Monday, May 09, 2011

Election Numbers : What they tell us...


1. The PAP had 60.1% of the votes lowest since 1966. The last time it was this low was elections 1991 when the PAP had 61% of the votes. 1991 was Goh Chok Tong's maiden election as PM. From the chart showing PAP's % of votes, a few things - first there was a very large 10% swing against the PAP in 1984 and the next 2 elections in 1988 and 1991 % votes kept falling. The 1984 plunge was due to one really extreme eugenics based idea by Lee Kuan Yew known as the "Graduate Mother's Scheme". Under this scheme, graduate moms would be give all sorts of benefits such as priority for their children for primary school entry etc. Ordinary Singaporeans found this hard to accept and voted against it. In the 1991 elections, when % votes fell to a new low, Goh Chok Tong attributed the loss of support to his soft "consultative style" (no kidding!). He then increase the % votes  for the PAP by linking votes to upgrading in the 1997 and increasing the GRC sizes. The 60.1% of the votes that PAP probably underestimates the loss of support for PAP policies because many people voted for the PAP due to upgrading carrots. In 1991 when Goh Chok Tong's team got 61%, there was no upgrading.

3. The opposition had 39.9% of the votes but only 6.7% of the total seats. Four out of 10 Singaporeans did not vote for the PAP are represented by 6 out 87 MPs. The averaging effects of the GRCs produces this kind of under-representation of people who don't support the PAP. Still the results yesterday is far better than the one we got in 2006 when we have 2 out of 87 MPs representing the 33% who voted against the PAP.

2. WP took 46.6% where they contested, followed by SPP's 41%. WP's branding did make a difference. The WP ran a well coordinated campaign. They addressed voter issues systematically with a detailed manifesto and speeches were very well prepared and delivered at rallies. They ran a very clean campaign seizing the moral high ground right from the start. On thing is clear is the electorate does not like negative campaigning. Harsh attacks on the WP manifesto, Chen Show Mao, Tan Jee Say etc bombed badly. In the last elections, the PAP attacked the WP 2006 manifesto calling it full of "time bombs and poison" - one of those "poison" ideas was the reform of the GRC system something most people think is very clearly needed after this election. That attack didn't win any votes. I'm surprised the PAP did it again. Name calling, threats ("you will regret") and smear campaigns tend to backfire because the electorate is educated and today we have the social media that neutralises propaganda and gimmicks. The SDP made also made huge gains this time because it had a good marketing with the "Its about you" concept.  The things that work are getting good candidates, having a well coordinated campaign with good ideas, treating voters with respect and fighting a clean fight.

3. SM Goh team got only 56.6% of the votes.  The last time Marine parade was contested SM Goh's team had 72% of the votes. SM Goh was running a 1990s campaign taunting his opponents arrogantly calling them "no ideas" and so on. In the 1990s when the PAP was still popular, the upgrading carrot and propaganda was working well, the PAP could carry out these attacks and actually win votes. SM Goh forgets he is in a different world today. Nicole Seah who incidentally is in advertising handled the media extremely well and took every opportunity to portray herself as a champion for the downtrodden, overworked Singaporean and could show herself to be some who can empathise with them. SM Goh's support was also brought down by his own creation, the GRC. Having Tin Pei Ling on his GRC team was a big negative - ironically TPL was in charge of PAP's social media.

4. PM Lee improved his vote share to 69.3% Well shows that it really pays to be humble. I think there were many undecided voters that were won over by his apology. You  may think it is insincere or too late, but the simple fact that he realised that he needed to apologise tells voters that the PAP is not completely lost. The change of opponents from WP to less established RP also help him to secure more votes this time.

5. Voter turnout of 93% is the lowest in history In places where the people have not voted for a long time e.g. the absence is close to 10%. Some people may have forgotten that they need to vote. 25% my office did not vote because the people were overseas.

