Thursday, 30 July 2015

EBRC Report 2015: Staking Claims

PAP, opposition gear up for general election
PAP organising secretary Ng Eng Hen said the party had decided to deploy its new faces in their constituencies as early as possible. ST PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN

Political parties lost no time in spelling out their plans for the coming general election just two days after new electoral boundaries were set.

The People's Action Party (PAP) said almost all its candidates were already on the ground and would be formally named some time after National Day.

The Workers' Party (WP) said it would contest 28 of the 89 seats, and several other opposition parties named the constituencies they were eager to contest, as politicians from all sides went out in force to make the most of a Sunday to reach out to potential voters.

related:
WP eyes 5 GRCs and 5 single wards
Plan for meeting to avoid split in opposition vote
NSP on walkabout in Tampines
SDP eyes Bukit Batok, Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC
Don't contest 'just to put up a fight'
Tanjong Pagar GRC MPs introduce new face
Tin Pei Ling eager to stand in MacPherson
MPs must meet residents' future needs: Tan Chuan-Jin
Joo Chiat a natural fit for Marine Parade: ESM Goh
What matters at coming election


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Eye on Politics – walkabouts after EBRC report

Various political parties have been out and about last weekend following the Electoral Boundary Review Committee report published last week.
The Workers’ Party was at Joo Chiat, where secretary-general Mr Low Thia Khiang addressed the media to speak about where WP will be contesting


The Singapore Democratic Party was out visiting Bukit Batok Central. SDP also expressed unhappiness about what happened to the redrawn electoral boundaries.


The Singapore People’s Party visited Whampoa Drive, where they met up with residents from neighbouring Potong Pasir SMC and Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC having their breakfast.


The Singaporeans First Party conducted a Walkabout on Sunday morning at the vicinity of Block 826 and Block 201 of Tampines GRC

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Opposition parties begin to stake claims; WP intends to contest 28 seats
  • The Opposition began to stake their claims over the weekend on the various constituencies they want to contest, with the Workers’ Party (WP) today (July 26) declaring their intention to contest 28 seats.
  • The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) meanwhile indicated said it was “returning home” to the newly-carved out single-seat ward of Bukit Batok, and plans for contesting in areas they previously fielded candidates in, including Sembawang GRC and Holland-Bukit Timah GRC.
  • Other opposition parties were also out on walkabouts today, with Singaporeans First and the National Solidarity Party (NSP) making the around in Tampines, the latter having fielded a team in the area before.
  • National Solidarity Party president Sebastian Teo said the party intends to be more focused this coming election.
  • Singapore Democratic Alliance chairman Desmond Lim today said the party was keen on the six-man Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC for now, a constituency it previously contested in in 2011.
  • Other parties that have declared their interest in various constituencies include the Democratic Progressive Party, which has said they remain committed to standing in Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, as well as in Fengshan.
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The Lee Kuan Yew factor in winning over voters

In an interview last month, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen described founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew's passing in March as "his last gift to us"

This was in the form of a national unity that emerged through the celebration of his life and mourning of his death, a unity all the more notable for how rare it has become.

It's surprising nowadays to find consensus on any one thing, and even where consensus exists, for it to be so viscerally and deeply felt.

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Prime Minister’s AMK GRC Team in political turmoil

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s Ang Mo Kio (AMK) GRC is facing an exodus of three existing AMK MPs to make way for three new favourites of the PM. According to the government-controlled media The Straits Times today, two veteran MPs, namely Seng Han Thong and Yeo Guat Kwang, respective in-charge of Yio Chu Kang and AMK-Hougang, may retire although they declined to comment when interviewed. A third veteran MP, Inderjit Singh, tendered his resignation over social media Facebook two days before (July 24) instead of using the ruling party’s proper channel for public announcement. A fourth MP speculated to be removed is Intan Azura Mokhtar, who was flaked for supporting her grassroot leader PRC YangYin who is currently under police investigation for cheating a old lady multi-millionaire.

