Elections in Singapore

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Coat of arms of Singapore (blazon).svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Foreign relations

There are currently two types of elections in Singapore: parliamentary and presidential elections. According to the constitution of Singapore general elections for parliament must be conducted within 3 months of the dissolution of parliament, which has a maximum term of 5 years from the first sitting of parliament, and presidential elections are conducted every 6 years.

The parliament of Singapore is unicameral with 89 seats. Since the legislative assembly election in 1959, the People's Action Party has had an overwhelming majority, and for nearly two decades was the only party to win any seats, and has always formed the government of Singapore.

Parliamentary elections[edit]

From Singapore's independence in 1965 to 1981, the People's Action Party won every single seat in every election held, forming a parliament with no elected opposition MP for almost two decades. In Singapore, opposition politicians and trade unionists were detained in prison without trial before in the 1960s and early 1970s. Many such as Lim Chin Siong, Said Zahari and Lim Hock Siew were accused by the government of being involved in subversive communist struggles. Among them, Chia Thye Poh was detained the longest; he was detained for 23 years without any trial.

From 1984, opposition politicians began being elected in parliament. 2 seats out of 74 seats went to opposition politicians. Subsequently, in 1988, the People's Action Party won 76 out of 77 seats; in 1991, People's Action Party won 77 seats out of 81 seats. In 1997, 2001 and 2006, 2 opposition candidates were elected during each respective parliamentary election. In 1988, former solicitor general of Singapore and opposition politician Francis Seow was also detained without trial. He was later charged with tax evasion but he fled overseas and sought asylum successfully in the United States of America. He was convicted of tax evasion in absentia. Workers' Party member Gopalan Nair also fled Singapore in the 1990s.[1] Dr Catherine Lim argues that a climate of fear hurts Singapore.[2] Prominent opposition politicians bankrupted and/or jailed in the 20th century also include Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam, Tang Liang Hong and Chee Soon Juan.[3]

The campaigning time for elections in Singapore remains very short in the 21st century. The legal minimum campaign time, from when the election is announced to polling day, is nine days. This minimum campaigning time is generally used in Singaporean elections.[4] The announcement of the election follows the announcement of new constituency boundaries.[4]

Walkover rates for parliamentary elections are extremely high when compared to international norms. Since 1991, walkover rates have hovered around 50% for each election until the 2015 Singaporean General Elections when there were no walkovers for the first time in Singaporean election history. The electoral system reduces the chances of opposition representation in parliament with a "winner takes all" system for Group Representation Constituencies[how?]. However, Freedom House has noted that elections in Singapore are technically free of electoral fraud.[5] Throughout the history of the Republic of Singapore, hundreds of politicians have been elected in parliament, of whom majority of unique candidates represent the ruling People's Action Party including surviving stalwarts like Lee Khoon Choy.[6] 12 opposition politicians have also ever been elected into parliament, they include Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam, Chiam See Tong, Ling How Doong, Cheo Chai Chen, Yaw Shin Leong and Lee Li Lian, and also six incumbent candidates from the Workers' Party of Singapore, namely Low Thia Khiang, Lim Swee Lian Sylvia, Chen Show Mao, Pritam Singh, Muhamad Faisal bin Abdul Manap and Png Eng Huat.

2015 general election results[edit]

