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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Singapore Parliamentary Electoral Map 2011

For a pictorial view of the newly drawn Singapore Parliamentary Electoral Map 2011, please refer to this link.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has accepted the recommendations of the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee.

The details were released on Thursday by Parliament, and is the first step and a clear sign, that Singaporeans will be headed for the polls soon.

Going by past elections, from the release of the Boundaries report - which spells out changes to constituencies - to polling day, it can take anywhere between 17 days and nearly six months.

Political parties usually map out their election strategies after the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee report is released.

That's because, the report recommends the size and the geographical boundaries of each constituency, which will affect the activities of parties trying to woo voters.

The committee recommended changes after looking at voter population growth.

This time, the committee was tasked to create a minimum of 12 single member wards, more smaller Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs) which put four to six candidates together on one slate.

It was also tasked to create fewer large six-member GRCs.

Smaller GRCs and more single member wards reduce the perceived hurdles the opposition face, in getting into Parliament.

There will now be 12 single member wards up from nine.

There are eight new ones including Whampoa, Yuhua, Mountbatten and Radin Mas.

The rest are: Hong Kah North, Pioneer, Punggol East and Sengkang West.

Some of these Single Member Constituencies (SMCs) were carved out from bigger GRCs. Two existing oppositions wards of Potong Pasir and Hougang remain.

The large six-man GRCs have been reduced significantly to just two from five.

The two remaining are the Prime Minister's GRC of Ang Mo Kio and Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Teo Chee Hean's GRC of Pasir Ris-Punggol.

Pasir Ris-Punggol has 204,845 voters while Ang Mo Kio has 171,080.

Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew's ward of Tanjong Pagar and Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong's ward of Marine Parade have become five-member wards.

Sembawang GRC has also become a five-man GRC from six, while a new five-member GRC called Nee Soon, was carved out from two SMCs.

In total, there will be 11 five-member GRCs.

More than 2.35 million Singaporeans have registered to vote ahead of the next General Election.

The Electoral Boundaries Review Committee said it worked on a range of 20,000 to 36,000 electors per MP.

With the changes, the total number of MPs will be 87 - slightly more than the current 84.

Before the general election can be called, Parliament has to be dissolved and the writ of election issued.

But the budget debate begins on Monday and is expected to last for at least two weeks.

Parliament could be dissolved after that, and pundits and politicians have predicted that the polls could take place in May.

GE: Counting down to the General Election [via]

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