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GE2020: Here’s What You Need To Know About General Election Deposits – And The People Who Lost Theirs

Not securing 12.5% of the vote will result in a forfeiture of $13,500 per candidate.

As part of every general election, candidates would have to submit an election deposit, along with a form attached if paying by bank transfer or cheque, to be able to stand for election. With all 93 seats in Parliament being contested, we might also see such election deposits forfeited in the event a candidate does too badly.

Following amended rules in the Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Bill in 2018, we explain to you all you need to know about election deposits and its history.

Read Also: GE2020: Here Are Key Economic And Financial Policy Proposals Contained In Political Parties’ Manifestos

How Are Election Deposits Computed?

In recent General Elections before the amendment to the elections bill in 2018, election deposits were calculated by summing up 8% of the total allowance paid to a Member of Parliament in the previous calendar year, rounded to the nearest $500.

This year, following the simplification of the formula used to calculate the election deposit, the deposit is fixed as the fixed monthly allowance paid to an elected Member of Parliament for the month just before the date of dissolution of Parliament, rounded to the nearest $500.

For GE2020, the election deposit is set at $13,500 for each candidate.

What To Know About Election Deposits

Election deposits will be returned to candidates or the person who made it on the candidate’s behalf if they either get elected to Parliament or meet certain conditions. These conditions are:

#1 If the candidate withdrew his nomination

#2 If the candidate is not nominated in the end

#3 If the candidate passes away before Polling Day

#4 If a candidate is not elected but secures more than 12.5% of the vote

If a candidate does not secure more than 12.5% (one-eigthth) of votes polled, their election deposit will be forfeited, which will then be paid into the government’s Consolidated Fund. This is potentially to discourage frivolous candidates or candidates who have little chances of being elected to participate in the election.

Payments for this year’s General Election can be made via electronic funds transfers, bank drafts or cheques. Any other forms of payment can only be paid if approved by the Returning Officer. Deposits by electronic funds transfer can be made using Candidate Services, while payments by bank draft or cheque will have to be submitted with the Payment of Election Deposit form.

Read Also: 5 Things Singaporeans Need To Know About GE2020 Nomination Day Results

History Of Election Deposits And Forfeitures

We listed down the recent history of what amount was the election deposit and the candidates who have forfeited their deposits going back to 1991. The political parties are listed below with their abbreviations:

AI: Angkatan Islam Singapura (Angkasa)
DPP: Democratic Progressive Party
NSP: National Solidarity Party
PAP: People’s Action Party
PKMS: Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Melayu Singapura
RP: Reform Party
SDA: Singapore Democratic Alliance
SDP: Singapore Democratic Party
UF: United Front
UNF: United National Front
UPF: United People’s Front


2015 GE – Election deposit set at $14,500

Candidates above the 12.5% threshold of votes Candidates who lost their deposits
Bukit Batok David Ong Kim Huat (PAP) – 73.02% of votes
Sadasivam V (SDP) – 26.38% of votes
Samir Salim Neji (Independent) – 0.60% of votes
MacPherson Chen Jiaxi (WP) – 33.59% of votes
Tin Pei Ling (PAP)- 65.60% of votes
Cheo Chai Chen (NSP) – 0.82% of votes
Radin Mas Kumar S/O Appavoo (RP) – 12.72% of votes

Tan Chin Siong (PAP) – 77.25% of votes

Han Hui Hui (Independent) – 10.03% of votes


2011 GE – Election Deposit set at $16,000

Candidates above the 12.5% threshold of votes Candidates who lost their deposits
Punggol East Lee Li Lian (WP) – 41.01% of votes
Michael Palmer (PAP) – 54.54% of votes
Lim Bak Chuan Desmond (SDA) – 4.45% of votes


2006 GE – Election deposit set at $13,500

No candidates obtained less than 12.5% of votes.


2001 GE

Candidates above the 12.5% threshold of votes Candidates who lost their deposits
Ayer Rajah Tan Cheng Bock (PAP) – 87.96% of votes Tan Lead Shake (DPP) – 12.04% of votes
Bukit Timah Tong Meng Chye (SDA) – 17.71% of votes
Wang Kai Yuen (PAP) – 77.37% of votes
Tan Kim Chuang (Independent) – 4.92% of votes


1997 GE

Candidates above the 12.5% threshold of votes Candidates who lost their deposits
Bukit Gombak Ang Mong Seng (PAP) – 65.14% of votes
Ling How Doong(SDP) – 28.42% of votes
Syed Farid Wajidi (SPP) – 6.44% of votes
Chua Chu Kang Chia Shi Teck (Independent) – 14.06% of votes
Low Seow Chay (PAP) – 61.92% of votes
Yip Yew Weng (NSP) – 22.07% of votes
Tan Soo Phuan (DPP) – 1.95% of votes


1991 GE

Candidates above the 12.5% threshold of votes Candidates who lost their deposits
Bukit Merah Ch’ng Jit Koon (PAP) – 61.94% of votes
Gopalan Nair (WP) – 36.43% of votes
Patrick Leong Siew Choong (Independent) – 1.63% of votes
Bukit Timah Wang Kai Yuen (PAP) – 72.64% of votes
Zeng Guoyuan (WP) – 25.68% of votes
Md Sani Jan (Independent) – 1.68% of votes
Chua Chu Kang Kwek Guan Kwee (Independent) – 23.95% of votes
Low Seow Chay (PAP) – 68.44% of votes
Harry W Baptist (Independent) – 7.61% of votes
Jurong John Gan Eng Guan (WP) – 30.60% of votes
Ho Kah Leong (PAP) – 64.32% of votes
Mohamed Bin Awang (PKMS) – 5.08% of votes
Tanglin Lew Syn Pau (PAP) – 68.52% of votes
Jimmy Tan Tiang Hoe (SDP) – 30.25% of votes
Gnaguru s/o Thamboo Mylvaganam (Independent) – 1.23% of votes



Read Also: How Much Can Each Candidate Spend On The Singapore General Elections

Contesting To Be A Member Of Parliament Is A Serious Endeavour

The election deposit of $13,500 is a costly consequence of losing and not having more than 12.5% of the votes going to you. All of the candidates who contest in elections would have invested significant time, effort, money, as well as be prepared to risk losing their election deposits.

You can refer to our DollarsAndSense GE2020 articles as follow our comprehensive coverage of the financial and economic issues arising from GE2020. aims to provide interesting, bite-sized and relevant financial articles.

Learn together with like-minded Singaporeans at the Personal Finance Discussion SG Facebook Group by discussing a range of personal finance topics.

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