The true winner of the presidential election

Posted: August 28, 2011 in Politics
Tags: , ,

Tony Tan has won the presidential election to become Singapore’s seventh president. However, what is more significant is not that he won, but how he well he fared.

Winning by a margin of 0.34 percent, or 7,629 votes out of 2,153,014 votes cast is an extremely poor result for someone who has held several important ministerial positions, the highest being deputy prime minister, under the banner of the People’s Action Party. Tony Tan was the only candidate to be praised by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during the election’s hustings, which is a clear signal of who the PAP prefers to be the president.

That the PAP’s preferred candidate, with such gilded credentials and close association with the PAP, could only muster a win of such epic proportions is undoubtedly a bad omen for the PAP’s political future.

If the results of this year’s presidential elections are anything to go by, the PAP can expect its die-hard supporter base to hold steady at about 35%, and possibly decline a few percentage points by the next general elections because many of the PAP staunchest supporters are the elderly folks.

The PAP’s political opponents are not faring better than the PAP. The darling of the opponents, Tan Jee Say, raked in 25% of the votes cast, suggesting that the PAP opponents are not strong enough to topple the PAP from its political perch on their own.

The candidate in the middle of the political spectrum, Tan Cheng Bock, pulled in just a whisker shy of 35% of the votes, indicating that more than a third of Singaporeans are moderates or independents. The political middle ground appears to be the critical factor in winning future elections, and it remains to be seen how far the various political parties are willing to pander to the moderates and independents. Tan Cheng Bock has proven that the political middle ground is highly fertile and clearly worth cultivating.

For future elections, the moderates and independents are going to feel like a busty, pretty blonde on Valentine’s Day, with tons of suitors bearing flowers and gifts in exchange for a date. Moderate and independent voters are the true winners of this presidential election, and they are going to have it good in future elections.

  1. Stanley says:

    So when i apply for a new flat, i get to fill up this form that says i’m a moderate and independent voter and i get 100k HDB grant instead of 30k otherwise? Or perhaps, there’s this option for me to press when i top up my EZ-link card where i get 50% more rebates? Or maybe i only need to serve 1 yr NS and 2 yrs of ICT if i’m a moderate?

    Have it good in future elections? How? Suffer together like the rest of the liberals more like it…

  2. Qzact says:

    Can you share what you mean by ‘moderate and independent voters’? Do you mean that they are neither ‘pro-PAP’ nor ‘pro-Opposition’?

    • Aaron Ng says:


      Here are my definitions:

      Independents are those who do not align with any political party, while moderates do align with political parties, but are willing to change political positions if they think the position of the party they are now aligning with is too extreme.

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