In my opinion,  the best election strategy the PAP could have adopted was to take on a more humble apologetic tone to give the people some hope that change is coming and they are sincere. The PAP instead executed a very different strategy for a large part of the campaign e.g. they denied housing problems existed by saying it is still affordable.  At the end of the day, they were rescued from disaster by the "silent majority" that still support the PAP simply because things are generally working in Singapore although many things have gotten worse the idea of a govt change is just too drastic for most Singaporeans who are risk averse and will play it safe. Another loss of 6% of votes in future elections even the "silent majority" cannot rescue the PAP from a massive loss of parliament seats.

PAP's ideology - state corporatism + elitism + authoritarianism - is a longer term problem. Unless the PAP repositions itself closer to the middle of the political spectrum by implementing balanced policies, it will see long term erosion of support. Their problem is not just an image problem. The WP has shifted itself from the left to the middle - moving away from a completely socialistic approach, it is not organising labor unions to go on strike, it is asking only for re-nationalisation of the transport and not of all sectors. The PAP is positioned too much to the right. It tells the populace to accept the "free market outcomes" as it pursues GDP growth - income gap, rising cost of living, stagnant wages etc It expects the populace to be resilient and intervenes only in the worst cases of poverty. However, it is time for the PAP to go back and ask itself more fundamental questions : "What is the purpose of GDP growth if it does not benefit as a many Singaporeans as possible?". When the free market is not producing the outcomes you want, you have to intervene sufficiently to deliver the quality of life to your people. Telling people they deserve what they get simply because these are free market outcomes will not be acceptable to a growing number of people - they will see their own situation more as a result of PAP policies because it is not the same in other developed countries where govts have intervened in a different way.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

This election could be a chance for Singaporeans to take control and send a really strong signal to PAP about the government we want. Instead, it's baby steps for the opposition. We could have been in control, now it's waiting for PAP to change. I hope I'm not wrong, PAP's record for changes is not very positive.

Anonymous said...

I think the spike in 2001 was due to 9-11 right?

Anonymous said...

Lucky, closer to the truth.
But not there yet.

Anonymous said...

Click on the link to find out how votes are considered unacceptable

http://yawningbread.wordpress.com/2011/05/08/counting-agent-me/#

Anonymous said...

Hmm, PAP's ideology isn't really free market capitalism. Its more state corporatism / neo-mercantilism, where it massively intervenes with its power to cultivate select industries which it thinks will help Singapore's economy.

Witness its intervention to cultivate the biomedical market, which hasn't been very successful.

And if their ideology was free market capitalism, you will have seen private bus operators emerging en masse to solve the peak hour congestion problems with dedicated routes between office and industrial areas to residential areas.

Instead, they are still trying to 'reform' the transport system. Makes me laugh really.

Alan Wong said...

MM was hardly in any humble apologetic tone today.

Imagine telling people to go back to their ancestral country. It is damn real insulting for a Minister of his stature to say it. Only the Umno radicals would dared to use this kind of insults against their fellow Chinese and Indian across the causeway.

And not only that. Telling us opposition voters that we can rot in hell for the next 5 years for all he cared. That is simply downright wicked and evil.

Really hope he should repent for the rest of his remaining days, instead of still harping and relishing on his past glories.

What an evil man, that is.

Anonymous said...

The big question for me is, what is lesson is PAP taking away from this election result. If their aim is to take back all the constituencies lost to the opposition by going back to the bad old days suing and bankrupting opponents, then the future of the country will be very bleak.

However, if they are able to overcome the old mindset that all politicians work for the good of the country and PAP does not have a monopoly of good ideas and good people and, the Parliament could do with more alternative voices, we could be moving down a new path of nation rebuilding.

Remains to be seen which path they will choose in the next five years.

The said...

/// 4. PM Lee improved his vote share to 69.3% Well shows that it really pays to be humble. ///

The apology might or might not be a factor. Too little, too late. It is the gerrymandering that did the trick - pack AMK with friendly voters.

Anonymous said...

I was shocked! marine parade.. at first sight the uneven competition was startling.. a senior with international exposure, a doc and a general vs a 24 yr old and her rag tag team of wet behind the ears newbies...

does that close shave make sense?

Anonymous said...

