THE ruling People's Action Party (PAP) retained its Bukit Batok parliamentary seat when its candidate, Murali Pillai, won the by-election there on Saturday night.
The 48-year-old lawyer secured 61.21 per cent of the valid votes, with his only opponent, Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) secretary-general Chee Soon Juan, getting 38.79 per cent.
The by-election's Returning Officer, Energy Market Authority chief executive Ng Wai Choong, announced the results at 11.28pm, about three-and-a-half hours after the polls closed at 8pm.
The final margin didn't come as too much of a surprise. Earlier in the evening, at about 9.25pm, the Elections Department revealed the sample count results that showed Mr Murali in the lead with 61 per cent.
The sample count result was derived from a random batch of 100 ballot papers from each of the nine polling stations in Bukit Batok.
Mr Murali's victory means he will become a member of parliament (MP) for the first time. He was formerly part of the PAP's five-member team that narrowly lost to the Workers' Party in Aljunied at last year's general election.
The Bukit Batok seat was vacated in March after the PAP's former MP David Ong resigned amid allegations of an extra-marital affair.
"I will start work tomorrow. I have outlined my plans, there must be time for some reflection, I'm eager to build on the team:" PAP's Murali— Lee U-Wen (@LeeUwenBT) May 7, 2016
The MP-elect for #bukitbatok, PAP's Murali Pillai, has just started his press conference after winning the seat with 61.2% of the votes.— Lee U-Wen (@LeeUwenBT) May 7, 2016
Bukit Batok voters have chosen an MP who is committed, trustworthy, and will go the extra mile for you: PM Lee Hsien Loong #bukitbatok— Lee U-Wen (@LeeUwenBT) May 7, 2016
PAP's Murali Pillai will be holding a press conference to speak about his by-election victory in a matter of moments. #bukitbatok— Lee U-Wen (@LeeUwenBT) May 7, 2016
"I am so touched, so honoured. This doesn't quite feel like a defeat. I want to congratulate Mr Murali on his victory": SDP's Chee Soon Juan— Lee U-Wen (@LeeUwenBT) May 7, 2016