SINGAPORE - Ms Tin Pei Ling, of the People's Action Party (PAP), romped home to victory for the second time in MacPherson SMC, sweeping up 71.74 per cent of the votes in a battle against the People's Power Party (PPP) secretary-general Goh Meng Seng.
Mr Goh, 50, is the sole PPP candidate in this election.
Ms Tin, 36, improved on her 2015 showing when she defeated two opposition challengers - Mr Bernard Chen of the Workers' Party (WP) and National Solidarity Party's (NSP) Cheo Chai Chen. She had garnered 65.58 per centof the votes in the three-cornered fight for the single-seat constituency.
She looked poised for a win when the sample count showed her leading by a significant margin of 73 per cent to PPP's 27 per cent. And win she did, with 18,983 votes.
Asked if she had expected to win by such a large margin, Ms Tin said: "I never had any expectations. I'm just very, very grateful for the support that voters of MacPherson have given me.
"Ten years ago they they graciously accepted me and they have given me this opportunity to walk this journey with them. I cherish this and want to work even harder.
"We will be back in action very very soon... There's a lot cut out for us in the time ahead, so it's not quite the time to celebrate but to refocus on helping our residents overcome this very difficult period of time."
Ms Tin's first foray into politics was in 2011, when she was elected in Marine Parade GRC, which was then led by Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong.
At age 27, she was then PAP's youngest candidate and came under harsh criticism online for her youth and inexperience in politics.
In the 2015 general election, PAP fielded her in MacPherson SMC, which had been hived off from Marine Parade GRC in the 2006 election. She went on to defeat the two opposition challengers in a three-cornered fight, winning 65.58 per cent of the votes.
In this latest election, Ms Tin had focused her campaign on caring for the community and improving the estate to make it not just a place but a home. Taking her campaign online, she held Facebook Live sessions almost every night and engaged residents in dialogues and e-rallies.
Her plans for MacPherson SMC, which has 28,564 registered voters, include sprucing up common spaces and supplying clean energy at half the price for 100 lower-income households.
Mr Goh, who secured 28.26 per cent of the votes, had focused on local issues such as introducing more covered walkways, building a community hospital and improving the wiring of old Housing Board flats. He also raised the issue of asset enhancement of HDB flats, arguing that the flats in MacPherson, one of the oldest estates in Singapore, was facing diminishing value.
Speaking to the media outside Kong Hwa School after the sample count, Mr Goh said that it was difficult to engage the elderly residents as many of them don't use social media, which was his main rallying platform in light of Covid-19 restrictions.
This will be Mr Goh's last contest in a general election but he said he will work to expand his party and hopes to form an alliance with other opposition parties.