Tanjong Pagar GRC No Change in Boundaries
West Coast GRC Ward upsized to five members
Absorbed portions of Nanyang from Chua Chu Kang GRC and Bulim portion of the Hong Kah North SMC

Disruptions from COVID-19 pandemic[edit]

During a Straits Times forum on 11 March, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said that the timing of the elections could be affected in view of the worsening pandemic.[33] A couple of weeks later on 25 March, Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean told Parliament that he believed it would be unconstitutional to have the President form a caretaker government unless a state of emergency had been recommended by the Cabinet to the President.[34]

On 28 March, Tan Cheng Bock responded to Mr Teo's comments by saying that the unconstitutional nature of a caretaker government as a result of a postponing a general election would be far more preferred than having a health emergency by exposing millions of Singaporeans to potential COVID-19 infection.[35]

On 7 April, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing introduced the Parliamentary Elections (COVID-19 Special Arrangements) Bill to Parliament which would allow voters under Stay-Home Notices or Quarantine Orders related to COVID-19 to vote outside of their normal electoral divisions in the upcoming General Election.[36] The Bill was passed on 4 May.

Timeline[edit]

Date Event
13 March Publication of Electoral Boundaries report
15 April Certification of Registers of Electors

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Workers' Party chief Low Thia Khiang to step down as secretary-general by next party election". Channel Newsasia. 3 November 2017. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  2. ^ ST. "Electoral boundaries committee convened in first formal step towards next Singapore GE". The Straits Times. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  3. ^ "More electoral divisions, no 6-member GRCs in coming election: EBRC report". CNA. 13 March 2020. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  4. ^ Sim, Royston (13 March 2020). "Singapore GE: New electoral boundaries announced; 14 SMCs, 17 GRCs in next election". The Straits Times. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  5. ^ ELD. "Singapore Elections Department - Parliamentary Elections". eld.gov.sg. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  6. ^ F, Kathleen. (7 November 2018). "Singapore's GE13 could be held in 2019, say PM Lee". The Online Citizen. Archived from the original on 12 April 2019. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Singapore General Election in 2019 'Always Possible,' Lee Says". MSN. 7 November 2018. Archived from the original on 2 January 2019. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  8. ^ Stolarchuk, Jewel (7 July 2018). "GE2019? Elections Department begins training 30,000 public servants to serve as election officials". The Independent. Archived from the original on 16 April 2019. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  9. ^ "Singapore Elections Department - About Us". eld.gov.sg. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  10. ^ Lee, Min Kok (7 May 2016). "Bukit Batok by-election: PAP's Murali Pillai beats SDP's Chee Soon Juan with 61.2% of votes". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 30 September 2019. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  11. ^ Heng, Janice; Au-Yong, Rachel (13 March 2016). "MP David Ong resigns; by-election to be called". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 9 July 2018. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  12. ^ Royston, Sim (7 August 2017). "Halimah Yacob steps down as Speaker and MP, resigns from PAP to run for President". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 14 November 2019. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  13. ^ "PAP appoints Heng Swee Keat first assistant secretary-general". CNA. 23 November 2018. Archived from the original on 23 November 2018. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  14. ^ Kim, Jack; Howell, Martin (20 October 2017). "Singapore PM Lee says ready to step down in couple of years; no..." Reuters. Archived from the original on 7 June 2019. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  15. ^ Lai, Linette (24 April 2019). "Cabinet reshuffle: Heng Swee Keat to be DPM; Teo Chee Hean, Tharman Shanmugaratnam to be Senior Ministers". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 24 April 2019. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  16. ^ Kwang, Kevin (24 April 2019). "Heng Swee Keat's appointment as next DPM sends 'clear signal' of succession: Analysts". CNA. Archived from the original on 4 October 2019. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  17. ^ Chia, Lianne (8 April 2018). "Pritam Singh elected new WP chief, succeeding Low Thia Khiang". CNA. Archived from the original on 14 June 2018. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  18. ^ Kotwani, Monica (3 November 2017). "Workers' Party chief Low Thia Khiang to step down as secretary-general by next party election". CNA. Archived from the original on 17 November 2017. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  19. ^ "Tan Cheng Bock files application to form new political party". CNA. 18 January 2019. Archived from the original on 18 January 2019. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  20. ^ "Tan Cheng Bock's Progress Singapore Party officially registered". CNA. 1 April 2019. Archived from the original on 1 April 2019. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  21. ^ "Former opposition party chief Lim Tean forms new political party, People's Voice". TODAYonline. 29 October 2018. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  22. ^ Koh, Wan Ting (29 October 2018). "Ex-NSP leader Lim Tean says new Peoples Voice party has been officially registered". sg.news.yahoo.com. Archived from the original on 10 April 2019. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  23. ^ Koh, Fabian (16 October 2019). "Chiam See Tong steps down as SPP chief, ending storied political career that spanned more than four decades". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 19 October 2019. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  24. ^ Andres, Gabrielle (5 November 2019). "SPP elects Steve Chia, Jose Raymond to top posts". CNA. Archived from the original on 6 November 2019. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  25. ^ Lay, Belmont (4 January 2020). "4 opposition parties to form alliance to take on PAP in upcoming general election". Mothership.sg. Archived from the original on 4 January 2020. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  26. ^ Lim, Adrian (23 November 2018). "Faster ballot counting, e-registration at next GE". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 23 November 2018. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  27. ^ Lai, Linette (29 November 2019). "Self-inking pens, new polling booths among changes for Singapore's next general election". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 8 December 2019. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
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  30. ^ Ho, Grace (8 October 2019). "Parliament Briefs: Electoral boundaries panel formed on Aug 1". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 15 October 2019. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  31. ^ "More electoral divisions, no 6-member GRCs in coming election: EBRC report". CNA. 13 March 2020. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  32. ^ Sim, Royston (13 March 2020). "Singapore GE: New electoral boundaries announced; 14 SMCs, 17 GRCs in next election". The Straits Times. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  33. ^ Tham, Yuen-C (11 March 2020). "Covid-19 situation likely to worsen and this will affect S'pore GE timing: DPM Heng Swee Keat". The Straits Times. Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  34. ^ Cheng, Ian (25 March 2020). "Unconstitutional to delay General Election and have president form caretaker government: Teo Chee Hean". CNA. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  35. ^ Koh, Fabian (28 March 2020). "Singapore GE: Tan Cheng Bock defends proposal to delay election by having president form caretaker government". The Straits Times.
  36. ^ "Bill to allow special arrangements for General Election during COVID-19 outbreak introduced in Parliament". CNA. Retrieved 7 April 2020.