GE2015: PAP wins Marine Parade GRC with 64.1 per cent of votes

The Marine Parade PAP team: (from left) Dr Fatimah Lateef, ESM Goh Chok Tong, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Mr Seah Kian Peng and Mr Edwin Tong, during a media doorstop outside PAP branch office after visiting residents of Marine Parade GRC at 50A Marine Terrace
The Marine Parade PAP team: (from left) Dr Fatimah Lateef, ESM Goh Chok Tong, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Mr Seah Kian Peng and Mr Edwin Tong, during a media doorstop outside PAP branch office after visiting residents of Marine Parade GRC at 50A Marine Terrace on Sept 6, 2015. PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

SINGAPORE - The People's Action Party (PAP) has won Marine Parade GRC with 64.1 per cent of the votes.

Their opponents from the Workers' Party got 35.9 per cent of votes cast.

The PAP's five-member slate comprises anchor minister Tan Chuan-Jin, 46, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, 74, Mr Seah Kian Peng, 53, Dr Fatimah Lateef, 49, and Mr Edwin Tong, 46.

The WP team is formed by Mr Yee Jenn Jong, 50, Ms He Ting Ru, 32, Mr Dylan Ng, 40, Mr Firuz Khan, 48, and Mr Terence Tan, 44.

Marine Parade GRC saw a total of 134,250 valid votes cast.

Along with neighbouring East Coast GRC and Fengshan single-member constituency (SMC), it was billed as one of several wards in eastern Singapore which could see fierce competition from the WP.

Addressing supporters, Mr Tan said: "Our focus will always be on our people, our nation that we love, and we will never lose that focus."

He added: "Whatever happens tonight, let us come back tomorrow as one."

ESM Goh said: "Dear Singaporeans, the people have spoken... They have given a very strong mandate to PM and his team."

The mandate has enabled Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to carry on his plan to build a fourth-generation team, he added.

In his concession speech, Mr Yee said: "We tried very hard, and although Marine is not yet in blue, we believe one day it will."

In 2011, Marine Parade was the second poorest-performing GRC - after East Coast - for the PAP, polling 56.6 per cent of the votes against a National Solidarity Party that had star candidate Nicole Seah in its ranks.

Its MacPherson division, believed to be one of the better performers in the last election, was subsequently carved out as a single-seat ward under the redrawn electoral boundaries.

In turn, it absorbed Joo Chiat SMC, which saw a tight battle between Mr Yee and veteran PAP politician Charles Chong. Mr Chong won by a mere 388 votes.

The PAP team also opted not to stage an election rally in Marine Parade during the nine days of campaigning, as Mr Tan said it was "not effective" in engaging with residents directly.

A key area of focus for Mr Tan and his team has been winning over private estate residents, with many expressing their desire for more upgrading programmes. About 52 per cent of the voters in the GRC live in private housing.

Joo Chiat SMC, in particular, has some 22,000 voters residing in landed property and condominiums.

Mr Tong, who left Moulmein-Kallang GRC to take over from Mr Chong, spent much of his time on the ground getting to know the residents in his ward.

They were also facing a WP line-up noted for the calibre of its candidates, which included Mr Yee, a Non-Constituency MP, and two lawyers, Ms He and Mr Tan.

Mr Yee had repeatedly pledged that his team would self-manage the Marine Parade Town Council if elected. Building a strong community spirit and helping vulnerable residents also ranked high on their agenda.