e • d Summary of the 11 Sep 2015 Parliament of Singapore election results[7]
Parties and alliances Leader Contested seats Divs won Seats won Popular vote % of valid votes +/- % of valid votes in wards contested by party +/-
SMC GRC Divs Total
4m 5m 6m
PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party Lee Hsien Loong 13 6 8 2 29 89 27 83 1,576,784 69.86
Increase 9.72 69.86
Increase 9.72
WP logo variation.png Workers' Party Low Thia Khiang 5 2 3 0 10 28 2 6 281,697 12.48
Decrease 0.34 39.75
Decrease 6.83
SDP logo variation.png Singapore Democratic Party Chee Soon Juan 3 2 0 0 5 11 0 0 84,770 3.76
Decrease 1.07 31.23
Decrease 5.53
NSP logo variation.png National Solidarity Party Sebastian Teo 2 0 2 0 4 12 0 0 79,780 3.53
Decrease 8.51 25.27
Decrease 13.98
RP logo variation.png Reform Party Kenneth Jeyaretnam 1 1 0 1 3 11 0 0 59,432 2.63
Decrease 1.65 20.60
Decrease 11.18
SFP logo variation.png Singaporeans First Tan Jee Say 0 0 2 0 2 10 0 0 50,791 2.25
New 21.49
Spp-logo-2.png Singapore People's Party Lina Chiam 3 0 1 0 4 8 0 0 49,015 2.17
Decrease 0.94 27.08
Decrease 14.34
SDA logo variation.png Singapore Democratic Alliance Desmond Lim 0 0 0 1 1 6 0 0 46,508 2.06
Decrease 0.72 27.11
Decrease 2.95
People's Power Party Goh Meng Seng 0 1 0 0 1 4 0 0 25,460 1.13
New 23.11
SG-GE-2015-IND-HORSE-SYMBOL.pngSG-GE-2015-IND-FLOWER-SYMBOL.png Independents N/A 2 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 2,779 0.12
N/A 10.10
Valid votes 29 89 2,257,016 97.95% of total votes cast
Invalid (e.g. blank or spoilt) votes 47,315 2.05% of total votes cast
Total votes cast 2,304,331 Voter turnout: 93.56% of eligible voters
Did not vote 158,595
Eligible voters (excluding walkover voters) 2,462,926
Walkover voters 0
Electorate 2,462,926

Presidential elections[edit]

Presidential elections have been held since 1993. Under the "Presidential Elections Act",[8] to run for president, one must obtain a "certificate of eligibility" from the Presidential Elections Committee. To obtain this certificate, one must be:

1. a person of integrity, good character and reputation; and

2. has held for at least 3 years a cabinet ministerial post, headed a statutory board, or been a CEO of a company incorporated in Singapore worth over $100 million in paid-up capital, or has equivalent management experience.

Because of the high requirements needed to run for presidential elections, many presidential elections have been uncontested. All presidential elections have been walkovers except for the first one, held in 1993 which was contested by two people, and the 2011 one, contested by four people. The first presidential election was won by Ong Teng Cheong, a former member of the PAP. Subsequent presidential elections in 1999 and 2005 have been won by S. R. Nathan through walkovers.

The 2011 presidential election was contested by Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, Dr Tan Cheng Bock, Tan Jee Say and Tan Kin Lian. All candidates except Tan Jee Say were former members of the PAP, whose closest relation to the party was when he served as then-Deputy Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong's principal private secretary from 1985 to 1990. The election was won by Tony Tan with a margin of 0.34% over Tan Cheng Bock.

2011 presidential election results[edit]

e • d Summary of the 27 August 2011 Singaporean presidential election results[9][10][11]
Candidate Symbol Results
Votes % of valid votes
Tony Tan Keng Yam Spectacles-SG2001-transparent.png 745,693 35.20
Tan Cheng Bock Traveller's palm logo, Singaporean presidential election, 2011.svg 738,311 34.85
Tan Jee Say Heart-SG2001-transparent.png 530,441 25.04
(Loses deposit)[12] Tan Kin Lian Hand-SG2001-transparent.png 104,095 4.91
Valid votes 2,118,540 98.24% of total votes cast
Invalid (e.g. blank or spoiled) votes 37,849 1.76% of total votes cast
Total votes cast 2,156,389 Voter turnout: 94.8% of electorate
Did not vote 118,384
Electorate 2,274,773


A referendum may also be held for important national issues, although it has been held only once in Singapore's political history for the 1962 merger referendum. Calls for a national referendum has been made since then, including the issue over the building of casinos in Singapore.

