All The Numbers You Should Know About GE2020, Including the Ruling Party’s ‘Mandate’


If you’re one who loves numbers, this article will be perfect for you.

Image: Giphy

And it’s even more exciting if you’re one who gets excited about setting new records.

Right off the bat, here’s your first one:

95.63% Of Registered Elector Votes Were Casted; Second Highest In History

Yesterday, it was reported that there was a 96% voter turnout, which is higher than the 93.56% in GE 2015.

That was the early estimate. The real figure is 95.63% of the 2,651,435 registered electors, or 2,535,565 votes casted including 45,772 rejected votes.

A check of the voter turnout since independence shows that this is the second-highest turnout for a General Election, just right after 1984’s 95.65%. That’s right, a mere 0.02% difference.

And remember, we’re in the middle of a pandemic.

192 Candidates Contested; The Most In History

In GE2015, there were 181 candidates from 9 political parties, with more than 70 first-timers. At that time, that was a new record. This time, there were 192, including 73 new candidates and one independent candidate from 11 parties contesting for the 93 seats in parliament.

With that many candidates, this is also the second consecutive election with no walkovers in any constituency.

Oh, we’re not stopping with the record-breaking here.

40 Female Candidates; Most In History

That’s right. Back in 2011, there were 36, and in 2015, 35. This year, this increased to 40.

A 30% composition of female politicians in parliament is a target number for activists since this is the number when female politicians are seen as normal.

The PAP Mandate

One thing that probably confused a lot of people is what the heck the PAP means by a “strong mandate” or a “clear mandate”.

So much so that people are asking simi mandate? Chinese drama mandate from Heaven ar?

And it definitely doesn’t stand for “strong man date” where you date a strong man.

It’s actually not clarified by anyone in the PAP, so we’re only left to guess. To the dictionaries!


According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, these are the definitions for “mandate”:

Just from context, we can infer that the “strong mandate” just basically means a higher percentage vote for the PAP. How high enough is strong? Don’t know.

But we do know that the results…

PAP’s Overall Vote in GE2020: 61.24%

Is 61.24% is a “good mandate”?


That’s up to you to decide, but it’s not as high as PM Lee has hoped. Keep in mind that the lowest since independence was 60.1% in GE2011, which means that this is a rather good election for opposition parties.

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To explain how good of an election for them this is, the Workers’ Party overall vote share is 50.49% of the votes (11.22% of all valid votes), breaking the Singapore Democratic Party’s previous record in 1991 with 48.6%.

And looking at East Coast GRC, where Heng Sweet Keat AKA potentially our next PM was placed at the last minute, the PAP only got 53.41% of the vote, against the WP with 46.59%.

Ah Heng’s status as the potential-PM should wipe the opposition. In fact, four of the PAP politicians in East Coast GRC has a Wikipedia page, while only Nicole Seah zeh zeh has one for the WP. So it’s a double whammy of name better name recognition and higher status, which should have been an easy win for the PAP.

But it wasn’t.

(Although, the alternative view is that if Ah Heng wasn’t there, WP would win easily. Or in an alternate universe)


Heck, remember Kenneth Jeyaretnam, chief of the Reform Party who got a Stay Home Notice and couldn’t even campaign? RP got 28.09% of the votes in Ang Mo Kio GRC anyway, compared to GE2015’s 21.36%.

Yes, Ang Mo Kio GRC. The one that PM Lee contested in.

Here’s a table compiled by VulcanPost showing how PAP performed compared to GE2015:

Image: Vulcan Post

But take note, despite all that:

PAP Wins 83 of 93 Parliamentary Seats

Despite the opposition making huge gains, remember that this still translates to the PAP winning 83 of the 93 seats, to get a supermajority in the parliament. The other 10 seats went to the WP, retaining their wards of Aljunied GRC and Hougang SMC, then winning the new Sengkang GRC.


That means, assuming all MPs in PAP have similar opinions, the PAP can still pass any bill they want, though that might not warm the cockles of all MPs’ heart now.

Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) To Be Announced

That said, the Constitution and the Parliamentary Elections Act allows for up to 12 NCMPs, to ensure that the voice of the opposition will still at least be heard in Parliament.

Since we already have 10 opposition MPs, a total of 2 NCMP seats will be offered.

Of course, they will be given to the best candidates, so will be chosen from the best-performing in terms of polling.

This will be West Coast GRC (PSP, 49.31%), of which PSP can choose up to 2 candidates from Tan Cheng Bock, Hazel Poa, N.Loganathan, Leong Mun Wai and Jeffrey Khoo (Tan Cheng Bock has, however, publicly stated he’s not going to take the seat).

If the PSP chooses not to take up the NCMPs positions, East Coast GRC (WP, 46.59%) will be next, from Nicole Seah, Terence Tan, Dylan Ng, Foo Seck Guan and Abdul Shariff.

If WP also doesn’t take up the NCMP position, then the opposition from Bukit Panjang SMC (SDP, 46.26%) will be offered.

Right now, we still have to wait until the NCMPs are announced.


6 Candidates Lost Their S$13,500 Deposit

And finally… some might be wondering who are the ones who managed to put their names beside Han Hui Hui as fellow election deposit losers. That means, they fail to gather at least 12.5% of the vote.

This year, we have Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, with Peoples Voice only gathering 12.18%, and Cheang Peng Wah in Pioneer SMC, who only got 2.78%.

And on a side note, politicians have been talking about NCMP (Non-Constituency Member of Parliament) in recent days. So, what’s an NCMP? Do you know that it’s just like an MP but the allowance is much lower? Watch this video to find out more: