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Lee Hsien Loong

People's Action Party (PAP) wins Singapore election

14 September 2015

 The ruling PAP intensified their five decade hold on power by winning nearly 70% of the two million votes cast and 83 of 89 seats in last Friday’s elections. The opposition, running in all constituencies for the first time, had hoped to challenge the PAP's dominance which had seen their share of the vote drop to 60% in 2011.

Presidents Tusk and Juncker said in a congratulatory statement that ‘we look forward to continuing the excellent cooperation between the EU and Singapore. Our Free Trade and Partnership and Cooperation Agreements will deepen our bilateral ties and enable us to better address emerging global challenges. These Agreements will also serve as stepping stones for greater engagement between the EU and Southeast Asia. As Singapore prepares for the future, we look forward to meeting Prime Minister Lee to discuss the next chapter of our relationship.’

The opposition parties had hoped to build on their relative success in 2011 but the main Workers’ Party actually lost a seat. The results appear to vindicate the PAP’s handling of issues that had caused some concern in recent months including the slowing economy (2015 GDP growth likely to be 2% instead of the forecast 4%), rising immigration, house prices, transport breakdowns and pensions.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, the eldest son of PAP founder Lee Kuan Yew, said he was ‘humbled’ by the result. During the campaign he promised to listen more to citizens’ wishes and improve social welfare policies.

Most analysts consider that the PAP benefited from last month's jubilee celebrations, and a feeling of gratitude to Lee Kuan Yew who died earlier this year. The results thus cement the PAP's long-running political dominance in Singapore and highlight the long road ahead for those pushing for greater political plurality.