This post is hopefully of informational value to ‘middle ground’ voters that are unhappy with PAP policies but have a serious dilemma in relation to voting for the opposition because of inadvertently denying PAP a simple majority in Parliament.  After all, this seems to be PAP’s latest line of attack after witnessing the WP’s popularity and the resurgence of the SDP.  They are suggesting that they might go out of power (which I believe is statistically improbable.)

Alternatively, you might be, like many of my friends, very keen to vote for the opposition but have doubts about whether the candidates will be able to adequately represent you and effectively debate policies in Parliament.

What I have done here is to eliminate certain constituencies from the analysis altogether.  I consider them to be safe seats for the PAP because of the huge margin of victory that they secured in the last election and the sheer improbability of a large swing against the PAP.  If you are part of the hardcore opposition voter (at least 30% in any given constituency), you would surely vote for the opposition this time around regardless of the candidate.  If you hate the PAP and find that the calibre of opposition is not up to par in your constituency, you would probably spoil your vote as many of my friends have indicated.

Anecdotally, I am aware of friends in Ang Mo Kio GRC, Pasir Ris-Punggol and Radin Mas who have already indicated that whilst they like to vote for the opposition, they do not find the candidates in their constituencies credible enough for them to vote for opposition.  However, the worry that they have is that voting for the PAP may end up increasing the popular vote across the country and the PAP will treat this as a signal that their major policies in relation to population growth, CPF and retirement planning, and cost of living have been endorsed by the people.  There is a need for PAP’s popular vote to reduce for them to get the right message.  It is entirely possible that even if the PAP losing one more GRC in this elections, they will look to the popular vote to say that the people have given a mandate especially of the overall vote shifts in their direction.

I can understand where my friends are coming from and although I don’t like the idea of spoiling the vote, I see why some voters feel that they are left with no other choice.

In this analysis, I have gone through the constituencies that have obtained more than 65% in the 2011 elections. Given the strong PAP candidates with large ground support in those constituencies (like Finance Minister Tharman in Jurong GRC or Teo Ho Pin in Bukit Panjang SMC) and the relative weakness of opposition candidates in other constituencies (like the RP team in Ang Mo Kio GRC or špossibilities for an opposition win.

The following are safest seats for the PAP:parties vote

Bukit Panjang

Hong Kah North

Radin Mas


Ang Mo Kio GRC (6 seats)

West Coast GRC (4)

Jurong GRC (5)

Sembawang GRC (5)

To pull off a win in these constituencies, the opposition would have to hope for a 15% to 20% vote swing.  That’s like a fantasy land prediction and I am placing these constituencies out of the equation.  So, that’s 24 seats in the bag.

Next, let’s look at all the other contested seats in the last election which I have arranged from the closest contest to the widest margin.

Constituencies with the lowest vote shares for PAP in 2011. 

In a previous post that I made before nomination day, I only looked at the constituencies where PAP obtained less than 60%.  However, after nomination day and considering the improved slate of candidates that some of the opposition parties have fielded, I realise that it is not improbable that some constituencies could experience a high vote swing although the national average might hover around 5% to 7%.  In the 2011 elections, certain constituencies recorded a swings as high as 11% to 14%.

So, here is the list of constituencies that can be marked as danger zones for the PAP and as presenting a chance for the opposition.  (Note: I am working on the assumption of WP retaining its current seats and have left those constituencies out.  That is, in itself, a big assumption I am making):

Potong Pasir SMC                                       –              50.36%             –             17,327

Joo Chiat SMC                                             –              51%                    –             22,069

East Coast GRC  (5 seats)                         –              54.8%                –             120,324

Marine Parade GRC (5 seats)                 –              56.6%                –             154,451

Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC (5 seats)          –              56.93%             –             122,492

Tampines GRC (5 seats)                           –              57.2%                –             137,532

Nee Soon GRC (5 seats)                           –              58.4%                –             148,290

Sengkang West SMC                                  –              58.1%                –             26,882

Moulmein-Kallang GRC (4 seats)         –              58.55%             –             87,595

Mounbatten SMC                                        –              58.62%             –             23,731

Holland-Bukit Timah GRC (4 seats)    –             60.08%              –             91,6070

Pioneer SMC                                                 –             60.73%            –             25,745

Choa Chu Kang GRC   (5 seats)             –             61.2%                  –             158,648

Sembawang GRC (5)                                  –             63.9%                  –             142,459

Pasir ris-Punggol GRC (6)                        –             64.79%               –             168,971

Choa Chu Kang GRC, Sembawang GRC, Pasir-Ris Punggol GRC:

