First off, a disclaimer. The following thoughts are my own and have been cobbled together based on conversations and observations with other would-be voters. I don’t support any particular side and I’m no political expert but I’m interested in the arguments all the parties are making and of course, in a contest, everyone has a view that they would like to bet on. For me, I just want to let my inner armchair analyst out.

tl;dr version- PAP wins big in every contest except Aljunied, Hougang, Potong Pasir, East Coast and Holland-Bukit Timah. Independents to lose their deposits.

For full analysis, read below.

Rationale

PAP:
The PAP has a lot of things going for them this round- SG50, LKY’s passing and the fact that they really seem to have made some attempt at acknowledging that they have a problem unlike GE2011 where we had MPs like Mah Bow Tan who simply denied that housing was an issue. Basically, he learnt it the hard way.

The new crop of PAP high fliers like Tan Chuan Jin, Chan Chun Sing, Heng Swee Keat and even Tin Pei Ling have got it right this round by staying around from making jibes at opposition personalities (think Chee Soon Juan and the Aljunied team) and harping on the Aljunied-Hougang town council issue.

What’s not helping the PAP is that their insistence on track record is a lousy advertising strategy because the young voters aren’t sure they can buy that story. Remember that nominal income is an illusion and what people really care about are the things they can buy. Case in point- some of my very middle income senior colleagues are staying in landed, private property which they managed to afford of very middle income salaries that they’ve drawn over the last 30 years. An average graduate in the civil service, doing the same type of job in this day and age can probably think of landed, private property in Iskandar. Let’s not even get started about cars.

Now, I’m not saying that expensive housing and private transport is something that everyone should have. That’s certainly not the case and neither is all this the fault of the PAP government but my point is, that’s the economic environment that the current PAP government has to deal with and therefore, promising that their track record will make things as good for young voters as it did for their parents is something they cannot and should not promise. After all, it’s simple macroeconomics that developed countries do not grow as quickly as developing countries and Singapore just after independence and today are two different economies at different stages of development.

What PAP needs to get the swing voters is to stop the hypocrisy.

Stop Vivian Balakrishnan from talking about the WP’s financial management when the YOG budget was blown sky high (I know the hardcore PAP supporters and accountants will say that both issues are separate but the truth is not the issue here. Perception is.)

Stop Lim Swee Say from saying stupid things. I can’t even count the number of stupid things he’s said from him looking at his CPF to frogs in a well to his latest gaffe being his luck at not turning out a PRC or Malaysian. The guy clearly has no tack.

Stop going after Chee Soon Juan because that guy is/has become really politically savvy. His strategy thus far has been brilliant- come across as being rational, logical and gentlemanly. Let your opponents attack and then hit them where it hurt most. Most brilliant example of this was how Lawrence Wong came across as being petty during that live political debate when he tried dragging up Chee Soon Juan’s past record. I thought Chee did a brilliant job in getting people to question if the mainstream media in the pre-internet 2.0 age (i.e. no Facebook, twitter, Youtube) could be trusted. I mean after all, Singapore isn’t ranked lowly on the World Press Freedom index for no reason. This is also my reason for the less-than-big win for the PAP in Holland-Bukit Timah. I would be really surprised if the SDP wins there because I don’t sense that much anger towards the PAP but if Chee keeps this up, Holland-Bukit Timah may be just a matter of time.

WP:

WP hasn’t helped themselves with the town council issue. Also, I follow Chen Show Mao’s Facebook page and I’m surprised that he hasn’t posted much since the elections. Clearly, the WP isn’t that savvy with the younger voting crowd. They’ll still be able to ride on the anti-PAP vote though and East Coast will be the place to watch. Gerald Giam really did quite a job in parliament even though he’s a NCMP but the stand out probably has to be Leon Perera. The profiling by the media (both mainstream and non-mainstream) has really lent some weight to the WP East Coast team. Will they win? I’m not sure even though I’m not a fan of Lim Swee Say (see above).

WP should hold on to all seats they currently have and it will be a bonus is they win East Coast as well. The other places they’re contesting in will not even be close. PAP will take them all.

All other parties not mentioned probably will lose big because they’ve been coming across as having candidates that are worse than the average voter- think SDA’s Desmond Lim; NSP’s Kevryn Lim and other jokers whose names I don’t even know; RP’s “return-our-CPF” Roy (who has been surprisingly quiet) and bi-polar Ravi; Wall’s, I mean, SingFirst; and the rest that I can’t even be bother to mention.

That’s it from me. Back to stock market action.

Advertisements