Singapore

WP set to contest five constituencies, focus on the east

The Workers' Party looks to have set its sights on five constituencies in the upcoming election, half the number it contested in 2015.

Its slate of 20 candidates will likely also sport fewer new faces compared with its last outing at the polls.

In the last general election, the leading opposition party contested 10 constituencies, fielding 28 candidates, 16 of them newcomers. That was its largest contingent to date since 1988.

While the party had continued to cover the ground in most of these areas in the past five years, it had narrowed its focus as the deadline for the coming election drew nearer.

Party members who spoke on condition of anonymity said the WP leadership has decided to contest Aljunied, East Coast, Marine Parade and Sengkang GRCs, as well as Hougang SMC, in an attempt to consolidate its position in the east.

Since movement restrictions were relaxed after the end of Singapore's circuit breaker period, the party's volunteers have hit housing estates in these areas along with the prospective candidates.

Meanwhile, of the other five seats it contested in 2015, Punggol East, Sengkang West and Fengshan no longer exist as single seats as they have been absorbed into GRCs.

As for Nee Soon and Jalan Besar GRCs, it is said the party has decided not to send teams there this time around.

WP barely held on to its Aljunied GRC crown jewel in 2015, with just 50.96 per cent of votes after a recount, and also retained its Hougang stronghold with a smaller margin. It lost Punggol East SMC, which it wrested from the People's Action Party in a by-election in 2013.

In the coming election, it will be going into battle for the first time with secretary-general Pritam Singh at the helm, after he took over from long-time party chief Low Thia Khiang in 2018.

It is unclear if Mr Low, 63, who suffered a head injury after a fall at home on April 30, will stand for election again.

While the party has said he is on the mend and is undergoing rehabilitation, party sources who did not want to be named say he had been contemplating retirement even before his accident.

Singapore Politics