Singapore’s one-party-dominant system, which has been in place since 1959, remains dynamic and robust. Citizens took part and voted for the Singapore General Election on 11 September 2015. Election results were surprising. The incumbent, People’s Action Party (PAP) returned to power, won its best results since 2001, and regained its electoral dominance from the previous election in 2011. It was an unexpected blown away for the opposition parties as it was expected for the opposition’s presence in parliament to improve. Worker’s Party, the most successful opposition party in Singapore suffered too as many voters feared that it might outperform itself to the detriment of the ...view middle of the document...
It was also the year the Singapore’s ruling party PAP recaptured its electoral dominance at Singapore’s 13th General Election held on 11 September 2015.
Many expected a watershed election. It was foreseen that the ruling party, People’s Action Party would win the election but it was also predicted that the opposition parties’ performance will improve based on the past performance of the incumbent and opposition parties. Figure 1 shows the performance of the various parties in the last general elections.
Figure 1- Ruling party and opposition parties’ performance in the last 5 general elections
However, swings against the opposition parties were significant in General Election 2015 which left many stunned. Therefore, the focus of this essay is to analyse and understand how the ruling party achieve its landslide victory despite declining support in the past two general elections.
Singapore General Election 2015
The General Election held on 11 September 2015 is a unique election, history was made as it is the first election since Singapore’s independence with all 29 constituencies contested. Most of the seats were contested between two parties, with the only three-cornered fights occurring in three Single Member Constituencies (SMC). General Election 2015 assumes added significance on a number of counts. A generational leadership transition, a longstanding preoccupation of the People's Action Party, has been flagged as a key concern, with the next prime minister likely to be drawn from the MPs picked by voters on Sept 11. GE 2015 is a referendum on the future as it is the first election in the post-Lee Kuan Yew era.
Singapore General Election 2015 Results
Out of the 89 seats contested, the People’s Action Party (PAP) won 83, with the other 6 seats won by The Worker’s Party. PAP got a resounding 69.86 percent of the total valid votes, an increase of 9.76% from the previous election in 2011 (GE2011), and took back one constituency from the Workers' Party (WP) in the 2015 General Election (GE2015) held on 11 September. The Workers' Party (WP) retained Aljunied GRC, but with a far slimmer vote margin than in 2011. Figure 3 shows the final score of the various parties that took part in the general election in 2015.
Figure 3- Final score of the political parties in GE 2015
Figure 4- 2011 General Elections 2011 Results compared to General Elections 2015 Results
This result increased the PAP’s seats in parliament by two. More importantly, there was a 9.7% swing in favour of the PAP compared with the 2011 general election. The 2015 results were the best for the PAP since 2001 when it captured 75.3% of the valid votes. The PAP even won back the Punggol East SMC that it had lost to the WP in the 2013 by-election. All the opposition parties suffered a dip in their results as shown in figure 3, especially in comparison with the 2011 election results. GE2015 was held shortly after the nation celebrated its 50th birthday and a few months after...