SINGAPORE: Voters will see five new constituencies in the coming General Election, while three have been removed, in changes to Singapore's electoral boundaries that were released on Friday (Mar 13).
There are now 31 electoral divisions, up from 29 in the last election, according to the report by the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC); and a new Group Representation Constituency (GRC) has been created in Sengkang, a region which has seen recent population growth.
Four new Single Member Constituencies (SMCs) have sprouted to replace three that have disappeared.
Here's where the battle lines have been drawn for the next election:
MORE MPS, MORE CONSTITUENCIES
Singapore’s next Parliament will have 93 seats, four more than the current 89 in the House. The increase comes as the number of voters in the Register of Electors grew by more than 134,000.
There will be 31 electoral divisions: 14 Single Member Constituencies (SMCs) and 17 Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs).
That’s one more SMC and one more GRC than in 2015, but some existing wards have been removed or redrawn.
NO MORE SIX-MEMBER GRCs
One major change this time is that the two GRCs which had six members have been down-sized.
Ang Mo Kio, the GRC led by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and Pasir Ris-Punggol, helmed by Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean will become five-member GRCs.
There were five six-member GRCs during the 2001 and 2006 elections.
Changes were expected for Pasir Ris-Punggol as, with housing development in the area, the GRC had grown considerably in the number of electors. Its 242,225 voters are far more than the 190,000 ceiling recommended by the EBRC for a five-member GRC.
NEW SENGKANG GRC
A new four-member GRC has been formed in Sengkang. It includes polling districts that belonged to Pasir Ris-Punggol, and has absorbed districts from the two former SMCs - Punggol East and Sengkang West.
A few other GRCs have expanded or shrunk.
Bishan-Toa Payoh has shed one MP to become a four-member GRC. Both East Coast and West Coast GRCs have grown from four members to five.
NEW SINGLE MEMBER CONSTITUENCIES
There are four new SMCs out of a total of 14 for the coming election, one more than in 2015.
The new wards are Kebun Baru, Marymount, Punggol West and Yio Chu Kang.
Kebun Baru has been carved out of Nee Soon GRC, Marymount from Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, Punggol West from Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC and Yio Chu Kang from Ang Mo Kio GRC.
MISSING: 2 CLOSELY FOUGHT WARDS IN 2015
Three SMCs have been removed: Fengshan, Punggol East and Sengkang West.
Punggol East saw a close fight in the 2015 General Election.
Veteran politician from the People’s Action Party (PAP) Charles Chong wrested Punggol East from then Workers’ Party’s Lee Li Lian with a narrow margin, winning 51.77 per cent of the votes.
In Fengshan, PAP new face Cheryl Chan won with 57.5 per cent of the votes against WP’s Dennis Tan.
Fengshan districts are now integrated into a larger East Coast GRC while Punggol East has been drawn into Sengkang GRC. The new GRC also absorbs parts of Sengkang West – the third SMC erased.
A few districts from Sengkang West, which grew substantially in voting population from 2015, will go to Ang Mo Kio GRC.
POTONG PASIR REMAINS BUT ALTERED
There had been speculation that Potong Pasir SMC might cease to exist after it changed from opposition hands to being a PAP ward after MP Sitoh Yih Pin’s win in 2011.
While this has not happened this time, it looks like the district’s boundaries, which was unchanged for decades under veteran opposition politician Chiam See Tong, have now shifted.
According to the EBRC report, two polling districts that were from Marine Parade now form part of Potong Pasir, boosting voter numbers there from 16,739 to 18,551.
Part of the SMC has also been drawn into Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC.
THE 31 CONSTITUENCIES
These are the 14 SMCs and 17 GRCs in the coming GE, with the new constituencies highlighted in bold:
1. Bukit Batok
2. Bukit Panjang
3. Hong Kah North
5. Kebun Baru
10. Potong Pasir
11. Punggol West
12. Radin Mas
13. Yio Chu Kang
1. Bishan-Toa Payoh
2. Chua Chu Kang
3. Holland-Bukit Timah
4. Jalan Besar
5. Marsiling-Yew Tee
2. Ang Mo Kio
3. East Coast
5. Marine Parade
6. Nee Soon
7. Pasir Ris-Punggol
10. Tanjong Pagar
11. West Coast