Chua Chu Kang GRC 119,931  People’s Action Party Gan Kim Yong
Low Yen Ling
Yee Chia Hsing
Zaqy Mohamad
 People’s Power Party Goh Meng Seng
Lee Tze Shih
Low Wai Choo
Syafarin Bin Sarif
Sembawang GRC 144,672  National Solidarity Party Abdul Rasheed S/O Y Abdul Kuthus
Kevryn Lim
Spencer Ng Chung Hon
Yadzeth Bin Haris
Eugene Yeo Ren Yuan
 People’s Action Party Khaw Boon Wan
Lim Wee Kiak
Amrin Amin
Ong Ye Kung
Vikram Nair
Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC 187,396  Singapore Democratic Alliance Abu Mohamed
Harminder Pal Singh S/O Gurcharan Singh
Desmond Lim Bak Chuan
Lim Tung Hee Arthero
Ong Teik Seng
Wong Way Weng
 People’s Action Party Janil Puthucheary
Ng Chee Meng
Sun Xueling
Teo Chee Hean
Teo Ser Luck
Zainal Sapari

I have gone through the profile of the individual opposition candidates in these constituencies, watched some of their rally speeches online and read about their party platforms.  Both SDA and NSP are unimpressive.  NSP has been in the midst of quite a storm with their decision to contest in MacPherson (causing a 3 cornered fight there) and the resignation of their Sec-Gen. I am sure the voters in those constituencies would not be impressed with either NSP or SDA.  Although the SDA candidates don’t appear good on paper nor in their rally speeches, I understand that they have been ‘working the ground’ in Pasir-Ris Punggol.  I doubt if that alone is going to turn things their way.  Perhaps, it would be an improved performance from the last time.  PPP in CCK is better than SDA and NSP but it appears to be crowded out in terms of the attention that they have been able to generate.  The main buzz has been about WP and SDP.

I am taking Choa Chu Kang, Sembawang and Pasir-Ris Punggol out of the equation.

For the voters here, if you feel strongly about the opposition cause, you will probably vote for the opposition.  I expect that to be about 35% of the voters in these wards.  If you are a middle ground voter that wants to send a signal to the PAP and you are not impressed with the candidates here, you would probably spoil your votes like some of my friends.

Joo Chiat SMC and Moulmein-Kallang GRC:

These two constituencies have been wiped out by the Boundary Review Committee.  Joo Chiat is part of Marine Parade GRC and could affect that GRC adversely.  Moulmein-Kallang has been split up and parts of it come under the newly created Jalan Besar GRC.

The hottest contests within the margin of a 10% swing:

Constituency                                                                 PAP’s %                         Total Voters

Potong Pasir SMC                                       –              50.36%            –             17,327

East Coast GRC  (5 seats) (now 4)           –              54.8%               –             120,324

Fengshan SMC (carved out of East Coast)

Marine Parade GRC (5 seats)                 –              56.6%                  –             154,451

MacPherson SMS (carved out of Marine Parade)

Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC (5 seats)          –              56.93%                –             122,492

Tampines GRC (5 seats)                         –              57.2%                   –             137,532

Nee Soon GRC (5 seats)                          –              58.4%                   –             148,290

Sengkang West SMC                                –              58.1%                   –             26,882

Mounbatten SMC                                      –              58.62%                –             23,731

Holland-Bukit Timah GRC (4 seats)       –             60.08%                –             91,607

Pioneer SMC                                                 –             60.73%                –             25,745

The SMCs in the above shortlist:

(Voter numbers and Candidate names from Wikipedia)

Potong Pasir SMC 17,407  Singapore People’s Party Lina Chiam
 People’s Action Party Sitoh Yih Pin
Fengshan SMC 23,427  People’s Action Party Cheryl Chan Wei Ling
 Workers’ Party Dennis Tan Lip Fong
MacPherson SMC 28,511  Workers’ Party Chen Jiaxi Bernard
 National Solidarity Party Cheo Chai Chen
 People’s Action Party Tin Pei Ling
Sengkang West SMC 30,119  Workers’ Party Koh Choong Yong
 People’s Action Party Lam Pin Min
Mountbatten SMC 24,143  Singapore People’s Party Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss
 People’s Action Party Lim Biow Chuan
Pioneer SMC 25,458  People’s Action Party Cedric Foo Chee Keng
 National Solidarity Party Ong Beng Soon Elvin

Lina Chiam has done a very good job in Parliament over the last 4 years.  I did a comparison between her and Sitoh Yih Pin on their record in terms of Parliamentary speeches and she has risen to speak 83 times in comparison to Sitoh’s 39 times.  Although there were doubts about whether she was the right candidate for Potong Pasir in 2011, she has proven herself worthy over the last 4 years in Parliament.

