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PAP retains Ang Mo Kio with 71.91% of votes
The People's Action Party (PAP) has won Ang Mo Kio group representation constituency with 71.91 per cent of votes.
The PAP team, helmed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, received 124,430 votes. The team comprises Gan Thiam Poh, Darryl David, and first-time candidates Ng Ling Ling and Nadia Ahmad Samdin.
They faced a Reform Party (RP) team comprising party chairman Andy Zhu, secretary-general Kenneth Jeyaretnam, Charles Yeo, Darren Soh and Noraini Yunus, which won 48,600 votes. There were 5,009 rejected votes.
In the 2015 General Election, the PAP won Ang Mo Kio - then a six-member GRC - with 78.63 per cent of the vote against the RP.
A PAP win in Ang Mo Kio GRC, which has been held by PM Lee since its formation in 1991, was widely expected. Back in 2015, Ang Mo Kio was the second best-performing GRC won by the PAP. The best performing GRC was Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam's Jurong GRC, which won with a whopping 79.3 per cent five years ago.
This year, the PAP vote share fell by 6.72 percentage points - in line with the broad trend of declining vote share seen in other PAP wards as well.
PM Lee's popularity on social media and on the ground has been a key factor in winning over voters. He has promised that if PAP wins the wards of Ang Mo Kio GRC, Yio Chu Kang SMC, and Kebun Baru SMC, all three constituencies would be run together under a single town council.
On the other hand, RP had encouraged voters during its campaign to "vote in a way that visibly records your frustration", by highlighting its pet causes such as diminishing leases of ageing flats and Central Provident Fund matters.
Ang Mo Kio is the largest electoral division in terms of population with 185,465 voters. This election, the GRC was reduced to five seats after Yio Chu Kang SMC was carved out from the ward, and it absorbed part of the now-defunct Sengkang West SMC.
Political analyst Eugene Tan, an associate professor of law from the Singapore Management University, said the approximately 5,000 rejected votes in the GRC "seems a little on the high side". Coupled with the dip in PAP's vote share, albeit still a better performance than other PAP wards, he expects that Mr Lee would likely be "somewhat disappointed".
"(This is) because he has fought this election asking for a strong mandate, and I wonder whether the voters have shown some reservations." He noted that there may also have been concerns about who would succeed Mr Lee in leading the GRC when he steps down, given that Ms Ng and Ms Nadia are first-timers, and this is only Mr David's and Mr Gan's second and third time contesting in an election, respectively.
But while PAP likely expected a better performance after releasing four generous budgets to Singaporeans, he said: "I don't think we should read the results as Singaporeans being somewhat divided." He added that the ruling party probably needs to examine what has contributed to this performance and will have some "soul searching" to do in the days ahead.
Conversely, RP saw an improvement in its vote share. This is likely something they would be happy with, Mr Tan said, given that Mr Jeyaretnam was not able to campaign on the ground because of his mandatory 14-day stay home notice after returning from the United Kingdom where he was visiting his son.
Indeed, Mr Jeyaretnam seemed to be in a better mood compared to during the GE in 2015 - calling his party's results "respectable" in an interview.
After the results were announced, Mr Lee thanked voters for their support, as well as party activists and volunteers who helped his team in the campaign.