'Women may not vote for them'

One risk that a women's-only party faces is that it might alienate people.

Said Singapore Management University's law don Eugene Tan: "If they're looking at women's-only issues or have only women, they are likely to have very limited electorate appeal."

Dr Wong Wee Nam, who contested in the 1997 General Election under the National Solidarity Party line-up, added that "women may not necessarily vote for them".

Even so, Prof Tan said: "The nascent group may not seek to win seats, but it can certainly raise the profile of the issues it champions and generate awareness.

"The main parties are then compelled to look at these issues more closely."

Dr Wong said that while the political atmosphere is "better now", fledgling parties could end up as "guerillas".

"Their leadership may be unable to come together and form an alternative platform to provide contest to the ruling party," he said.

"With few ideological differences separating the various political parties now, the newer groups are also not distinct enough to stand out.

"If you want to make a difference, why not join a current party, improve on it and make changes from within?"