Since People's Action Party (PAP) member Michael Palmer resigned from the PAP due to his extramarital affair, Punggol East Single Member Constituency (SMC) was left without a Member of Parliament (MP). Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has since said that he would carefully consider when to call for a by-election in the ward.
The New Year has come and gone and there’s still no word on when the by-election will be held. For the opposition parties, this is good news because for the PAP, the time is now! Like I said before, I believe the PAP would be favorites for the ward but if they want to have the best chance for the win, I truly believe that the PAP will want to have the by-election as soon as possible.
My reasoning is simple. The PAP needs to have the election before the opposition get their house in order. The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), The Reform Party and the Worker’s Party have all said they intend to contest in the Punggol East SMC. That is at least a 3-way spilt on the opposition side of the election and the by-election could go as high as a 5-way contest.
This is a chance the PAP should take advantage of.
The longer the PAP waits, the more time the opposition has to engage in horse-trading and the more chance there will only be one candidate against the PAP. For the PAP, in the case of the by-election in Punggol East SMC, it’s a case of the sooner, the better.