Dennis Tan in Fengshan is a strong candidate for the Workers’ Party and this new SMC might well have been carved out of East Coast GRC to save that GRC.  I suspect that Fengshan was the weakest link in East Coast GRC.  PAP for its part has fielded a new candidate deviating from its usual habit of fielding new candidates in a GRC.  Fengshan is a possible win for the opposition.

Tin Pei Ling in MacPherson is likely to be strong and the 3 cornered fight may split the opposition vote (although I don’t see the NSP candidate garnering more than 5%).  I’ll put this down as a PAP win.

Both Sengkang West and Mountbatten require an 8% swing.  This is going to be quite difficult.  I haven’t kept a close watch on the Sengkang West contest although the WP candidate there is quite credible and could shave off a few percentages.  Jeannette in Mounbatten has run a very visible campaign and appears to have worked tirelessly during this campaign period.  Mountbatten is a battle of the lawyers.  Between Sengkang West and Mounbatten, I think Mountbatten stands a better chance of going to the opposition.  I wouldn’t be surprised, however, if the PAP retains both seats.

Pioneer SMC?  NSP? Forget it.  This one will stay with the PAP.

Best case scenario for opposition:  4 new SMCs

Most likely outcome:  2 new SMCs

The Shortlisted GRCs

As for the GRCs, after considering the profile of the candidates, I believe that the most viable opposition candidates are in the following GRCs:

(Voter Numbers and Candidate Names are from Wikipedia)

East Coast GRC 99,118  Workers’ Party Gerald Giam Yean Song
Daniel Goh Pei Siong
Mohamed Fairoz Bin Shariff
Leon Perera
 People’s Action Party Lee Yi Shyan
Lim Swee Say
Mohd Maliki Bin Osman
Tan Soon Neo Jessica
Marine Parade GRC 146,244  People’s Action Party Fatimah Binte Abdul Lateef
Goh Chok Tong
Seah Kian Peng
Tan Chuan Jin
Tong Chun Fai Edwin Charles
 Workers’ Party Firuz Khan
He Ting Ru
Ng Foo Eng
Terence Tan
Yee Jenn Jong
Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC 129,975  People’s Action Party Chee Hong Tat
Chong Kee Hiong
Ng Eng Hen
Saktiandi Supaat
Josephine Teo
 Singapore People’s Party Law Kim Hwee
Long Yaoguang, Don Bryan
Mohamad Abdillah Bin Zamzuri
Mohamad Hamim Bin Aliyas
Benjamin Pwee
Holland-Bukit Timah GRC 104,491  Singapore Democratic Party Chee Soon Juan
Chong Wai Fung
Md Sidek Bin Mallek
Paul Anantharajah Tambyah
 People’s Action Party Christopher de Souza
Liang Eng Hwa
Sim Ann
Vivian Balakrishnan

The WP candidates in East Coast and Marine Parade GRCs and the SPP and SDP candidates in their respective GRCs will be a welcome addition to Parliament.  I believe that they will improve the quality of debate in the new Parliament.  Hopefully, voters think likewise and deliver them the seats.

I am discounting all the other GRCs because of the combination of candidate quality and the swing required.

Tanjong Pagar (5 seats) is an unknown element and the SingFirst team there is a dark horse.  Don’t write them off.  Marsiling-Yew tee (4 seats) is a new GRC and the voter dynamics there is unclear.  If SDP’s resurgence sweeps through that GRC, they might win it there as well.

Best case scenario for opposition:  East Coast, Marine Parade, Bishan-Toa Payoh, Holland-Bukit Timah, Marsiling-Yew Tee, Tanjong Pagar. = 27 seats

Most probable outcome:  A win for WP in the 4 member East Cost GRC.

In Summary

Best case scenario for opposition:  31 new seats from 6 GRCs and 4 SMCs + the retention of the 7 current WP seats = 38 out of the 89 Parliamentary seats.  This will deliver a simple majority to the PAP and prevent them from making constitutional amendments without consensus from other parties.  This would be a fair development for Singapore as a whole.

Most probable outcome:  6 new seats from 1 GRC and 2 SMCs + the retention of the 7 current WP seats = 13 seats

My personal wish:

East Coast GRC, Marine Parade GRC, Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC and Holland-Bukit Timah GRC should go to the opposition and for the SMCs, Fengshan, Potong Pasir, MacPherson and Mountbatten should go to the opposition in addition to the current 7 seats making it a total of 29 seats in Parliament.