IN one of the most surprising outcomes in Friday's general election (GE), the defending People's Action Party (PAP) team in East Coast GRC emerged head and shoulders above the challengers from the Workers' Party (WP). Market pundits and bookies had predicted the contest for the four-member GRC would be one of the closest in the election. In the end, the PAP team garnered 60.73 per cent of votes - against WP's 39.27 per cent share.
In his victory speech, PAP's East Coast GRC leader, Manpower Minister and former labour movement chief Lim Swee Say thanked residents for their friendship. "We value the time we spent together in the last four and half years. And we look forward to spending even more time with you in the next five years.
"For those who did not vote for us, we are sorry that our best effort has not met . . . your expectations but we promise you we will improve and do better the next time round. It has been a great privilege for us to serve you in the last four and a half years and we look forward to do even better, to work even harder to care for you, to care with you, to care for East Coast and to care for Singapore."
Thanking supporters, volunteers from the PAP East Coast branches and the labour movement, Mr Lim added: "It was a tough battle. Without you we would not be here this evening, standing."
The PAP's winning margin marks an improvement over the party's 54.83 per cent vote share against WP for East Coast GRC in the 2011 GE. That score made it the worst-performing GRC that won in that election. In the 2006 GE, PAP had garnered 63.86 per cent of votes for the GRC. For this year's election, the electoral boundaries of the East Coast GRC were redrawn with the Fengshan ward carved out. A total of 90,528 valid votes were cast on Friday, of which 54,981 went to PAP.
Besides Mr Lim, the other members of PAP's East Coast GRC team are Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and National Development Lee Yi Shyan; Minister of State for National Development and Defence Mohamad Maliki Osman; and two-term backbencher Jessica Tan.
The WP team was headed by Gerald Giam, a Non-Constituency Member of Parliament in the previous parliament and who also contested the East Coast GRC in the 2011 GE. The other members of the WP team are first-time candidates sociologist Daniel Goh; research and consultancy firm CEO Leon Perera; and former librarian Mohamed Fairoz Shariff. Mr Giam is an IT solutions architect.
At a rally speech on Wednesday night, WP chief Low Thia Khiang credited the East Coast candidates as the main architects behind his party's election manifesto. Despite their defeat, the WP team thanked supporters this morning.
PAP also managed to improve its winning margin for the six-member Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, clinching 72.89 per cent or 125,021 of the 171,529 valid votes - against the opposing team from Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA). In the 2011 GE, PAP bagged 64.79 per cent of votes, against SDA's 35.21 per cent.
In the latest GE, the defending team from the PAP was led by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean; his team members are Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck; union leader Zainal Sapari; senior medical consultant Janil Puthucheary; former defence force chief Ng Chee Meng; and Sun Xueling, an investment director at Temasek Holdings.
In his victory speech, Mr Teo said: "Thank you very much for putting your confidence and faith in us once again. We will continue to work with you, to build an even better Pasir Ris Punggol. We will work with you whether you have voted for us or not, and hope we will be able to win you over."
The SDA team comprised Desmond Lim, an engineer in a telecommunications firm; Harminder Pal Singh, CEO of a coaching company; filmmaker Arthero Lim; sales director Ong Teik Seng; quality assurance manager Wong Way Weng; and PKMS president Abu Mohamed.
- PAP racks up landslide win, takes 83 out of 89 seats
- PAP wins bigger than expected with the silent majority's backing
- A stunning outcome, a moment to reflect
- WP support wanes amid swing to PAP
- Sample counts prove their worth in GE2015
- WP retains Aljunied by the skin of its teeth
- SDP shut out in Holland-Bukit Timah
- PAP takes Marine Parade with 64% of votes
- Major vote swing
- PAP's Cheryl Chan wins Fengshan SMC
- WP retains Hougang with smaller 57.7% vote share
- Charles Chong regains Punggol East for PAP in close contest
- PAP wins MacPherson with 65.6% of votes
- PAP's Sitoh retains Potong Pasir with firm win over SPP's Lina Chiam
- PM's team enjoys 9.3-point jump in votes
- Solid wins for PAP in Tanjong Pagar, Jln Besar, Radin Mas
- PAP retains 3 strongholds with larger margins
- PAP teams in north-west widen victory margins
- PAP sets the record in Jurong GRC with blistering 79.3% win
- PAP keeps Tampines GRC with 72% of votes
Follow our Singapore General Election coverage online at bt.sg/ge_15