GE2020: Most opposition parties see gains in vote share

A total of 10 opposition parties had contested, the most in any general election since independence.
A total of 10 opposition parties had contested, the most in any general election since independence.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

While the Workers' Party created history by taking two group representation constituencies, and the new Progress Singapore Party (PSP) did well enough to win 40.85 per cent of valid votes for the 24 seats it contested, smaller parties rode the wave of opposition sentiment to better-than-expected results in Friday's election.

A total of 10 opposition parties contested the July 10 election, the most in a general election since Independence.

Of the smaller parties that contested 10 seats or fewer, the National Solidarity Party (NSP) made the biggest improvement from the 2015 election as it upped the percentage of valid votes in constituencies it contested from 25.27 per cent to 33.15 per cent.

Capitalising on the People's Action Party's (PAP) deployment of Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat to East Coast GRC, the NSP increased its vote share in Tampines GRC from 27.94 per cent to 33.59 per cent.

Similarly, in Sembawang GRC, NSP's vote share rose from 27.72 per cent to 32.71 per cent.

The Reform Party (RP) also improved its vote share in the two constituencies it contested, with 28.09 per cent of the vote share in Ang Mo Kio GRC, up from 21.37 per cent, and 25.97 per cent in Radin Mas SMC, up from 12.71 per cent in 2015.

Addressing voters, RP chief Kenneth Jeyaretnam said: "Of course, we are up against the Prime Minister, so there's a reason why no other party wants to fight Ang Mo Kio, but we've proven that RP is a party of substance."

At Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, Singapore People's Party (SPP) leader Steve Chia was encouraged by how his four-man team collected 32.74 per cent of the vote share, up from 26.41 per cent in 2015. In Potong Pasir SMC, SPP's Jose Raymond got 39.31 per cent of the vote share, improving on Mrs Lina Chiam's 33.59 per cent five years ago.

Not all opposition parties improved on their 2015 performance though. The Singapore Democratic Alliance, led by Mr Desmond Lim, saw its vote share in Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC dip from 27.11 per cent to 23.67 per cent.

Its job was made harder as the Peoples Voice (PV) made it a three-cornered fight there.

PV's team lost its election deposit as it secured 12.18 per cent of votes, short of the 12.5 per cent required to get the deposit back.


People's Power Party (PPP) chief Goh Meng Seng moved to MacPherson SMC, but could not prevent PAP's Tin Pei Ling from extending her winning vote share.

Mr Goh received 28.26 per cent of the votes. Still, it was an improvement on the 23.11 per cent that the four-member PPP team he led in Chua Chu Kang GRC obtained in the 2015 election.

PV contested in two other constituencies and managed to trim the PAP's winning vote share in Jalan Besar GRC by 2 percentage points. The team led by leader Lim Tean got 34.63 per cent of the votes against the PAP team lead by Manpower Minister Josephine Teo.

However, in Mountbatten SMC, PV candidate Sivakumaran Chellappa received 26.16 per cent of the votes against the PAP's Lim Biow Chuan.

The newest political party, Red Dot United, picked up 25.38 per cent of the votes in PAP stronghold Jurong GRC.

In Pioneer SMC, independent candidate Cheang Peng Wah lost his election deposit as he won only 2.78 per cent of the votes, far short of the 12.5 per cent threshold needed to retain the deposit.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 12, 2020, with the headline 'Most opposition parties see gains in vote share'. Subscribe