12 September 2015
The General Election results were in stark contrast with prevailing sentiment on social media sites as well as high attendance at the rallies of Opposition parties, analysts noted on Friday (Sep 11).
Photographs of the massive turnout at Workers’ Party rallies and long lines for Singapore Democratic Party chief Chee Soon Juan’s autographs dominated social media, but results from Polling Day — the People’s Action Party (PAP) walked away with 69.86 per cent of the vote — suggest that popularity on social media does not necessarily translate to votes.
Former Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) Siew Kum Hong said the silent majority — those who do not express their views online — appeared to be behind the swing towards the PAP. “Since the 2001 General Election, in every election the Internet seems to always predict big advances for the Opposition, so I am not surprised by the disconnect,” said Mr Siew, pointing to the Government’s responsiveness to voters since the last General Election, the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Golden Jubilee as reasons for the PAP’s success.
… Associate Professor Alan Chong from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies said the Internet as a platform is a “potential leveller of the playing field” for the Opposition. But when it comes to getting votes, the human touch may still count for more.
“If your candidates can go house to house, door to door, if he or she actually leaves a message for you to say please vote for me, I wish you well, these things can’t be done on social media,” said Assoc Prof Chong, adding that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s messages have been very effective.
CMS / GPO / RSIS / Online
Last updated on 16/11/2015