Votes cast overseas largely mirrored voting pattern here

Returning Officer Ng Wai Choong (behind, wearing tie) looking on as the Workers' Party's (from right) Mr Yee Jenn Jong, Mr Redzwan Hafidz Abdul Razak, Ms Lee Li Lian, Mr Dennis Tan, party chairman Sylvia Lim and Mr Png Eng Huat observed the counting
Returning Officer Ng Wai Choong (behind, wearing tie) looking on as the Workers' Party's (from right) Mr Yee Jenn Jong, Mr Redzwan Hafidz Abdul Razak, Ms Lee Li Lian, Mr Dennis Tan, party chairman Sylvia Lim and Mr Png Eng Huat observed the counting process for overseas votes yesterday.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

More than 3,400 Singaporeans abroad cast their votes in the Sept 11 General Election, and their voting patterns largely mirrored that of citizens here, except in single- seat Hougang.

Mr Lee Hong Chuang of the People's Action Party (PAP) received 22, or almost 60 per cent, of the 37 votes cast for Hougang, which the Workers' Party (WP) defended successfully.

The votes cast at 10 overseas polling stations were counted in Singapore yesterday, said the Elections Department (ELD) in a statement last night. It said that 3,415 Singaporeans voted, out of the 4,868 who registered as overseas electors.

There were 52 rejected votes.

In a close fight where the local votes are inconclusive, the result for an electoral division will be deferred until the overseas votes are counted.

But it was not the case this year as all the winning margins in the 13 single-member constituencies (SMCs) and 16 group representation constituencies (GRCs) were clearly higher than the total overseas votes for each of the constituencies.

The PAP won 71.34 per cent of the valid overseas votes cast.

But these votes did not make a difference to its overall vote share, which remains at 69.86 per cent.

Looking at overseas votes alone, two other hot SMCs besides Hougang also saw very narrow margins between the rivals.

In Punggol East SMC, winning PAP candidate Charles Chong received 20 votes against 17 for the WP's Ms Lee Li Lian.

And in Fengshan SMC, PAP candidate Cheryl Chan, the winner, received 19 votes versus 18 for the WP's Mr Dennis Tan.

Meanwhile, in Aljunied GRC, which was won by the WP, the PAP scored 107 overseas votes, or 46.9 per cent, to the WP's 121.

Among the three-cornered fights, two candidates received no votes. They are independent candidate Samir Salim Neji in Bukit Batok SMC and National Solidarity Party candidate Cheo Chai Chen in MacPherson SMC.

And Ms Han Hui Hui, who contested in Radin Mas SMC as an independent, had one vote.

The counting took place at the ELD Training Centre in Victoria Street. The total number of votes cast - including local, overseas and rejected votes - was 2.31 million, or 93.7 per cent of the registered electors.

The WP's Mr Yee Jenn Jong, whose team lost in Marine Parade GRC, attended the counting session.

He later posted on his Facebook page: "While we know that the number of overseas votes is too small to affect the outcome of the elections, making a trip (to the counting centre) is our gesture to acknowledge those who made the special effort to vote from afar."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 16, 2015, with the headline 'Votes cast overseas largely mirrored voting pattern here'. Print Edition | Subscribe