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GE2020: PAP's Sun Xueling beats WP's Tan Chen Chen in Punggol West SMC

PAP’s Punggol West SMC candidate Sun Xueling chatting with a resident at a foodcourt in Punggol Place on July 3.

Workers' Party Punggol West SMC candidate Tan Chen Chen, chairperson Sylvia Lim and party Secretary-General Pritam Singh interacting with the public at a coffeeshop in Punggol Way on July 3.

SUN Xueling of the People’s Action Party clinched 60.97 per cent of the votes for the newly carved out Punggol West SMC, successfully defending her seat against newcomer Tan Chen Chen of the Workers' Party (WP) who secured 39.03 per cent.

A total of 25,649 valid votes were cast, of which 15,637 went to PAP’s Ms Sun and the rest to Ms Tan. There were 216 rejected votes.

Punggol West SMC, formerly part of the Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, is home to many young voters with families. The ward has been helmed by Ms Sun, who first stood in the 2015 elections.

Ms Sun, who is the Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs and National Development, turned 41 on Polling Day.

Her opponent Ms Chen, 38, is a contracts administrator and trained quantity surveyor. She became a volunteer with WP after the 2015 General Election.

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Eugene Tan, associate law professor at Singapore Management University, said that he expected a "tough" fight in the SMC, due to the strength of WP as an opposition party. But he said that Ms Tan's performance was "not a bad result" for a first-timer.

“However, if WP had fielded a member like Nicole Seah, that may have left a stronger impression on voters,” he mused.

Both Ms Sun and Ms Tan narrowly missed a three-way fight, as Peoples Voice (PV) party leader Lim Tean had previously said that the party intended to compete in Punggol West. PV did not field a candidate in the end.

This could be seen as a move to prevent the loss of the election deposit of S$13,500. A three-cornered fight ups the risk of a loss -  nominees have to secure at least 12.5 per cent of the votes, otherwise the sum is forfeited.

In 2015, PAP won Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC with 72.89 per cent of the votes while the Singapore Democratic Alliance took a 27.11 per cent share.

The team comprised of then-Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, Teo Ser Luck, Zainal Sapari, Janil Puthucheary, Ng Chee Meng and Ms Sun.

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