Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Reflections on GE 2011

Many people tend to believe that Internet, New Media or Social Media have played the critical role in GE2011 but I think otherwise. Among the highest scoring teams, most of them enjoyed significant spotlight by the main stream media.

Workers Party (WP) is the biggest winner in terms of media coverage. Singapore Democratic Party (SDP)also enjoys significant media coverage on their two main GRC teams. As for NSP, the best performing team, Marine Parade Team, enjoys the most media coverage as well.

Many people have talked about the strategic failure of NSP Tampines Team. To put on record, NSP Tampines Team is quite a decent team with passionate people on board. Nevertheless, there are many factors to make a team win. My failure to convince people like Tony Tan, Hazel Poa or even Nicole Seah to join the Tampines Team has cost us a lost opportunity of punching through.

There are many other factors which will determine the results:

The Ground
1) Class Types: In comparison, Tampines is definitely a hard ground in terms of housing types. 32% of flats are 5 room and above, presumably middle class. This is the highest percentage among all other GRCs. From GE 2006 and further confirmation in this GE 2011, surprisingly those who lives in landed properties are more supportive of opposition as a whole.

2) Pass electoral records: Tampines result in GE 2006 was only slightly more than 30%. Tampines is a fortress and doesn't have any changes to its boundaries. Though we do not have fair comparison of Marine Parade, but Marine Parade has the worse ground. Prior to nomination day, my estimate is for NSP to get about 35% to 40%. This is based on past electoral records of Braddel Heights (48%, Sin Kek Tong time), Eunos-Ubi (49%, Francis Seow's time) and the swollen ground from Chai Chee, part of Joo Chiat. On top of that, better ground like Mountbatten was cut out.

The People

3) Demographics & Race composition: Tampines has a pretty high percentage of Malay as well as young voters. The swing in Malay and young votes have actually helped us to get much better result, though falling short of a win.

4) Candidates play an important part in winning votes. Apparently Nicole Seah has managed to win quite a substantial number of votes in Marine Parade. Uncle Chiam also played an important role in getting votes for both Potong Pasir and Bishan Toa Payoh. Needless to say, WP's three stars, Low Thia Khiang, Sylvia Lim and Chen Show Mao are the pillars of WP's branding which helped to raise the votes and profiles of all other teams and candidates. As mentioned, the failure to convince Tony and Hazel to join my Tampines Team has cost us dearly.

5) Opponent's profile is also an important factor to determine whether we could get better results or even a win. Minister Mah and Tin PL are just two prime examples.

The Issues

6) Marine Parade has issues in Joo Chiat area as well as local issues in other places. Tampines has less local issues but national issue like high HDB Housing prices was the main thrust.

Party Branding

7) Apparently Party Branding plays a very important role in WP's campaign while NSP has to depend on other factors which I have mentioned above.

Failure of Minister-Specific Strategy?

Contrary to news report, I think the Minister-Specific Strategy has worked, though not to its fuller extend. Both Tampines and Marine Parade teams have applied minister-specific strategy and they have yielded better results as compared to other NSP teams.

However issue-based minister-specific strategy is just necessary but insufficient strategy for parties without STRONG branding to win the elections.

Although overall NSP has done better than the National Vote swing of 6% (we have gotten about 8% against the setting of 31% in GE 2006) but anything falling short of a win is still regrettable.

Goh Meng Seng


Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Goh,

I think you should improve the quality of your candidates and field an A team in Tampines or Marine Parade. NSP has contested the most GRC and SMCs hence overstretching the resources and manpower.

It is disappointing that NSP has not even won a NCMP spot.

Trebuchet said...

Hi Mr Goh,

It's also good to field candidates (as you did in some cases) who live in the areas which they are to contest. Don't be disheartened, you did well. See you in 2016!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Goh,

If you can't convince the couple and Nicole to join you in Tampines, what does that say about your leadership?

Anonymous said...

The 3 candidates you mentioned will leave with the group of former members and volunteers from the Reform Party with new members and volunteers who joined your party during the GE.They used your party as a platform to contest in the elections and are looking for leadership positions in your party.Your party was never their first choice.They were rejected by all the other parties.The hidden hands are still in control and are working in the background.They will wreck your party in the coming months and at an opportune time like what they did to the Reform Party and planned to do to other opposition parties.The other opposition party leaders and veterans will never ever allow this group to join their ranks.Nobody was willing to meet their demands.They came as a group and will soon take over your party if you do not meet their demands.Ignore this it at your own peril.

Anonymous said...

Good reflection, but hope you and your team don't get into depression. To me and many pro-Singaporeans citizens, we feel that all of you have played a part in the whole political swift and squeezed some apologies out of the PM and other PAP members. This alone is a great achievement in history. Thank you for that.

I hope you guys will not give up or get discouraged just because your party didn't win this round. For the sake of all citizens and your children, please continue to press for more justice and fairness in the Singapore political scene.

We can achieve one day.



Anonymous said...

Mr Goh, today's voters are mostly quite well educated. We want energetic, articulate and well educated candidates. Plse do not fill any of your candidates who are more then 55 years old in GE2016.

Anonymous said...

I was at the rally in Choa Chu Kang Stadium. I just want to give some feedback on some of the candidates.

The NSP team leader for Choa Chu Kang GRC, Sebastian Teo was not only a really bad speaker, he also gave really thoughtless proposals. I think he pulled down overall credibility of the team. Basically he was no different from a crazy ranting uncle in the streets.

Cutting National Service to 15 months is rather pointless. It showed that he was uninformed about National Service and its presence in Singapore as deterrent force.

4 meet-the-people sessions per week was also a rather senseless promise. Even though 3 sessions might be done in one day, it will likely become a waste of the team's time if people are only available to meet in the evenings.

His challenge to Gan Kim Yong on block 203 and 204 upgrading was also unresearched.

Essentially, he was bordering on spouting nonsense, and constantly stuttering while he was at it. He simply seem unprepared.

On policies, I would rather proposals be really well-thought out. As much as it is effective to play on the people's unhappiness, it is also important to recognize that the people can tell that some proposals just won't work and will just backfire at the team.

Ah said...

Hi Mr.Goh,
I'm one of those who voted for you and I'm not young (53yrs old).My friends who are living around my area have also given you their support and they are in my age group.I noticed that most of the PAP supporters are coffee shop and business owners who benefit from their connection with the party and there are many coffeeshops around my block.These businesses are family owned and you get the picture.Pls try and get more credible people like Nicole Seah who speaks well and with logic and not some ambarrassing idiot who advocated shortening our National Service to 15mths and meeting the people 4 times a week.This was really an insult to our intelligence.Do remember that Singaporeans are more discerning of the candidates you are fielding.Meanwhile my condolence to the lost of your brother and continue the fight in Tampines in the next GE as we want MBT out.