Earlier 21st Century Elections[edit]

2011 general election[edit]

e • d Summary of the 7 May 2011 Parliament of Singapore election results[13]
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 12.82
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-2.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
Valid votes 87 2,015,636 97.83% of total votes cast
Invalid (e.g. blank or spoilt) votes 44,737 2.17% of total votes cast
Total votes cast 2,060,373 Voter turnout: 93.18% of eligible voters
Did not vote 150,729
Eligible voters (excluding walkover voters) 2,211,102
Walkover voters (all from Tanjong Pagar GRC) 139,771
Electorate 2,350,873
Includes uncontested victories.
* Formerly a constituent party of Singapore Democratic Alliance. Swings reflected are from the SDA's 2006 vote share.

2006 general election[edit]

e • d Summary of the 6 May 2006 Parliament of Singapore election results
Parties and alliances Leader Contested
Seats won Popular vote % +/-
PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party Lee Hsien Loong 84 82 748,130 66.60
WP logo variation.png Workers' Party Low Thia Khiang 20 1 183,578 16.34
SDA logo variation.png Singapore Democratic Alliance Chiam See Tong 20 1 145,628 12.96
SDP logo variation.png Singapore Democratic Party Chee Soon Juan 7 0 45,937 4.09
Total 84 1,123,273 52.03
Spoilt votes 26,727 1.24
Did not vote (contested) 72,884 3.38
Did not vote (walkover) 935,820 43.35
Total voting electorate 2,158,704 100.00
 includes uncontested victories

2005 presidential election[edit]

The Singapore presidential election of 2005 was to be held on 27 August 2005 to elect the president of Singapore. On 13 August 2005, the Presidential Elections Committee announced that Sellapan Ramanathan Nathan was the only candidate that had received the certificate of eligibility, so he was named the next president without election.

e • d Summary of the 17 August 2005 Singapore presidential election results
Candidate Votes
S. R. Nathan Without ballot

More info: Singapore presidential election, 2005.

Past elections[edit]

Legislative Council elections[edit]

Legislative Assembly elections[edit]

Parliamentary elections[edit]

Other elections[edit]

Municipal Commission elections[edit]

City Council elections[edit]

National referendums[edit]

Federal & State elections for Malaysia[edit]

Presidential elections[edit]

Party election[edit]

GE2015 Interactive Graphics[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Nair, Gopalan. Singapore Dissident http://singaporedissident.blogspot.sg. Retrieved 1 December 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Loo, Daryl (14 December 2007). "Climate of fear hurts Singapore: author". The Sydney Morning Herald. 
  3. ^ FreedomHouse. "Freedom of the World 2011 Singapore report". Retrieved 8 June 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Diane K. Muazy and R. S. Milne, Singapore Under the People's Action Party (London, 2002), p. 143.
  5. ^ "Map of Freedom in the World: Singapore (2009)". Freedom House. Retrieved 19 April 2011. 
  6. ^ Ong, Andrea. "Ex-MP and diplomat launches book on multi-ethnic Chinese descendants in SEA". Straits Times. Retrieved 1 December 2015. 
  7. ^ 2015 Parliamentary Election Results, Elections Department, 14 September 2015, archived from the original on 14 September 2015 ; "GE2015: Live Results", The Straits Times, 12 September 2015, retrieved 14 September 2015 .
  8. ^ http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/non_version/cgi-bin/cgi_retrieve.pl?actno=REVED-240A&doctitle=PRESIDENTIAL%20ELECTIONS%20ACT%0A&date=latest&method=part&sl=1
  9. ^ Singapore Presidential Election 2011
  10. ^ Presidential Elections Results. Singapore Elections Department. 28 August 2011.
  11. ^ Polling Day Voter Turnout. Singapore Elections Department. 28 August 2011.
  12. ^ Koh, Hui Theng. "He was outflanked". AsiaOne. Singapore Press. Retrieved 28 September 2012. 
  13. ^ Singapore Parliamentary General Election 2011

External links[edit]