Singapore

The biggest losers of GE2015

Since Singapore gained independence in 1965, only two candidates have secured less than 1 per cent of the vote.

On Friday (Sept 11), two more candidates - independent candidate Samir Salim Neji, 45, and the National Solidarity Party's Cheo Chai Chen - added their names to this small group.

Both candidates were involved in three-cornered fights in single member constituencies - Mr Samir in Bukit Batok SMC and Mr Cheo in MacPherson SMC.

Mr Samir, the managing director of software firm Anaplan Asia, secured just 150 of the vote in Bukit Batok SMC. That translates to 0.6 per cent of the 24,939 votes cast in all.

The People's Action Party's David Ong won the seat with 72.99 per cent of the vote, while the other candidate, Singapore Democratic Party's Sadasivam Veriyah, secured 26.4 per cent.

In an interview with The Straits Times after his surprising appearance during Nomination Day on Sept 1, Mr Samir (below), who came to study in Singapore in 1997 and took up citizenship in 2004, had said he was confident he would not lose his $14,500 deposit.

"It's 12.5 per cent. It's an easy target," he was quoted as saying.

 

Mr Cheo (below), an NSP council member, secured just 215 votes out of 26,268 votes in MacPherson, which was just 0.82 per cent of the total votes.

The seat was won by the PAP's Tin Pei Ling (65.58 per cent). The Workers' Party's Bernard Chen got 33.6 per cent.

The NSP had initially said it would not contest MacPherson, leaving the WP to fight it out against the PAP. But a few days later, the party changed its mind and said it would send Mr Steve Chia to contest it as well. However, just a few days later, Mr Chia abruptly withdrew his name from the hat and the party ended up fielding Mr Cheo, 65, instead.

Any candidate who secures less than 12.5 per cent of valid votes will lose their election deposit. The deposit for this GE was $14,500

The other two candidates in the last 50 years to hit below 1 per cent of votes in elections are:

1. Mr Teo Kim Hoe

Contesting in Chua Chu Kang SMC under the now defunct United People's Front, Mr Teo won just 0.8 per cent of the votes in the 1984 General Election.

In that election, Chua Chu Kang was a three-cornered fight, with the incumbent MP at the time, Mr Tang See Chim, and the Workers' Party's candidate Chan Keng Sieng.

Mr Tang, who served six terms as Chua Chu Kang's MP, won the seat with 54.8 per cent of the vote while Mr Chan got 44.4 per cent.

Mr Teo secured just 196 votes from 24,727 votes.

He did not contest the Chua Chu Kang seat in the 1988 GE.

2. Mr Desmond Lim Bak Chuan

At a by-election in Punggol East in 2013 after the then MP Michael Palmer stepped down over an extramarital affair, Mr Lim won just 0.6 per cent in another three-cornered fight.

The seat was won by the Workers' Party's Lee Li Lian (54.5 per cent), defeating the People's Action Party's Koh Poh Koon (43.73 per cent).

During the General Election in 2011, Mr Lim, the leader of the Singapore Democratic Alliance, secured 4.5 per cent of the votes in Punggol East, with Mr Palmer winning the seat (54.54 per cent). Ms Lee received 41.01 per cent.

 

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