2011 Parliamentary General Election



Article

Background

The 2011 parliamentary general election was held on 7 May to elect 87 members of parliament, of which 75 were from 15 Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs) and 12 from single-member constituencies. It was called after parliament was dissolved on 19 April.[1] Like the previous election in 2006, the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) was not returned to power on 27 April, nomination day. The opposition parties had filed nomination papers to contest 82 out of 87 parliamentary seats, thus giving the PAP its only walkover in the Tanjong Pagar GRC.[2] In total, the PAP and six contesting opposition parties fielded170 candidates to contest the remaining 82 seats. There were 87 candidates from the PAP, 24 from the National Solidarity Party, 23 from the Workers’ Party, 11 from the Reform Party, 11 from the Singapore Democratic Party, and seven each from the Singapore People’s Party and Singapore Democratic Alliance. [3] This election saw the introduction of the Cooling-off Day, which was a day when no campaigning activities could be carried out. It was held one day before polling day to allow time for voters to think rationally and reflect on the issues that were raised during the campaigning period.[4]

The PAP won the election by capturing 81 of the 87 seats. However, its share of the valid votes cast dropped from the 66.6 percent achieved in the 2006 election to 60.1 percent in this election. The Workers’ Party retained its Hougang seat and also captured the five-seat Aljunied GRC, which was fronted by then Foreign Minister George Yeo.[5] This was the first time that an opposition party managed to win over a GRC since the system was introduced in the 1988 general election. After the election, three Non-Constituency Members of Parliament (NCMP) were appointed: Lina Chiam of the Singapore People’s Party, and Yee Jenn Jong and Gerald Giam from the Workers’ Party.[6]

References
1. Chua, L. H. (2011, April 20). Polling Day on May 7: Time is ripe for me to ask voters for fresh mandate, says PM. The Straits Times. Retrieved from Factiva.
2. Lim, L. (2011, April 27). GE 2011; PAP faces biggest polls battle since ‘72: Walkover is expected only in Tanjong Pagar GRC. The Straits Times. Retrieved from Factiva.
3. Chua, L. H. (2011, April 28). GE 2011; PAP challenged for 82 seats: Low’s GRC move, ruling party’s last-minute switch make for action-filled Nomination Day. The Straits Times. Retrieved from Factiva.
4. Parties’ dos and don’ts on cooling-off and polling days. (2011, May 7). The Straits Times. Retrieved from Factiva.
5. Zuraidah Ibrahim. (2011, May 8). 81-6: Workers’ Party wins Aljunied GRC; PAP vote share dips to 60.1%. The Straits Times. Retrieved from Factiva.
6. Kor, K. B. (2011, May 13). Lina Chiam says yes to NCMP seat. The Straits Times. Retrieved from Factiva.


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The information in this article is valid as at 2013 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.