"Still the results yesterday is far better than the one we got in 2006 when we have 2 out of 87"



Hi, a correction there. In 2006 there are 84 seats. This time the seats are increased to 87.

Anonymous said...

The PAP leaders are now talking about change but with the MM still around, nothing much will change. He IS the biggest obstacle to any change. Hope the PAP realise this.

Anonymous said...

I am really worried for the next 5 years. I shudder to think what they will implement for the next 5 years. Many people do not understand the changes in the Constitution and the policies that will impact our lives greatly.

Take for example, a number of us will not understand the issues the affordability of housing until one is ready or needed to purchase one. The present policies have a lot of problems and I think they are the tip of an iceberg.

Top of my mind of the policies that will affect the people of 35 years and below age group;

CPF Life
Influx of Foreign Labour
Housing Policies
Economic priorities

I think the present economic policies by the ruling government are not sound and will present many problems.

In a nutshell, I really wonder how Tharman is going to raise the wages of the populace to a level that will enable the ordinary beings to lead a life that is fulfilling and meaningful.

Of course, we could always advocate the values of being tough and resillient. When humans do not have a choice, we can just lead a life of three meals and work while a selected talented few continued to reap millions at our expense.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Lucky

Looks you will still refuse to see.
Insanity.

Its all about logistics.
PAP has the best. WP distant 2nd. The rest were pitiful.

If the opposition base their strategy on your analysis, I assure you the opposition (outside of WP) will get 0 seats in the next election.

On 2nd thought, pls join NSP/SDP, etc and stay far far away from WP.


Cassandra

Anonymous said...

The FT policy must be the one that will sink the PAP if it is not addressed. The ruling party wants us to be compete, even our school going children and they themselves do not need competition, very ironic. After this GE, we can expect my culling within the ruling party and the opposition being able to attract more quality members. It is good for S'poreans.

Anonymous said...

S'pore started with immigrants. After 40yrs we were more or less harmonise as a society with all races. Now the last 5 - 10 yrs dey brought in so many foreigners tat now it's no longer in harmony. With them converting to citizens, god knows will we ever achieve harmony again. Change can only happen if forced. It will never happen as long as LKY is around. Only when as the US prof. said the system will follow him to his grave will there be hope of change.

Anonymous said...

i cannot believe mbt is still around. cannot believe we have to pay him 2-3m a year to mess up housing here.

Anonymous said...

i grc and i smc, i think opp lose big time. singaporeans are too gullible.

Anonymous said...

i do not believe that the election department is not under the control of papaya.

Anonymous said...

the dark lord continues to rule and will bring in another 2m. singaporeans deserve to live in a first world country but third world condition.

Anonymous said...

///The apology might or might not be a factor. Too little, too late. It is the gerrymandering that did the trick - pack AMK with friendly voters.///

PM Lee didn't apologise. He just feel sorry to his Good policy which minority don't understand it.

PAP also didn't promise not to increase GST for the next 5 years. It just no reason to inrease for the next 5 years. Please wake up!!

Anonymous said...

A few days before polling day, they suddenly remember that they have to serve the people. It took them 5 years, from the last election, to remember.

Now election is over, I bet they forget that they have to serve the people. Their arrogant attitude have been groom overtime. Unfortunately, the result from this election is not enough to shock them to reality.

But it is still a step improvement for the Worker Party. Ole to the Worker Party. I hope more capable people will join them toward a truly First Class Paliament.

Anonymous said...

Did not the PM gerry-mandered AMK GRC by redrawing its electoral boundaries? Correct me if I'm wrong.

Also, with 60% of the votes, in what way has the Mentor Minister been an effective mentor?

It's seems with MM, the incumbents has been losing.

Anonymous said...

If things are so bad as some claimed, and yet PAP can score 60%, that means for sure they will continue to win in future lah.

Anonymous said...

singaporeans are plainly, just daft.

Anonymous said...

Election Numbers: What they tell us ... "

The numbers tell us that Singaporeans are just plain daft.

This is a democracy.

So we get the government we deserve.

"A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves."
-- Bertrand de Jouvenal


The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."
-- Frederick Douglass

Anonymous said...

I went to woodlands polyclinic for dental appointment and they told me that i have to wait till next year as the slots were all fully booked. Can you fucking believe that? I asked them, is it because of these foreigners...and they told me yes. Now i end up with an appointment in HOUGANG polyclinic for August.

Our polyclinics will be even more overcrowded than you can imagine.

We should have another election. As I like to vote against them one more time. Another 5 years of damage is too long.

With 40% of Singaporeans who voted against them being given less than 8% of a voice in parliament, this is what I called A FREAK ELECTION OUTCOME.

Anonymous said...

"If things are so bad as some claimed, and yet PAP can score 60%, that means for sure they will continue to win in future lah. "

Not if the people realise in time that the GRC system is loaded and heavily weighted.

IN the next election, $700 is not enough to buy my vote.

Nor is redrawing the electoral boundaries.

But rest assure, they're go back to the basics of propaganda 101 with the MSM.

Anonymous said...

The root problem of Singapore is the unsustainable one-party political system that resulted in no accountable and transparent government. Policies are not debated properly in parliament and in fact people have no say or very little say on policies. The whole country is actually run by a small group of elites. What people complained like HDB prices, cost of living, etc are just the symptoms and not the root cause.

The disturbing facts are: our national pledge is just aspiration; NS is not important; poor quality MPs or ministers get through backdoor via GRC, party interests before national interests. How could Singaporeans accept these rubbish?

Unfortunately, most Singaporeans are daft and do not understand the big picture. Let's see what PAP will do for Singaporeans. I do not believe PAP will change at all.

Vote PAP said...

When you earn very little and recieve "free" cash from the Gov, you would be very happy.

It is this group of people that will vote for PAP.

Whe you are in your 60s & 70s, and do not understand politics and national issues are not easily understood, but you recieve "free" cash, you would be very happy. More reason for you to return with thanks by voting the familiar brand that helped you from dense housing to 22nd floor housing with wonderful breeze and view.

It is this group that will vote the PAP.

Do not blame them, they see only tommorrow not 5 years.

Anonymous said...

Singapore's one-party system is honestly not sustainable in the long run at all. 5 to 10 years from now, and various problems will start to emerge as well with healthcare costs, transportation and living costs, the structure of healthcare itself, and even the system of education and employment(including productivity). The one thing I noticed all along even when here in Singapore is simply that it is assumed that more work equates greater productivity, but actually in reality, it can also mean lesser productivity if it is not efficient or effectively producing as much. Tan Jee Say was also right in his argument in some sense when he said that excessive reliance on foreign workers is a uniquely Third World practice that Singapore has not weaned itself out of, and invariably, it might lead to greater problems with structural unemployment as an issue here in Singapore, beginning with Singaporeans going to be ousted out in favour of foreign workers in time to come here. 900,000 is not a small number, please....

But the results from this year and 2006's elections basically show that Singaporeans still pretty much do not want change, and are apathetic to things in general. Perhaps they have come up with this approach of that the sky may fall, and they will still work as if life has not changed. Shame on us all. Those who complain about how hard it is and will become and yet have voted in the incumbent have only themselves to blame, and they have no rights to complain at all because they chose this outcome.

Anonymous said...

People, use your head lah. The electorates are generally not that daft if we teach them beyond the TICKING of BOXES. But instead, our political system was designed to restrict their intelligence picking their political masters - and they call it democratic - what a joke.

If you are incensed to blame someone, you should put the blame squarely on the POLITICAL SYSTEM OF CHOICE that makes them daft.

What do you expect from such a democratic process? You are asking singaporeans to choose POLITICAL PARTIES(doesn't matter which camp they are from, they are by nature all the same) who are out to SEDUCE them without any other option, how not to be daft?(choosing your political masters is mandatary,just to remind you)

You want to blame, blame the political system we blindly followed lah and that makes YOU the daft ones.

