SINGAPORE: Workers’ Party, the Singapore alternative party, has been seen working hard to intensify outreach to the residents in the Tampines group representation constituency (GRC) amidst speculation of an early General Election in 2024.
In a Facebook post dated Sunday (26 Nov), the WP said that its team visited the Tampines Round Market and Tampines East. Both locations are part of the Tampines GRC.
The visit included notable figures such as Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh, Sylvia Lim, WP MPs for Aljunied GRC Gerald Giam and Muhamad Faisal bin Abdul Manap, Assoc Prof Jamus Lim, and the MP for Sengkang GRC, all of whom were part of the team that visited Tampines on that particular Sunday.
They are seen selling the Hammer newsletter on the ground and interacting with the community members.
WP has dedicated significant efforts to outreach across diverse areas within Tampines over the past few years.
Notably, WP volunteers have been intensifying their active engagement with residents across the constituency for some time now.
For instance, on 29 October, WP leaders and volunteers, also led by WP Chief Pritam Singh, visited both Blk 85 Fengshan Market and Shop T West, Tampines Street 81, which belong to East Coast GRC and Tampines GRC.
Ground sentiments favouring WP to contest in Tampines GRC in the upcoming GE
During the 2020 General Election, Tampines GRC saw a contest between the People’s Action Party (PAP) and the National Solidarity Party (NSP), which has been contesting in the ward since 2011.
Under the leadership of Minister for Social and Family Development Masagos Zulkifli, the five-member PAP team retained the ward for the party with a convincing 66.41% victory, a drop of 5.65% from the previous election.
Masagos Zulkifli’s team consisted of Senior Minister of State Koh Poh Koon, Senior Parliamentary Secretary Baey Yam Keng, Mayor Desmond Choo, and then-PAP MP Cheng Li Hui.
Having secured 66.41 per cent of the votes, the PAP team achieved the status of the fifth-best performing GRC, following the successes of PM Lee and SM Tharman’s respective GRCs.
Before this election, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat had served as the anchor minister for Tampines GRC for a decade.
However, in GE2020, Heng surprised many by shifting to East Coast GRC, leading his team to victory there, albeit with a narrow margin of 53.39% against the WP team, a 7.34% drop from GE2015.
Observing comments sections on WP Chief Pritam Singh’s and the official Workers’ Party (WP) Facebook pages reveals a prevailing sentiment.
Certain netizens express desire and hope for the party to contest in Tampines GRC during the upcoming General Election.
Speculation suggests that in the aftermath of an extramarital affair scandal involving former Parliamentary Speaker Tan Chuan-Jin and former Tampines MP Cheng Li Hui, the ongoing investigation against Transport Minister S Iswaran and the Ridout Road controversy involving Ministers K Shanmugam and Vivian Balakrishnan, alternative parties might have an increased likelihood of challenging PAP strongholds.
Of notable importance is the prevailing group sentiment regarding concerns about the cost of living, inflation, housing, and job insecurity, which significantly influences the ground-level support for the ruling party.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced at the PAP 2023 awards and convention his plan to pass the leadership baton to Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong before the next General Election, scheduled to occur by November 2025.
He remarked that this election will align with the party’s leadership transition to the 4G team, potentially around the PAP’s 70th anniversary on 21 November 2024.
‘Lawrence has told me that he is ready, and this morning, you have heard him say he is prepared for his next assignment. I have full confidence in Lawrence and his team, so there is no reason to delay the political transition. Therefore, I intend to hand over to DPM Lawrence before the next GE,’ Mr Lee stated.
However, PM Lee did not specify when exactly the handover would take place.
Regardless, based on PM Lee’s comments, it is reasonable to expect that the General Election will take place next year before the party’s anniversary in November.
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