Monday, 14 September 2015

GE2015: 2011 Vs 2015

2.46M voters and 245,500 first timers in GE2015

The biggest electoral battle in Singapore's history — in terms of the number of voters, political parties represented and constituencies contested — began on Nomination Day (1 Sep). 

All 89 seats will be contested for GE2015 — the first time since Singapore’s independence that there will be contests in every constituency.  More than 2.46 million registered electors will be heading to the ballot box on Polling Day (11 Sep), compared with about 2.35 million in 2011, and about 2.16 million in 2006.

This year, according to the population census figures of citizens as of June 2014, there also will be an estimated 245,500 young voters aged from 21-25, most of whom will be voting for the first time.

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Voter turnout at 93.56 per cent, improves slightly from 2011 record low
Voter turnout for the 2015 General Election improved from four years ago, as Singaporeans witnessed the most hotly contested polls since the country's independence in 1965

With all 89 seats in Parliament contested, a record 2,462,926 Singaporeans were eligible to vote in this election.

The turnout was 93.56 per cent - a slight increase from the record low of 93.06 per cent at the last election.

According to figures released by the Elections Department early Saturday, a total of 2,304,331 votes were cast, which included 47,315 rejected votes. The number did not include votes cast by Singaporeans who were overseas.

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Increase of more than 110,000 voters since GE2011

As of Aug 1, there are an estimated 2,460,977 voters, an increase of 110,720 voters from the figures recorded in the 2011 Registers of Electors, the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee said in its report released today (July 24).

This works out to an average ratio of one Member of Parliament (MP) to about 28,300 voters based on 87 elected MPs today.

In 2011, there was an average ratio of one MP to about 28,000 voters based on 84 elected MPs.

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Final tally of votes cast for GE2011 released

The Elections Department has released the final tally of votes cast at the recent General Election that concluded on 7 May.

The total number of local and overseas votes cast was 2,060,373, including 44,737 rejected votes.

This is 93.18 per cent of the 2,211,102 registered electors in all contested electoral divisions.

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There were 205,910 GE2015 electors who neither voted nor voted properly

Now that the GE2015 votes have been tallied, here is how the spoilt votes and absenteeism numbers look like at a glance:
  • SMC with highest percentage of non-votes: Mountbatten SMC (11.9%)
  • GRC with highest percentage of non-votes: Tanjong Pagar GRC (11.0%)
SMCs with the lowest percentage of non-votes:
  • Punggol East SMC: 4.95%
  • Sengkang West SMC: 6.11%
  • Hougang SMC: 6.40%
Total rejected votes: 47,315
Total non-voters: 158,595

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Goal: 15,000-25,000 new citizens a year

SINGAPORE plans to give citizenship to between 15,000 and 25,000 foreigners each year, to ensure a strong Singaporean core in the make-up of the country.

The projection is not a major departure from the current situation: In the past five years, an average of 18,500 new citizens have taken the oath each year.

To ensure Singapore can draw on a pool of suitable candidates for citizenship, the Government will continue to do what it has been doing in the past three years - give permanent resident status to 30,000 foreigners a year.

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The impact of new Singaporean citizens on GE2015

The new unsubstantiated rhetoric I have been reading on a lot of pro-opposition sites in the aftermath of GE2015 is that new citizens are mainly responsible for the 10% swing in votes for PAP. There was very little data quoted anywhere to corroborate the claim.

Even the decent dissenting blogs such as Yawning Bread which usually tend to be rational and civil claimed that the new citizens could be responsible partly for the swing without backing it up with any statistics. I wanted to research a bit more to find out if there was any truth in that. Surprisingly, the data is readily available on Singstats despite Yawning Bread claiming that the government does not provide statistics on new citizens:

There are a few news articles as well that seem to quote similar numbers: Going by these numbers, if we assume that 20,000 new citizens were added between GE2011 and GE2015 every year, we would get 80,000. To play a bit conservatively and simplify the calculations, let's say that there were 100,000 new citizens added between the last election and this.

