The Workers’ Party (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.
The party contested double the number of wards in the 2015 General Election, when it stood in 10 constituencies. Sources say that the WP leadership’s narrower focus this time around is to consolidate the party’s position in the east.
The WP has apparently decided against contesting Nee Soon GRC, Jalan Besar GRC and Macpherson SMC while the remaining wards it contested – Punggol East, Sengkang West and Fengshan – no longer exist as single seats and have been absorbed into other GRCs.
While the party introduced 16 fresh faces among the 28 candidates it fielded in the last election, insiders say that the slate of candidates this time around will include fewer newcomers.
The WP has held Hougang SMC for nearly 30 years, since 1991. It won Aljunied GRC in the 2011 General Election, making history for being the first opposition party in Singapore’s history to win a GRC. The WP also won the Punggol East SMC by-election in 2013.
The party did not fare as well in the 2015 General Election. The ruling party saw a significant swing towards it that year and the WP lost its Punggol East SMC seat and held on to its Aljunied GRC and Hougang SMC with a vote share of 50.96 per cent and 57.69 per cent respectively. /TISG