Monday, September 14, 2015

Results of GE 2015

3 days after after General Election (GE) 2015, a few things can be gleamed from the results.

1) Preparation is everything.
Since the start of the year, the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) has been throwing goodies at Singaporeans like there's no tomorrow. Everything from Road Tax rebates to Pioneer Packages has been thrown at Singaporeans, and it worked!

2) Lee Kuan Yew is still a factor
A ruthless political operator who led Singapore to independence, Mr. Lee led the PAP to decisive victories in every election since the 1968 general elections, and he died this year in March. Singaporeans withstand 7 hours waiting lines to pay their respect to the man at his wake, and his death played a big part in the PAP victory this year. The sympathy was clearly with the PAP this year and that's not something the PAP usually has. He may be gone, but Mr. Lee Kuan Yew has left his mark on Singapore and his influence is not going away anytime soon.

3) Rally size means nothing
I have told many people that the number of people at political rallies means nothing in Singapore and I like to think the results this year show me to be right. The thing is the sheer domination of the press by the PAP. Most people has no access to the opposition outside election time, so when election season comes around, Singaporeans go to the rallies to hear them speak. That's why the size at opposition rallies is so big. It however does not mean the people at the rallies will vote the opposition. It is two different things.

4) The Worker's Party (WP) are on the rise
I know it may not look that way after the results of GE 2015, but I thought the WP did great this GE. There's a 10% swing against the opposition, but the WP still managed to hold on to the 6 seats they won in 2011. The only seat they lost was in Punggol East which they won in a by-election in 2013 and even then, the PAP only won that by a 2% margin. Compare that to the rest of the opposition, that's great.

5) Tan Hui Hui have a political future
In Singapore, people running as independents don't usually do well. Samir Salim Neji got just 0.6% of the vote in Bukit Panjang running as an independent. Tan Hui Hui, running in Radin Mas, got over 10%! For an independent, that's an amazing result. Ms. Tan was energetic and more importantly, she has a cause she firmly believes in. If you saw her posters around Radin Mas, you will her face on the posters along with #RETURNOURCPF below it. That seems to have resonated with voters. If Ms. Tan is willing to join a political party (one willing to raise the CPF issue) and come back for the next GE, she will have a good long political future.

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