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How serious was the “New Citizen” effect?

MUCH has been made about the role of new citizens and their effects on the recent General Election results; I have received text messages from friends, family and strangers claiming that it was new citizens who accounted for the 9.8 per cent vote swing between 2011 and 2015.

Singapore can’t survive without new citizens, so the G says, not with our current Total Fertility Rate at 1.29. But along with the naturalisation of new citizens comes tensions, especially around election season. It is assumed that all or nearly all new citizens will vote for the PAP. It is an idea that has gained some popularity here and around the world. It is true that granting citizenships or allowing immigrants in en masse has had the potential to manipulate the vote in other countries, sometimes through potential loopholes in the system as in the case of the USA, and at other times quite blatantly.

One category of messages on the topic makes a claim that the new citizen voting bloc was nearly entirely responsible for the shift in the PAP’s favour. The text points to the number of votes cast in 2011 (2,060,373) and 2015 (2,462,926). The difference of 402,533, the message says, cannot be accounted for by births, lesser deaths and it makes the conclusion that there were more than 300,000 new citizens between 2011 and 2015. This conclusion is erroneous.

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Why the PAP won big in GE2015
Lots of commentators attribute the reason to SG50 and the sympathy votes upon the passing of the Great Man. I do not think these were major factors. The SG50 giveaways are nothing new, we have always had pre-election goodies in various forms in the past.

As for the death of the Great Man, we gave him  due respect at his funeral, which he deserved, but voters know that in an election we are not voting for history but for the future.

Another factor advanced by some was the block vote of the new citizens. That could be true up to a point. There were about 100,000 new citizens in GE2015 and even if all of them voted for the PAP they could not have accounted for the 10% swing, at most 2%.

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Netizens: We know why PAP won big

Singaporean netizens think they know the reason why PAP won big in GE2015: the addition of massive numbers of new citizens to the electorate since GE2011, coupled with expert gerrymandering.

A quick scan through the 300+ comments in this TRE editorial – ‘GE2015 results (final updates)‘ – and The Online Citizen’s Facebook page shows that many netizens subscribe to this theory.

There is ample evidence to back it up. Take this webpage from none other than the Prime Minister’s Office for example [Link].

As early as July 2012, a year after GE2011, in welcoming new citizens that saw comfortable victories in their constituencies late last night/early this morning, PM Lee Hsien Loong gave the following speech [Link]:

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More than 100,000 new citizens added in GE2015

The Singapore ruling PAP Government is set for a hidden advantage as more than 100,000 new citizens join to vote in the upcoming General Election 2015.

According to a Parliamentarian reply by Minister Grace Fu in 2013, the Singapore PAP Government expects to grant about 15,000 to 25,000 Permanent Residents applicants citizenship each year. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has emphasised several times that new citizens are required to replace Singaporeans’ falling birth rate, which is also the lowest in the world at 0.8 (2014 estimate) according to the CIA World Factbook.

As Singapore’s birth rate in 1993 is only 1.75, it is unlikely the number of Singaporeans who have turned 21 could have increased the population by more than 110,000.

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10% Swingers & the Anti-PAP Core

There is a 'new citizen' theory going around online (See this person's calculations below.) In gist, the author believes that there is a 14% increase in the total number of new citizens since GE2011. Hence, the 10% of PAP swing voters are mainly new citizens.

Some Simple Mathematics:
  • GE2011: total vote cast 2,060,373
  • GE2015: total vote cast 2,462,926
  • Net Increase: 402K
  • S'porean Babies born in 1994, 93, 92, 91: average 50k per yr (official data)
  • S'porean deaths last 4 yrs: average 18,500 per yr (official data up to 2013)
  • Assumption: Singaporeans renounced citizenship: 1,500 per year
  • New S'porean Voters: (50k -18500 -1500) × 4 yrs = 120K
  • Conclusion: New Citizens: 402k -120k = 282K
  • That is 14% increase
  • So no surprise we see a 10% swing
There are huge problems with this person's calculations:
  • Firstly, Tanjong Pagar GRC was not part of GE2011. That would account for a difference of around 120,000 voters.
  • Secondly, the total vote cast in GE2015 was not 2,462,926. It was 2,304,331. That would account for a difference of another 160,000 voters.
So, what is the impact of New Citizens in GE2015?

