A video teaser published by the Workers’ Party suggests that Nicole Seah may be among its slate of candidates for the upcoming election, which is set to take place on 10 July.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that Singapore will be going to the polls in early July at 4pm yesterday (23 June). Moments later, the WP put up a 15-second video clip entitled ‘GE2020: Coming Soon’ featuring 12 party members, sparking speculation that these 12 members may be among its candidates for the impending election.
33-year-old Ms Seah was among the 12 members who were featured in the teaser. The former National Solidarity Party (NSP) member drew intense national popularity when she was fielded as a candidate for Marine Parade GRC in the 2011 General Election.
Ms Seah, who was only 24 years old then, was pitted against the ruling party’s candidate for the ward, Tin Pei Ling who was only a few years older than Ms Seah was. While Ms Tin’s selection as a candidate sparked great backlash since she was perceived as immature, Ms Seah won people’s hearts as she came across as intelligent, well-spoken and personable on the campaign trail.
The young opposition candidate was so popular that the Straits Times referred to her as a “rockstar” while Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong – the anchor politician for Marine Parade GRC – noticed how Ms Seah was front and centre of the opposition’s campaign for the five-seat ward. Ms Seah grew so famous that the NSP was even dubbed the ‘Nicole Seah’ party.
Despite her tremendous popularity, Ms Seah and her team lost Marine Parade GRC to the incumbents with a notable vote share of 43.35 per cent. Mr Goh Chok Tong, Singapore’s immediate-past Prime Minister, said he had expected better results for the ruling party and cited Ms Seah as a factor for the NSP’s good showing at the polls.
Ms Seah resigned from the NSP in 2014. She has been volunteering with the WP for the past few years. Since at least 2017, she was spotted participating in WP walkabouts in East Coast GRC and at door-to-door food distribution exercise in areas the WP has expressed an interest in.
The WP member’s appearance in the party’s latest video has given rise to speculation that she may be fielded as part of the WP’s team in East Coast GRC.
The WP is planning to contest just four Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs) and one Single Member Constituency (SMC) and field a contingent of 20 candidates, according to party members who spoke to the Straits Times on the condition of anonymity.
Insiders say that the party – which is the only opposition party which is currently elected into Parliament – will contest Aljunied GRC, East Coast GRC, Marine Parade GRC, the new Sengkang GRC and Hougang SMC.