With these four poised to be missing in the coming General Election, the government-controlled media The Straits Times then introduced two potential newbie candidates for AMK GRC and dedicated an introductory article for them and other amateur PAP new faces.

The first is self-proclaimed “Son of Punggol” 43-year-old Dr Koh Poon Poh, the loser of Punggol East SMC in 2013. He lost largely because of his out-of-touch comments during his election campaigning, saying every Singaporean today owns a car and over-exaggerated how “poor” he was when he couldn’t even afford to buy a pair of chopsticks when he just bought his first three-room HDB flat at 26 years old. Dr Koh Poon Poh is poised to replace Seng Han Thong.

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Ang Mo Kio Residents Get Dr Koh Poh Koon, a Kwek and that Pyramid Game Guy
Ang Mo Kio remains one of two 6-member GRCs, and helmed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong

But the PM might have much work to do in the constituency of 187,652 voters.

Already, one MP has retired from his post – Mr Inderjit Singh aka Maverick Singh.

Two more look likely to follow suit – Mr Seng Han Thong and Mr Yeo Guat Kwang.

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Tanjong Pagar GRC MPs introduce new face
Ms Joan Pereira greeting a diner at Bukit Merah View Market and Food Centre yesterday morning during a walkabout when she was introduced as a new face in Tanjong Pagar GRC. She is no stranger to the area, having worked at Queenstown Community Centre for over a decade.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

Just two days after the release of the electoral boundaries report, Tanjong Pagar GRC MPs introduced a potential colleague to residents.

Former public servant Joan Pereira greeted residents and diners at Bukit Merah View Market and Food Centre yesterday morning.

She was accompanied by Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Chan Chun Sing, Senior Minister of State Indranee Rajah, MPs Lily Neo and Chia Shi-Lu and about 30 People's Action Party activists.

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MPs whose constituencies are going to vanish
(From left) Senior Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Heng Chee How, Central Singapore District Mayor Denise Phua, Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim, Moulmein-Kallang GRC MP Edwin Tong and Minister for Transport Lui Tuck Yew at the Kolam Ayer Waterfront for a community event yesterday

Five MPs who came together yesterday at the Kolam Ayer Waterfront share one thing in common.

The constituencies they represent - Moulmein-Kallang GRC and Whampoa SMC - will no longer exist at the next general election, following changes recommended by the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee in its report released a day earlier.

Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew, Central Singapore District Mayor Denise Phua and Mr Edwin Tong, who all represent the GRC, attended the PassionArts Festival together with Senior Minister of State (Prime Minister's Office) Heng Chee How, who is the MP for Whampoa SMC.

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Tin Pei Ling eager to stand in MacPherson
Ms Tin Pei Ling (white top) being hugged by MacPherson resident, Madam Fatimah Buang, 75, during her visit to a market yesterday.ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

First-term Member of Parliament Tin Pei Ling is all set to go solo in the next elections in her MacPherson ward, which will no longer be part of Marine Parade GRC.

The signs pointing to this were clear when she visited two markets in her ward yesterday with fellow Marine Parade GRC MP Tan Chuan-Jin, two days after the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee released its report.

First, there was Mr Tan's call as he greeted residents at breakfast there to "please support Pei Ling, she really cares for you".

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GE after baby? Bring it on


She is heavily pregnant, and her first child is due early next month. But no matter when the General Election (GE) are called, Member of Parliament (MP) Tin Pei Ling said she is ready.


The first-term MP, who was the youngest People's Action Party (PAP) candidate when she was introduced during the GE in 2011, had then attracted attention for a variety of reasons.