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Vote swing because of new-citizen votes

Simple maths:
  • GE 2011:  total vote cast - 2,060,373
  • GE 2015: total vote cast - 2,462,926
  • Net increase: 402k
  • Singaporean babies: 120k (4yrs)
  • Conclusion: new citizens - 288k (14% increase)
  • No surprise of 10% swing.
Those who attended the rallies voted Oppo but overwhelmed by the new citizens whom are the silent voters that tip local votes. By 2020, there would be no more opposition parties in Singapore. This is the main reason of 6.9 million.

No wonder some PAP GRCs need no GE rallies, they know new citizens are behind them. 

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New Citizen Voters decided this Election and Will Decide all future Elections

I had a feeling that this the could be the last elections decided by the Singaporean core where I warned in this post. In 1991, there were 1.692 million eligible voters. In this election there were 2.462 million eligible voters - an increase of nearly 800,000 voters. The question to ask is where did they come from?

1. Core Singaporean Voters - When I say core Singaporean voters - it refers to voters born to Singaporean parents at independence or at least having 1 Singaporean parent. Of course we did grant citizenship to some foreigners in the 1970s through 1991, but these were usually long term residents here. Most were Malaysians or PRs, who after doing NS were granted citizenship.

So of this 800k voters today from 1991, how many are these kind of Singaporeans? As that article suggests, I'm inclined to believe it's not a majority, maybe even a small minority. Every one talks of new citizens in this century and the data released by the Govt suggests it's only 5% thereabouts. What I want to know is how many Hong Kong and Indonesians were given citizenships or PR in the mid to late 1990s and thereafter? Estimates put it at over a million. Indeed the population of Singapore around the mid 1990s including all PRs was just 2.2 million. Today it stands at 5.6 million! Of that 3.8 million is considered by the Govt as the Singaporean core - citizens plus PR.

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Blaming election results on new citizens is juvenile

Of all the retarded comments from the sore losers, is that new citizens are parachuted in to swing the votes for the PAP.

Sure, you can say that we’re like North Korea and China like how Kenneth Jeyetretnam did. Or you can blame it on the 7th month, the SG50 celebrations or LKY’s passing.

But when people blame it on new citizens and even attempts maths on it, I think it is very retarded.

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Instead of a "First World Parliament" or "First World Politics", Singapore truly NEEDS a "First World Electorate"

Singaporean's 6Ks - Kiasu, Kiasi, Kiabor, Kiaboh, Kiachenhu and Kialonchon (Fear of losing, death, not having, wifey, government and everything)

Hougang SMC: WP win (57.69%), PAP lost (42.31%)
Punggol East SMC: PAP win (51.76%), WP lost (48.24%)
Fengshan SMC: PAP win (57.52%), WP lost (42.48%)
Sengkang West SMC: PAP win (62.11%), WP lost (37.89%)
Macpherson SMC: PAP win (65.58%), WP lost (33.60%), NSP lost (0.82%)
Potong Pasir SMC: PAP win (66.41%), SPP lost (33.59%)
Bukit Panjang SMC: PAP win (68.38%), SDP lost (31.62%)
Mountbatten SMC: PAP win (71.84%), SPP lost (28.16%)
Bukit Batok SMC: PAP win (72.99%), SDP lost (26.4%), Independent lost (0.60%)
Yuhua SMC: PAP win (73.54), SDP lost (26.46%)
Hongkah-North SMC: PAP win (74.76%), SPP lost(25.24%)
Pioneer SMC: PAP win (76.34%), NSP lost (23.66%)
Radin Mas SMC: PAP win (77.25%), RP lost (12.71%), Independent lost (10.04%)

