Singaporeans gave the People’s Action Party (PAP) its biggest endorsement since 2001, with the ruling party winning nearly 70 per cent of the popular vote, recapturing the single-seat of Punggol East and making inroads in almost all constituencies – including the Workers’ Party-held ward of Aljunied Group Representation Constituency (GRC) where the contest came down to the wire.
With all 89 seats being contested for the first time since Independence, the PAP captured 83 seats. This included 12 out of the 13 Single Member Constituencies (SMCs), traditionally considered easier targets for the Opposition.
The ruling party received more than 70 per cent of the vote share in 15 out of the 29 electoral divisions – with Jurong GRC (79.28 per cent), Ang Mo Kio GRC (78.63 per cent) and West Coast GRC (78.57 per cent) the top three performers.
The WP retained Aljunied GRC with a narrow 50.95 per cent of the votes. It also successfully defended Hougang SMC with 57.69 per cent of the votes, a dip from its 2012 by-election result of 62.1 per cent.
In an open letter to Singaporeans, Mr Lee, who is the Secretary-General of the People’s Action Party (PAP), thanked citizens for their strong support and said the election results “reflect the will of the people”.
“Parties that proposed to slash our defence budget or provide free healthcare were defeated decisively,” he said. “Our rallies may have been less exciting than the Opposition’s, but you understood what was at stake and stood with us.”
The ruling PAP received 69.86 per cent of the popular vote, an increase of almost 10 percentage points from its share in 2011. It also swept 83 out of the 89 seats contested.
“In 2011, I promised you that we would deal with the issues that concerned you – housing, health, transport, foreign workers. We did,” Mr Lee said.
In the wake of this election, the Government will continue on “the new way forward” – more inclusive focus on social needs, especially for the elderly and the disadvantaged, and more involvement by citizens, he said.
The Government has also heard the desire for diverse voices in Singapore’s politics, and will “heed it while staying true to its fundamental principles”, he added.
Mr Lee also said that the election was a major step forward for the PAP’s leadership renewal. “Joining Heng Swee Keat, Chan Chun Sing, Lawrence Wong and Tan Chuan-Jin from the last batch are Ng Chee Meng, Ong Ye Kung, Chee Hong Tat and Amrin Amin in this round.”
With the hustings over, it is now time for Singaporeans to unite and work together, he said. “There is a seat at the table for every Singaporean who wants to build our future. Come join us. Let’s get to work, together.”