Anonymous said...

as part of his vow to change, the pm wants to grow the economy and bring in talent from abroad, to improve the lives of pple here.

where's the change? this is no different from what the pm has been saying the govt intends to do all along.

someone here asked how tharman was going to get productivity to improve here. the same old way i guess - by trying. the pm says by upgrading workers' skills.

however, there has been no study done to tell us how all its CTE courses r helping anyone. anecdotal evidence indicates these r not helping many get a job and even fewer to get better pay. and if you happen to be an older worker, you can just forget getting a job altog.

in time to come, i reckon the govt is just gonna turn around and blame us for not trying hard enough if productivity doesn't rise.

so hours after vowing to change, the pm is trotting out all the same ways that have been used before to try and realise his promises. so much for change.

meanwhile, the govt will bring in 900,000 foreigners when the infrastructure still cant handle the 5.2m here now... the old man is still whinging about lack of gratitude, forgetting that memories do not pay the bills.

its a great start to another 5 yrs of rule by the pap during which we have been promised change. excuse me for being blind, but where's the change?

Anonymous said...

moral of the story: if you think like a christian, you are going to be fucked by the devil

Anonymous said...

To properly compare the vote swing, we should only include the geographical regions that were contested both in 2006 and 2011.

eg should exclude Jurong GRC from the count since we don't know how Jurong would have voted in 2006. Although they won 66% in 2011, they may well have have won 75% in 2006 had it been contested, since it is perceived as a PAP stronghold, and where the opposition has not worked strongly.

To overcome the boundary redraws and carved out new SMCs, I suggest you sum up the votes from all these SMC's and GRC's from the 2011 election to make it comparable to the same geographical 2006 contested 'land'. Can calculate the percentage of votes thus for PAP

I hazard that the swing may have been more like 10% drop to 55%

Anonymous said...

The Workers Party is in the cusp of making history in the next election. Look out for a cataclysmic rapture if they can capture 2 more GRCs and together with Aljunied send 12-15 elected WP MPs to Parliament.

Don't laugh. Their performance in this election, capturing 46.6% of the votes in the constituencies that they contested, bodes well for the future. All they need to do is to increase their vote counts by 3.5% and they will romp home winners. And mind you, this won't be all that difficult, going by the trend that the PAP is losing support by >6% in the last 2 elections. Stay tuned.

Kojakbt said...

Lucky, you are right about one thing that PAP has become a rightist. When it started, it was on the left. But now, it has swung too far right in the many current years. I don't think they even realize this.

In other countries where you have essentially 2 parties or coalitions each representing the left and right (e.g. the US Democrat leaned left while the Republicans leaned right), votes will swing to one side when the policies of the other ruling side become too entrenched for the good of the country. In this way the system can be balanced from the changes in policies (due to a regime change) as the country progresses.

When the system is too far left (i.e. more state funded welfare and freebies), inefficiencies built up, budget deficit balloons due to the many state funding, tax goes up etc.

When the system is too far right, social divide widened, resentment increased and the society can become unstable.

Of course, I'm just speaking very generally here cause in reality, the characteristics of a far-right or far-left economy are not as clear cut as what I've mentioned above.

Whatever it is, in order for Singapore to progress further, it really needs a good alternative party to balance the current ruling PAP. Hence, we really need a balancer...

ahmad said...

Well, the graph shows that the GRC system worked for 20 years, and now in 2011, it's back to square one at 60%!

Anonymous said...

Hey talk about gerry-mandling. I was just checking the electorate boundaries of Aljunied GRC out of curiousity. Did anyone notice that bordering it are Marine Parade, East Coast and Ang Mo Kio GRCs. Marine Parade GRC exchanged with Aljunied GRC, Aljunied-Kembangan for Kaki Bukit. AMK GRC took away Aljunied-Houngang. I wonder if the 2 heavy weight MPs in Marine Parade and AMK GRC redrew the map to their favor. Leaving GY's team high and dry. But four of the incumbents have represented their wards at least as far back as 2001 (one of them only as recent as 2006).

starchf said...

let's re-visit this site at the 2016 elections. it was sure fun this time around

Santos said...

If things are so bad as some claimed, and yet PAP can score 60%, that means for sure they will continue to win in future lah.