Aljunied GRC(5): WP win (50.95), PAP lost (49.05)
East Coast GRC(4): PAP win (60.73), WP lost (39.27%)
Marine Parade GRC(5): PAP win (64.07%), WP lost (35.93%)
Holland-Bukit Timah GRC(4): PAP win (66.62%), SDP lost (33.38%)
Nee Soon GRC(5): PAP win (66.83%), WP lost (33.17%)
Jalan Besar GRC(4): PAP win (67.73%), WP lost (32.27%)
Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC(4): PAP win (68.73%), SDP lost (31.27%)
Tampines GRC(5): PAP win (72.06%), NSP lost (27.94%)
Sembawang GRC(5): PAP win (72.28%), NSP lost (27.72%)
Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC(6): PAP win (72.89%), SDA lost (27.11%)
Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC(5): PAP win (73.59%), SPP lost (26.41%)
Chua Chu Kang GRC(4): PAP win (76.89%), PPP lost (23.11%)
Tanjong Pagar GRC(5): PAP win (77.71%), SFP lost (22.29%)
West Coast GRC(4): PAP win (78.57%), RP lost (21.43%)
Ang Mo Kio GRC(6): PAP win (78.63%), RP lost (21.37%)
Jurong GRC(5): PAP win (79.28%), SFP lost (20.72%)

A Vote for Change
– Air-Conditioned Nation: Beyond GE 2015
– Catherine Lim: Some Post-GE 2015 Comments
– The Middle Ground: The day after GE2015
– TOC: Ask not why you don’t see the opposition between GEs
– New Mandala: Singapore swing
– Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: Relax all, don’t panic, despair or gloat
– Lukeyishandsome: Speculating on silent majority and the oppo’s way forward
– Ryan Goh: Post GE2015 thoughts: confessions of a fence-sitter
– Blinkymummy: GE2015: 10% Swingers & the Anti-PAP Core
– Majulah!: GE2015 – The Election of the Whites
– Blogging for Myself: GE 2015: Who was out of touch?
– I on Singapore: Why I Voted for PAP in GE2015
– Chronicles of a Singaporean Indian Girl: GE2020
– DKSG: PAP wins in a landslide
– Limpeh Is Foreign Talent: What PAP’s landslide at the GE2015 tells us
– Commonsense Thinking Blog: GE 2015 ~ Emergence of Smart Voters
– Desparatebeep: The Mandate to Stay the Same
– Singapore Life & Times: The PAP did not win
– Top of d Word: PAP Took Elections Seriously, Oppo Had No Hunger for Power
– S M Ong: GE 2015 aftermath: What the hell happened? PAP was the underdog
– PetuniaLee™: PAP Needs to Love the WP
– The Singapore Beacon: A Sad Day For The Trolls
– Dewdrop Notes 露语: September 11th – A Sad Day For Singapore
– Singapore 2B: So how did the bookies do?
– Evergreen Bamboo: What Message Is The Electorate Sending
– Transitioning: “GE2015 will go down in history as d biggest fluke election ever!”
– QING Moments: Longing for the blue sky
– The Lycan Times: GE 2015, the Aftermath…
– Sg NS, Laws&Quirks: It’s official after GE2015: Singaporeans are spineless!
– Anonymous_X: HHH, Samir Salim Neji and their victory by losing in GE 2015
– Reflections on SG: GE 2015: Thank You Singaporeans …
– MaskedCrusader: Don’t Give Up On Singapore
– My Singapore News: Opposition Parties should not be disheartened
– 否极泰来 Piji Tailai: Another 50 Yrs or longer for a 2-Party System in Singapore.
– Singapore Public Law: When an NCMP Seat is Turned Down
– Yawning Bread: Musings from the GE campaign: race, language and religion
– Speaking My Mind: Malays and Muslims are NOT Synonyms
– Rachel Zeng: Impact of the climate of fear on the 2015 Spore GE
– Political Writings: Playbook for 2020?
– Yours Truly Singapore: Suggestions for opposition movement