Now it seems she might be in the spotlight again in the next GE - MacPherson, where she is the incumbent MP, has now been carved out of Marine Parade Group Representative Constituency (GRC) into a single-seat constituency (SMC).

related:
Wrong if opposition treats Tanjong Pagar as 'trophy GRC': Chan Chun Sing
Workers' Party to contest in Marine Parade GRC, MacPherson SMC
MPs whose constituencies are going to vanish


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Election should be 'soon', says Tan Chuan-Jin at MacPherson walkabout with Tin Pei Ling

Social and Family Development Minister Tan Chuan-Jin and his fellow Marine Parade GRC MP Tin Pei Ling on Sunday visited residents in MacPherson that is set to become a single-seat constituency in the next election.

Ms Tin said the walkabout had been arranged before the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee report was released on Friday (July 24).

Among the committee's recommendations was for Ms Tin's MacPherson ward to be carved out of Marine Parade GRC.

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WP to contest 5 SMCs and 5 GRCs in upcoming GE
WP MP Sylvia Lim

Low Thia Khiang, Secretary-General of the Workers’ Party (WP), told the media today (26 Jul) that it will contest in Marine Parade GRC, MacPherson SMC, and constituencies WP contested before.
“As a matter of principle, The Workers’ Party will contest where we have contested before. In this case, Joo Chiat is being redrawn into Marine Parade. We don’t want to disappoint voters in Joo Chiat. We want to offer them a choice again in this election,”
Speaking to reporters at a walkabout in Punggol East, Mr Low said WP had been working the ground in Marine Parade GRC as well as Joo Chiat SMC, which was absorbed into Marine Parade GRC by PM Lee’s Electoral Boundaries Review Committee.

In the 2011 general election (GE), WP’s Yee Jenn Jong narrowly lost Joo Chiat to PAP’s Charles Chong by 388 votes. In fact, looking at the election results in Joo Chiat SMC over the last 3 GEs, one can see that PAP has been losing considerable votes in the constituency:

related: WP to contest Marine Parade and MacPherson

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DPP to enter 3-cornered fights with other oppo parties

DPP Secretary-General Benjamin Pwee (Photo: ST)

The Sunday Times reported today (‘Democratic Progressive Party stakes claim on Fengshan’, 26 Jul) that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has staked claim on Fengshan SMC.

The Electoral Boundaries Review Committee has carved out Fengshan from East Coast GRC, reducing it from a 5- to a 4-member GRC. In the 2011 general election (GE), WP garnered a respectable 45.2% of the valid votes for the original 5-member GRC.

In addition to Fengshan SMC, DPP Secretary-General Benjamin Pwee told reporters at a press conference yesterday (25 Jul) that they want Potong Pasir SMC, Hong Kah North SMC, Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, Tanjong Pagar GRC

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WORKERS PARTY STAKE EARLY CLAIMS ON 5 GRC & 5 SMC FOR GE2015


The Workers' Party Chairman Sylvia Lim told the mainstream media on Sunday that WP will contest a total of 28 seats in the next General Election. It will comprise of 5 Group Representation Constituencies and 5 Single Member Constituencies. During GE2011, WP fielded 23 candidates. Apart from defending Aljunied GRC which they captured from the PAP in 2011, WP will also contest for Marine Parade, East Coast, Jalan Besar and Nee Soon GRCs


The Workers' Party Chairman Sylvia Lim told the mainstream media on Sunday that WP will contest a total of 28 seats in the next General Election. It will comprise of 5 Group Representation Constituencies and 5 Single Member Constituencies. During GE2011, WP fielded 23 candidates.

Apart from defending Aljunied GRC which they captured from the PAP in 2011, WP will also contest for Marine Parade, East Coast, Jalan Besar and Nee Soon GRCs. WP will defend Hougang and Punggol East SMC while sending fresh challengers to Fengshan, MacPherson and Sengkang West SMC.

related: WP TO CONTEST MARINE PARADE, MACPHERSON AND PLACES STOOD IN GE2011

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Reform Party Wants to Take the Fight to PM Lee in Ang Mo Kio GRC!


