Thursday, September 17, 2015

GE2015 - My own analysis on Opposition's Loss

GE 2015 is finally over, with PAP winning close to 70% of the votes, getting back Punggol East SMC, and reducing PW's winning margins in Aljunied GRC. Many prominent people have given their opinion on why the PAP had this landslide win. Here is my own 2 cents worth on why the opposition did not do well this time.

First of all, opposition parties' strategic goal and action plan did not tally. Right from the beginning it was clear that the opposition parties did not aim to take over the government, but just wanted to increase the numbers of opposition MP's in the parliament. WP said it clearly, and the fact that each opposition party only contest less than 30 seats confirmed this. However, opposition parties ended up contesting all 89 seats available in the parliament. This created a theoretical chance that the PAP might be voted out of the government. Under this scenario, the voters who still want PAP to form the government but want some opposition voices in the parliament (I dare to say that there are a large number of voters in this group) was put in a precarious position. The fear that PAP might lose power would have cause them to think twice before casting their votes.

Analysing the voters' psychology, there are mainly 3 groups of them. Perhaps 30~40% (don't hold me for the estimated numbers) are diehard PAP supporters, 20~30% opposition supporters, and remaining are voters whose votes can be influenced. This group of people, if you ask them frankly, will want PAP to continue to be in power, but may want more opposition voices in the parliament. The chance of a freak result scares them. The social media's publication on the massive turnout at oppositions' rallies reinforced the fear. Then came the "bookies' prediction list" before the polling day, which said that the PAP would lose this or that GRC and SMC further aggregated the fear. Could this has been the mean cause to the vote swing towards the ruling party?

Imagine the opposition had only contested 44 seats - effectively sending PAP back in power at nomination day. Would there be a by-election effect similar to the by-election, where Ah Lian won Punggol East SMC 2 and half years ago? There is no "if" in life and we will never find out, but it is worth a thought, isn't it?

There are surely other causes for the win. I think the result from GE2011 has sent PAP a strong signal and they have since done plenty of remedial work. Government has been more responsive since the last election (whether it is due to the presence of opposition MP's in parliament, I reserve my comment). Many policies have been implemented to help the needy. PAP has done tremendous ground work to approach the people. Pioneer generation, SG50 goodies, plus the passing of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, all these had worked in favour of the ruling party in my opinion. On contrary, the town council saga and how the WP handle it didn't work well for them.

To make the timing perfect, we have the economy slowdown in China and the region, political turmoil in our neighbour countries, immigration crisis in Europe...... Who would want another political crisis in SG?

Disclaimer: I am no political analyst, nor am I affiliated to any political party. The above is just me thinking aloud.


Low Paul said...

hi sanye,

i don't follow politics, but find what you said makes sense.

for me and I think for most, stability is the most impt, whichever or whoever becomes the ruling party.


Sanye ◎ 三页 said...

Hi Paul,

Thanks for dropping by.

I blogged about this after reading some analysis from well known names, which are mostly coming from the rational points of view. I feel that people don't vote solely base on rational thinking, but emotion plays an important role as well.

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