Saturday, September 12, 2015

Status Quo

With the results of the General Election (GE) in, many Singaporeans say saying this was a great election for the ruling People's Action Party (PAP). On paper, it seems that way as the PAP got more votes than they did in 2011 when they won with 60% of the popular vote.

There's only 1 problem with that belief. In Singapore, the popular vote doesn't matter.

In the 2011 GE, the PAP won 81 seats with the opposition, Worker's Party (WP), winning the other 6. You look at the results yesterday and you see the PAP winning 83 seats with the WP winning the other 6. So in 2011, the PAP lost 6 seats with 60% of the vote. In 2015, the PAP lost 6 sets with 69.86% of the vote. I don't see that as a great result for the PAP.

The only seat the PAP gained yesterday was the one in Punggol East which the PAP also won in 2011. The WP only got the seat in a 2013 by-election and the seat was always in danger when the PAP announced that veteran Charles Chong is going to put off retirement to contest the seat. Even then, he won with just 51% of the vote. You take things as they are and you will understand why WP chief Low Thia Khiang said he was satisfied with his party's performance.

For the WP, there's no change! The results in 2015 mirrors those in 2011. Yes, the PAP got more votes this time but again; that does not matter! Singaporean obsessed over the vote count but in Singapore, it is the number of seats you win that's important and in that count, the WP did as well in 2015 as they did in 2011.  

The end results of GE 2015 is this; there is no change. The PAP got more votes but did not get more seats than they did in 2011. This is a status quo election. 

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