Reform Party chief Kenneth Jeyaretnam says the party is keen on contesting in West Coast GRC, Radin Mas SMC, and even Ang Mo Kio GRC, which is Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s stronghold.

Mr Jeyaretnam said in a statement:

“I think it is important to challenge the Prime Minister on his home turf of Ang Mo Kio and I am glad to see he is still hiding behind a six-member GRC because it shows he is afraid.”

related:
Oppo Parties United in Condemnation of EBRC Formation Without Their Knowledge
Changes to Boundaries of Polling Districts Within 8 GRCS
Changes to Electoral, New GRCs,SMCs Carved Out, 16.7 Percent of Voters Affected
Is this Unknown the PAP’s Joan of Arc in a Lee Kuan Yew-less Tanjong Pagar GRC?
A Kid on the Way & an SMC to Contest: Can the Tin Lady Win the Best of Both Worlds?
So Long, Maverick! Inderjit Singh Calls It Quits in Ang Mo Kio GRC
Mountbatten SMC: Jeannette’s for the Taking?
The Ones to Remove the Rats? SDP Declares Intent to Challenge Bukit Batok SMC


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DPP’s Benjamin Pwee Wants Another Shot at Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC


The Democratic Progressive Party, helmed by former SPP member Benjamin Pwee says it is intending to contest in Bishan Toa-Payoh GRC in the coming General Election.


Pwee had contest with SPP chief Chiam See Tong in the 2011 General Election, in which the SPP won 43.1 percent of the vote. Said the DPP in a statement:
“We remain committed to standing at Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC. The inclusion of parts of Moulmein-Kallang to Bishan Toa Payoh GRC will expand an already-large GRC. Given how close the margin was at Bishan Toa Payoh GRC in 2011, it is anyone’s guess if the voters from Moulmein-Kallang transfered over to Bishan Toa Payoh are PAP supporters or not, and whether this will tilt the margin-of-votes for the coming GE. But we will work hard to get to know them and win their votes.”
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NSP on walkabout in Tampines
(From left) Ms Kevryn Lim, 26, Mr Jan Chan, 25, and NSP president Sebastian Teo, 68, during a walkabout in Tampines West yesterday. NSP has contested in Tampines in every election except one, since 1988.PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

The National Solidarity Party (NSP) was at its old stomping ground of Tampines yesterday, where it has contested in every election - bar one - since the constituency was formed in 1988.

Twenty party members and volunteers turned up for the three-hour walkabout in Tampines West - among them two who are in their 20s: Ms Kevryn Lim, 26, a project director at events management and digital marketing firm EM.DM; and Mr Jan Chan, 25, a final-year student reading mathematics and computer science at the National University of Singapore.

Party leaders declined comment on potential candidates for the next hustings, but NSP's star catch at the 2011 election, Ms Nicole Seah, was also in her 20s when she was fielded in Marine Parade GRC. She has left the party.

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4-Corner Fight in Tampines? NSP Caught Between SingFirst and a Hard Place


The National Solidarity Party held its walkabout in Tampines St 81 earlier today – which coincided with another walkabout by the Singaporeans First Party.

Singfirst, which was formed last year, is helmed by familiar faces such as Tan Jee Say and Dr Ang Yong Guan.

Both men had contested under the SDP banner in General Election 2011, with Mr Tan going on to challenge for the Singapore presidency.

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WP Eyes Marine Parade GRC and MacPherson SMC: Three-Corner Fights On the Cards?

The Workers’ Party says it will mount a challenge for Marine Parade GRC and MacPherson SMC

This was announed by WP Secretary-General Low Thia Kiang during a walkabout in Punggol East today (26 Jul).


“As a matter of principle, The Workers’ Party will contest where we have contested before. In this case, Joo Chiat is being redrawn into Marine Parade. We don’t want to disappoint voters in Joo Chiat. We want to offer them a choice again in this election.”

Joo Chiat SMC, where the WP’s Yee Jenn Jong contested in General Election 2011, has been absorbed into Marine Parade GRC.

