SINGAPORE, July 9 — The People’s Action Party (PAP) is most likely to retain power in the Singapore General Election tomorrow, but whether it will maintain its super majority in Parliament will only be known after the polls.
This rests in the hands of 2.65 million people who will cast their ballots between 8am and 8pm tomorrow at 1,100 polling stations in the 31 electoral divisions.
The PAP won 83 of the 89 seats contested in the last general election in 2015, with the Workers’ Party taking the remaining six seats.
In this election, there are 93 seats at stake. Winning 47 seats will be enough to give the PAP a simple majority to form the new government.
PAP has called on the people to give it a strong mandate to sail through the crisis triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic that has affected not only Singapore but also the whole world.
The party has outlined its plan in its manifesto, particularly on retaining and creating jobs while restarting the economy as the impact of Covid-19 wanes, and how to keep Singaporeans and migrant workers safe, and prevent Covid-19 from overwhelming the republic’s healthcare system.
In the election, PAP is up against two main rival parties this time around, namely the Workers’ Party and the newly formed Progress Singapore Party (PSP).
All eyes are on the six seats last held by the Workers’ Party as well as the West Coast GRC (group representation constituency) where PSP leader Dr Tan Cheng Bock, 80, is standing.
The GRC partly covers his former area of Ayer Rajah, which he represented as the PAP Member of Parliament from December 1980 to May 2006.
Will his popularity sway the votes? It is noteworthy that Dr Tan contested the 2011 presidential election, but lost by 0.35 per cent of the votes to the eventual winner Dr Tony Tan.
As the election is being held during the Covid-19 pandemic, all 11 contesting parties are having a fair share of the virtual campaigning.
Voters have unlimited access to the respective parties’ views to decide whom to vote for tomorrow.
The Workers’ Party has fielded 21 candidates in six constituencies while PSP has 24 candidates in nine.
Other political parties, namely the Singapore Democratic Party, Peoples Voice, National Solidarity Party, Reform Party, Singapore People’s Party, People’s Power Party, Red Dot United and Singapore Democratic Alliance have each fielded a small number of candidates.
The sole independent candidate is contesting in the Pioneer SMC (single-member constituency), the only SMC that sees a three-cornered fight in this general election.
The other three-cornered fight is in the Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC. — Bernama