Punggol East Single Member Constituency (SMC) could be swallowed up by nearby Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs) or be transformed into a GRC in its own right, according to political observers who are awaiting the release of the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC) report.
The EBRC, which is responsible for carving up the electoral wards, typically decides on the minimum and maximum number of voters per parliamentarian through a formula in which it divides the total number of voters by the existing number of Members of Parliament (MPs) and giving a variation of up to 30 per cent.
This means that each MP in the next election should represent about 20,000 to 38,000 voters. Punggol East is one of the largest SMCs by voter population and is edging close to the maximum voter capacity with 35,477 voters.
Observers speaking to the Straits Times have predicted that the SMC could be swallowed up by the surrounding GRCs.
Political observers have noted that Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC could be divided into two since its voter count exceeds the maximum limit for a six-member GRC and have speculated that Punggol East could join the smaller GRCs that could be created if the ward is carved up.
Punggol East SMC is not seen as a ruling party stronghold – in 2013, the Workers’ Party (WP) won the ward in a by-election. The People’s Action Party (PAP) wrested the ward back with a slim margin – 51.77 per cent of votes – in the 2015 General Election.