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SDP eyes Bukit Batok, Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC
SDP secretary-general Chee Soon Juan (centre) leading party members and activists on a walkabout in Bukit Batok yesterday. The party is also contesting areas where it stood in the 2011 General Election.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) plans to contest the Bukit Batok single seat and is looking at fielding "a very good candidate" there, its secretary-general Chee Soon Juan said yesterday.

The SDP is also eyeing the newly formed Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC, in addition to contesting in areas it stood in during the 2011 General Election: Bukit Panjang SMC, Yuhua SMC, Holland-Bukit Timah GRC and Sembawang GRC.

"In a way, we are coming home," he told reporters after a walkabout in Bukit Batok Single Member Constituency, carved out of Jurong GRC by the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee, whose report was released on Friday.

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The Ones to Remove the Rats? SDP Declares Intent to Challenge Bukit Batok SMC


The SDP is holding a walkabout at Bukit Batok this morning (26 Jul), in a bid to support for the coming General Election.


The SMC was recently carved out of Jurong GRC – which was contested by the National Solidarity Party in GE2011.

But will the coming GE prove to be third time lucky doe the Democrats, who lost twice in battles with the PAP over the constituency?

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Mountbatten SMC: Jeannette’s for the Taking?


Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss has been pounding the beat in Mountbatten SMC, and with the constituency retaining its SMC status, she won’t be suffering the unfortunate fate of the Workers’ Party’s Yee Jenn Jong in Joo Chiat.


Ms Chong-Aruldoss contested in Mountbatten SMC in General Election 2011, losing to the PAP’s Lim Biow Chuan with 41 percent of the vote.

This time, she the former National Solidarity Party Secretary-General will be contesting under the banner of the Singapore People’s Party.

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The Workers’ Party will contest 28 seats in total: 5 GRCs & 5 SMCs


The Workers’ Party (WP) will contest a total of 28 seats in the upcoming General Election: 5 Group Representation Constituencies and 5 Single Member Constituencies.


WP chairwoman Sylvia Lim told Channel News Asia on Sunday, July 26, 2015, they are going to field 28 candidates in total.

The 5 GRCs they will contest are Aljunied, Marine Parade, East Coast, Jalan Besar and Nee Soon. Aljunied, Marine Parade, Nee Soon are five-member GRCs, while East Coast and Jalan Besar are four-member GRCs.

related: Workers’ Party to field candidates in Marine Parade GRC & MacPherson SMC

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What matters at coming election

The recommendations of the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee demonstrate an incremental approach that balances the interests of all stakeholders. For example, the number of single seats and Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs) will go up by just one each, and only 19 per cent of voters will wind up in a new constituency, compared with 30 per cent in 2011. While closely contested Joo Chiat (an anomaly that is composed of private housing) has vanished, so has Whampoa, a People's Action Party stronghold.

And while wards held by the Workers' Party were left untouched, there was also no move to downsize the representation of two jumbo six-member GRCs, helmed by top ministers.

Certainly, no redrawing of electoral boundaries can be free of contention, given its potential to tilt the balance in hotly contested areas or confer broad advantages to one side. In the polity that is Singapore, responses are also shaped by the present process of determining electoral divisions by political fiat and the past practice of calling for elections with little delay - as short as one day - after the release of the review report. Consequently, those who cynically dismiss the exercise as "gerrymandering" might ignore population shifts that form the basis for redefining wards.

