Someone left me a comment on the previous post asking what I thought about Aljunied. Well, I didn’t reply to that before the results were out but if I did, I would have said what I had already said in the previous post- which was that WP retains Aljunied.

Remember that WP won Aljunied in 2011 by a whisker and so it stands that this time would be a close shave for them too. Anyway, my predictions weren’t too bad. I didn’t see WP losing Punggol East and the magnitude of the swing towards the PAP but at least I got the direction right.

And that brings me to this post.

It’s quite funny to read the analysis of some commentators. While some of their points, to me, are valid; others, like the “fear factor” or the reminder of regional insecurities are plain stupid.

Let me explain the mindset of the swing voter. The swing voter is one that doesn’t have undying allegiance to a particular party. This individual likes to think of him/herself  as having the ability to discern and make a rational decision.

In 2011, the swing towards the opposition was mainly due to the fact that the PAP had become a machinery that continually boasts that it is the best members and didn’t acknowledge the fact that they had people who massively underperformed relative to what they were being paid to do (think Wong Kan Seng, Raymond lim and mah bow tan).

The PAP obviously learnt their lesson from 2011 and while they still showed some signs of their old self (think AHPETC or the vicious personal attacks on Chee Soon Juan), the younger crop of ministers (think tan chuan jin and Chan chun sing) and MPs (tin pei Ling is a good example) steered clear of that.

On the other hand, the WP also sought to play defence with the A team staying behind to consolidate their position. Honestly, I think Low Thia Kiang played his cards right this time. Sensing that the sentiment of the swing voter was towards the PAP, he wisely kept his experienced team in their place and sought to introduce some candidates that have the calibre and potential to be future MPs (think Leon Perera and He Ting Ru).

The rest of the opposition, except the SDP, basically continued being the circus sideshow that they are- NSP’s infighting, RP’s looney bunch, horrible gaffes and basically were either a joke (nsp, rp, singfirst, sda) or just blah (spp, ppp). To the fence-sitter, the PAP has definitely improved since 2011. It may not be healthy to have one party over-represented in parliament but what choice do we have?

I was going to blog a part 2 on what both the PAP and opposition need to do in order to win the swing vote the next election but I think Cynical Investor has a great post on that already so I’ll leave it at that. Word of caution for the PAP though- the swing voter also knows that if the PAP should revert to old form or fail to live up to its hype (think the PAP’s insistence on track record) then there’s always the Presidential Elections or the next one where a repeat of 2011 (or worse) to change the game.