SINGAPORE (July 16): Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) was duly returned with a supermajority following general elections on 10 July 2020. Yet there was some cause for disappointment as it suffered an 8.7 ppt loss in vote share since 2015 to capture just 61.24% of the votes -- it’s second-lowest in its history. Still, with the Covid-19 pandemic deepening traditional economic concerns about labour market conditions and cost of living, Singapore’s next government will be looking to deliver on its election promise of providing “jobs, jobs, jobs”.
Oxford Economics analyst Sung Eun Jung observes that the PAP’s vote share has trended downwards since 2001. While 2015 saw it gain a crushing victory with 69.9% of the valid votes, that election was widely regarded to be an exceptional one following the celebrations of Singapore’s 50th year of independence celebrations and the death of its first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew. GE2020 was perhaps the natural continuation of this prevailing trend.
Despite gunning for every one of Singapore’s 93 parliamentary seats, the PAP lost three political office holders in a four-member Group Representative Constituency to the opposition Worker’s Party. This is only the second time since independence that an opposition party has managed to win one of these “super-constituencies” and sees the greatest amount of opposition representation in parliament since independence with 10 elected Worker’s Party (WP) MPs and two appointed non-constituency MPs (NCMPs) from the Progress Singapore Party (PSP). Nevertheless, retaining a supermajority means that the PAP’s mandate to govern remains relatively stable.