read more

Full Coverage:
Straits Times: Workers' Party to contest 5 GRCs and 5 SMCs in general election
AsiaOne: GE after baby? Bring it on
Straits Times: WP eyes 5 GRCs and 5 single wards
Straits Times: Joo Chiat a natural fit for Marine Parade: ESM Goh
Straits Times: MPs must meet residents' future needs: Tan Chuan-Jin
Straits Times: Tin Pei Ling eager to stand in MacPherson
TODAYonline: Opposition parties begin stake claims; WP intends to contest 28 seats
TODAYonline: More 'options' if opposition joins Marine Parade GRC fight
TODAYonline: Joo Chiat 'natural fit' for Marine Parade GRC
Channel News Asia: Tin Pei Ling hopes to contest MacPherson SMC
Online Citizen: Workers' Party to contest in 5 GRCs, 5 SMCs in coming elections
Online Citizen: Eye on Politics – walkabouts after EBRC report
Channel News Asia: Joo Chiat 'a natural fit' for Marine Parade GRC: ESM Goh
AsiaOne: Workers' Party to contest in Marine Parade GRC, MacPherson SMC
TODAYonline: Possible contest in Marine Parade GRC: Having 'options' is good for
TODAYonline: WP interested in contesting Marine Parade GRC, MacPherson SMC
Straits Times: WP to contest Marine Parade and MacPherson; NSP to host Friday
Straits Times: Election should be 'soon',says Tan Chuan-Jin at MacPherson walkabout
Hindustan Times:India-born Singaporean politician calls it quits

AsiaOne: PAP may unveil candidates after Aug 9
The Star Online: Retiring MPs to introduce successors
Straits Times: PAP, opposition gear up for general election
Straits Times: PAP, opposition get into gear for general election
Straits Times: Politics no game of chance
Channel News Asia: Upcoming GE will be 'watershed election': Ng Eng Hen
TODAYonline: PAP may unveil new candidates after Aug 9
TODAYonline: Retiring MPs to 'play a part in ensuring smooth succession'


A Vote for Change

– TOC: New electoral boundaries breaking down the numbers,a need for transparency
– Rayner’s Thoughts: Let’s start a conversation about Singapore’s electoral system
– Spore General Elections 2016: Spore General Election 2015: Electoral Boundaries
– Yoursfaithfullysg: Opposition parties whine over changes, say they were expected.
– Reflections on SG: Redrawing Electoral Boundaries: The Singapore Experience
– Everything Also Complain: EBRC not transparent about boundary changes
– Zhun Bo, Singapore?!: Did the PAPpies goof it up with the new boundaries?
– Kirsten Han: The electoral system will never be an election issue
– Dewdrop Notes 露语: Between The Lines Of GE2015
– Singapore National Service: PAP shows desperation by redrawing electoral lines
– Singapore Lighthouse: Singapore Election 2015 Vocabulary – Gerrymandering
– SG Hard Truth: GE 2015: Ah Beng Asked Bookie Why PM Play 5-4-1 Game
– 否极泰来 Piji Tailai: EBRC objectives: Stop “Out of Aljunied”, Stop SDP Breakthrough
– Singapore Notes: Battle Enjoined
– The Heart Truths: How Should You Vote at the Next Singapore General Election 2015
– Blogging for Myself: GE: What LKY dividend?
– Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: Victor Lye: junior minister material?
– Blinkymummy: TPL & Her Women-Demeaning Rhetoric
– Seksi Matashutyrmouf : Four elections
– My Singapore News: Marine Parade the first GRC likely to go to the opposition
– A collection of tots: A distinct possiblity to look foward to: PAP fallign down in the East
– 2econdsight: Opposition Unity: A Thought Experiment
– Investment Stab: Singapore GE effect on STI
– TR Emeritus: An appeal to fellow taxi drivers this coming GE
– The Middle Ground: Pre-GE with some atas coffee
– Popspoken: Five Burning Questions for the Upcoming Singapore General Elections


related:
EBRC 2015 Report: What's next
EBRC 2015 Report: Battle's Begun
EBRC Report 2015: Staking Claims
EBRC 2015 Report: Who's Where
Countdown to the GE begins
Snap General Elections in 2015?
Fourth generation political leadership taking shape
Order of Succession And Baton Passing
Snap General Elections in 2014/2015?
Snap General Election in Sep 2015?