Singapore

Opposition wins 40 per cent in 'watershed' Singapore election

Reuters/Tim Chong

Many Singaporeans “wish for the government to adopt a different style and approach", Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong admitted after Saturday’s election saw the opposition win an unprecedented 40 per cent of the vote.

Advertising

Lee said the the poll was "a watershed" and marked a “distinct shift” in the country’s politics, promising soul-searching in the People’s Action Party (PAP), which was founded by his father, Singapore’s first PM Lee Kuan Yew.

Despite reducing the PAP’s share of the vote to 60 per cent – from 67 per cent in 2006 and 75 per cent in 2001 – and unseating Foreign Minister George Yeo, the opposition Workers’ Party only took six seats thanks to the country’s voting system.

But that was its best performance since Singapore broke away from the Malaysian federation in 1965.

Six opposition parties stood candidates in the election.

Workers' Party chief Low Thia Khiang said the results showed Singaporeans wanted "a more responsive, inclusive, transparent, accountable government" and "a more caring political leadership".

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning