Home News SG Economy Dr Chee's peformance in Bt Batok shows opposition support intact

Dr Chee's peformance in Bt Batok shows opposition support intact




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By: 永久浪客/Forever Vagabond
Last year’s GE2015 was a seen as the beginning of a downhill path for opposition parties, with large swings of votes going against the oppositions in the whole of Singapore.
In GE2011, PAP’s votes was 60.1% but in GE2015, it improved against opposition votes by a massive 9.8% to hit 69.9%.
Everyone at first, couldn’t comprehend what had happened. Even the PAP camp themselves were genuinely surprised by the great swing supporting them.
Slowly, various analysts and polls began to unravel the mystery with regard to the super-performance by PAP in the last GE. One of the notable polling done to help explain PAP’s big win last year came from the research firm Blackbox Research.
GE2015 big win due to LKY effect
Many political analysts have concluded that PAP’s big win in GE2015 was a one-off event.
Blackbox Research managing director David Black commented that in particular, the death of Singapore’s first PM Lee Kuan Yew was found to have a significant “multiplier effect” (http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/ge15-result-apparent-well/2490094.html).
Surveys conducted by Blackbox after GE 2015 found that the SG50 “feel good” factor and Mr Lee’s death were the two most-cited answers from respondents who were asked why they thought more people voted for the PAP compared with GE 2011.
“(Mr Lee’s death) had a multiplier effect. There was never really any doubt the PAP was going to get maybe the same (vote share) or above what they had the last time, but it was the kind of super-boost (or) adrenaline that was added that got them that much further,” said Mr Black.
Still, despite the strong mandate for the PAP, two-thirds of respondents indicated that a change in government was possible in the next five decades, Blackbox added.

Dr Chee’s peformance in Bt Batok by-election comparable to WP’s in Punggol East

Now, let’s compare apple to apple, the by-elections of Punggol East in 2013 and Bt Batok yesterday, both triggered by the infidelity of PAP MPs.
In theory, Bt Batok’s by-election will be seen as a tougher constituency to gain votes for opposition. Firstly, the voters in Bt Batok are much older than those in Punggol East because Bt Batok is a very old mature estate. The elderly will tend to have more affections for PAP because of the difficult times they have gone through after post-WWII in the 50s and 60s. For them, they see that lives have improved under the PAP if one is to compare Singapore now and the Singapore in the 50s or 60s.
Then there is the backdrop. Punggol East by-election came after GE2011 when sentiments against the ruling party was still bad. Bt Batok by-election came just on the heel of a successful GE2015 when the PAP scored a victorious 69.9%. Also, Punggol East by-election was about 1.5 years after GE2011 whereas Bt Batok by-election came just 8 months after last GE, with things still fresh in the same group of people’s minds.
Another point to note is that Punggol East by-election was contested by WP, which has a much better branding than SDP at the moment. And the results?
[Punggol East]
GE2011 (33,281) – PAP 54.5%, WP 41.0%
BE2013 (31,649) – PAP 43.7%, WP 54.5%
PAP lost 10.8%
WP gained 13.5%
[Bt Batok]
GE2015 (27,077) – PAP 73.0%, SDP 26.4%
BE2016 (25,727) – PAP 61.2%, SDP 38.8%
PAP lost 11.8%
SDP gained 12.4%
So, even though Dr Chee lost in yesterday’s by-election, but if one was to compare the results of both by-elections, Dr Chee’s performance is comparably good. It is also noted that the 38.8% garnered by Dr Chee is already a much better result than SDP’s averages in the last 2 GEs, including GE2011:
[SDP average]
GE 2011 – 36.8%
GE 2015 – 31.2%
More importantly, Dr Chee’s result has assured opposition supporters that the 40% general support for the oppositions is still intact.
Whatever it is, one thing is for sure. Yesterday’s by-election result shows that the “LKY effect” is already gone and PM Lee can’t count on his father anymore to help him in GE2020.

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