The General Election on 11 Sept had drawn to a closed and a new chapter of Singapore beings. PAP and won a surprise landslide victory with a vote swing of around 10%. It’s surprises many, even from the PAP camp. Let look at the factors that causes this landslide victory.
1. Too Many Opposition Parties
A total of nine opposition parties took part in the GE 2015 against PAP. The general feeling is for the opposition to claim victory which was not happening. A lot of people are afraid that PAP will be toppled and the future is uncertain if Opposition won the election. The considerations mainly is, if opposition was to win the election, with so many parties involved, who will be the Prime Minister, who will be the Minister. With each party want the best for their party, this might cause a turmoil for Singapore. This is the major fear factor Singaporeans had when they go to the polling station.
2. Election Strategies
PAP had been using the town council as their firing tools while the opposition parties are using mainly: 6.9 million population white paper, asking Government to return the CPF to citizens at age 55, alternative policy paper, medishield life.
So what went wrong for the opposition parties on election strategies?
On the ground, is majority of citizens really against 6.9 million population white paper? Maybe, what citizens are looking forward to, what are the solution to be offered if they vote against the white paper! Apparently, non of the parties really offer ideal solutions as citizen are afraid of economy downturn which will affect their rice bowl.
Next, return of CPF at age 55! Are majority of the citizens wanting to withdraw their CPF money when they turn 55? The citizens are more concerned about their retirement than taking their money out. The majority of the money in OA account is being used for Housing and Education for their children which left little for them to retire with sufficient money. The opposition parties had not touch on this at all!
Alternative policy – while this is a good initiatives, but do citizens concerned about what you are going to offer? No! the reason is very simple, your party are not big enough to form the government even all your members are elected into the parliament. At most, citizens will treat it as alternative solutions for the government to consider.
Medishield Life – A good initiatives by the government but the drawback is the cost of insurance is rather high. Wanting the citizens to reject it without any ideal solution is crazy especially the high cost of medical in Singapore which the citizens are more worried about.
Do the parties engage people to do survey on what is the real concerned they have? Using parties member to engage the citizens will not enable you to get the true picture.
All these issues raised by the opposition parties compare to PAP firing at Town Council, Citizens would rather choose the latter as they are the government before election.
3. Internal and Inter-parties Issues
Internal fighting within the party itself, and disagreement between parties which usually happened when the election is near. This is very damaging to the parties involved and it will serve any help to the opposition cause.
4. Parties Supporters
Opposition Supporters should support and encourage whichever party to contest in their constituency. Instead, they went about smearing, laughing at the parties and worst wanting a specific party to go and contest there. In the opposition unity, it actually create chaos within the party contesting there as they had to do firefighting first and derailed their preparation. It also gives swing voters more doubts about the party.
It’s nothing wrong in supporting whichever party you like. But contesting an election requires lots of financial and logistic support which the party might not able to support them.
5. Swing Voters
This election saw a huge increase of swing voters, swing voters are the strong forces behind each election. In order to win the election, the party must convinced them before they were to vote for you. Sadly, opposition parties are fighting gorilla warfare against PAP which they are not interested in. They want what kind of benefit, security for them and their family.
The election results never lie, it’s clearly that the opposition parties had played their cards wrongly in this election. It might be a wakeup call for all the parties to rethink and prepare for their next election!