The fluid transition of power within the Workers' Party would gratify its leaders, cadres and supporters as this generally confers stability and legitimacy to the renewal process adopted by a party. Dramatic change would not dovetail with the perspective of outgoing secretary-general Low Thia Khiang, who puts the party (once led by Mr David Marshall and Mr J. B. Jeyaretnam) above a party icon. "If a party is driven only by strong personality, then the party is very shallow," Mr Low declared in a WP book. "You need to build a team and an organisation."
In his measured, down-to-earth and shrewd way, Mr Low quietly built up a sufficient following to help the party win a group representation constituency in 2011. It was a victory that academic Derek da Cunha called "the most important electoral development in Singapore in at least one generation". That was mostly because Aljunied GRC is "almost a microcosm of Singapore", whereas Mr Jeyaretnam's breakthrough win in the Anson by-election of 1981 was fuelled by specific constituency issues which the opposition had exploited.