Sea Change in Singapore Politics?

The shock People's Action Party defeat in Singapore's Punggol East by-election, won over the weekend by the opposition Workers Party candidate Lee Li Lian with 54.5 percent of the vote, seems a watershed in the island republic's politics. Certainly it was a by-election, not a general one, so an opposition candidate could be expected to better than at the general election when the Workers Part candidate got only 43 percent of the vote. But a high turnout - 92 percent—indicates the degree of interest. The Workers Party was also helped by the fact that a second opposition candidate who got 4 percent of the vote in 2011 only received 0.5 percent this time. Also the PAP was smarting over adverse publicity relating to a controversy in which it abruptly pulled its electronic bookkeeping software out of a town council won last year by the opposition, after which the government red-flagged the council for keeping inadequate books.

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