Punggol East by-election: Workers' Party wins Punggol East

Workers' Party candidate Lee Li Lian has won the Punggol East by-election handsomely at the second time of asking.

Returning Officer Yam Ah Mee announced the results a short time ago at North Vista Secondary School in Punggol East.

The vote share of the candidates in the four-cornered fight is as follows:

-Ms Lee Li Lian (WP): 16,038 votes

-Dr Koh Poh Koon (PAP): 12,856 votes

-Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam (Reform Party): 353 votes

-Mr Desmond Lim (Singapore Democratic Alliance): 168 votes

The results marks a significant swing against the PAP since the General Election in 2011. Two years ago, former Speaker of Parliament Michael Palmer won the seat with 54.54 per cent of the vote.

Ms Lee's vote share tonight improved from 41 per cent then, as concerns from opposition supporters that a multi-cornered fight might dilute the anti-PAP vote proved unfounded.

Both Mr Lim and Mr Jeyaretnam did not get enough votes to retain their $14,500 election deposit. They each needed to secure at least 12.5 per cent of the valid votes.

The win shifts the balance in Parliament slightly. The PAP now has 80 seats while the WP has seven.

For some, the WP victory today had been on the cards since the seat became vacant after the disgraceful exit of former Speaker Michael Palmer last month.

Lingering unhappiness over issues like immigration and transport continue to plague the Government and the major policy announcements over the past few weeks clearly did not sway public opinion.

The WP also seems to have picked up momentum since their historic win in Aljunied GRC two years ago and it is clear that a desire for a strong opposition voice is a tide that might prove difficult for the PAP to reverse.

Both the WP and the PAP are expected to hold press conferences shortly.

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