Fierce fight expected in Aljunied, Singapore’s only opposition-held GRC
From the site of a historic opposition victory in 2011 to the scene of a nail-biting near-loss for the Workers’ Party’s A team in 2015, Aljunied GRC has been in the heat of battle for two elections running and looks set to be so again.
This time, the incumbents will be heading to the polls without their stalwart, former leader Low Thia Khiang, and the WP’s star catch of 2011, Mr Chen Show Mao. Both are stepping down; Mr Low – who is recovering from a fall – after 29 years as an opposition Member of Parliament, first as the MP for Hougang and then as leader of the Aljunied GRC team.
Taking no chances, given the razor-thin 50.95 per cent share of the vote that it won by, the WP has decided to field its A team of party chief Pritam Singh, party chairman Sylvia Lim, Mr Faisal Manap and two seasoned Non-Constituency MPs, Mr Leon Perera and Mr Gerald Giam, in Aljunied GRC.
No easy fight for East Coast GRC
In the last 14 years, the Workers’ Party (WP) has tried three times to win over East Coast residents to its cause. But despite getting closer in 2011, when the national mood swung against the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP), voters remained ultimately unconvinced.
This year, the WP is mounting a fresh challenge. But much has changed in both camps since the last time Singaporeans went to the polls.
For the PAP team, this year’s general election marks the end of an era. Mr Lim Swee Say, the constituency’s anchor minister, is likely to retire. But the identity of his successor is perhaps the party’s best-kept secret so far.
New Sengkang has the unpredictability factor
The peaceful neighbourhoods of Anchorvale, Compassvale and Rivervale could soon be the stage for an intense political battle between the People’s Action Party (PAP) and Workers’ Party (WP).
These areas in north-east Singapore make up the new Sengkang GRC – which contains WP stomping grounds and may well see a close fight in the July 10 general election.
As Dr Chong Ja Ian, associate professor at the National University of Singapore’s political science department, explains: “It’s a new GRC, but includes areas where there has been a heavier WP presence. That means little is known about how that GRC votes, so it may allow for a more intense contest.”
West Coast GRC could see hottest fight in some time
West Coast GRC, which hugs the south-western waterfront of the island, is set to experience some ripples this election.
With the latest electoral boundaries review, the constituency – which stretches from Tuas to Sentosa – will go from having four members to five, taking in almost 50,000 more voters.
The constituency is held by the People’s Action Party team led by Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran, 58. It is expected to undergo key changes, with long-time anchor and former minister Lim Hng Kiang, 66, set to step down, along with the addition of one new member.
6 single seats to watch
The newly carved-out seat of Marymount is likely to see a straight fight between the People’s Action Party (PAP) and the Progress Singapore Party (PSP).
A three-cornered fight had been brewing, until the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) announced yesterday it will not be contesting the general election.
Carved out of Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, the new constituency has 23,444 voters. It covers areas Manpower Minister Josephine Teo is currently looking after. But with Mrs Teo tipped to stand in Jalan Besar GRC, one-term PAP MP Chong Kee Hiong is expected to stand in Marymount.