Saturday, May 14, 2011

Thoughts on PAP vote shares

PAP's share of valid votes cast in contested districts [opposition seats in Parliament]:

1955:  55.74%
1959:  54.08%
1963:  46.93%
1968:  86.72% [0]
1972:  70.43% [0]
1976:  74.09% [0]
1980:  77.66% [0]
1984:  64.83% [2]
1988:  63.17% [1]
1991:  60.97% [4]
1997:  64.98% [2]
2001:  75.29% [2]
2006:  66.60% [2]
2011:  60.14% [6]

*1984:  PAP vote dip was due to LKY's 1983 speech on eugenics.
*2001 Nov 3 poll:   PAP vote boost was due to September 11.

The following is extracted from Diary of a Singaporean Mind (here)

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.

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.

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