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How Much Can Each Candidate Spend On The Singapore General Elections

To ensure a level-playing field, each candidate is not allowed to spend more than $4 per voter.


The big news yesterday is that the Singapore General Elections will be held on 10 July 2020. In total, 93 seats will be available across 17 Group representation constituencies (GRCs) (4-members and 5-members) and 14 Single member constituencies (SMCs). About 2.65 million Singaporeans will be eligible to vote in GE2020.

Nomination Day will be held on 30 June with the campaigning period from 30 June to 8 July. 9 July will be the Cooling-off day.

Campaigning for an election can be an expensive event as candidates do their utmost best to market themselves to voters. To ensure a level-playing field, the law imposes a ceiling on how much candidates can incur in terms of election expenses.

Currently, this is capped at $4.00 per voter.

For example, in a SMC such as Bukit Batok with 29,950 electors, the most any candidate can spend on the election would be $119,800.

In a GRC such as Pasir Ris-Punggol with 166,587 electors and five candidates, the spending limit per candidate would be $133,269.60 ((166,587 X 4)/5).

As of 15 April 2020, the number of electors in each election division is as follows.

SMC Name No. of Electors Maximum amount each candidates can spend
Bukit Batok 29,950 $119,800
Bukit Panjang 35,497 $141,988
Hong Kah North 28,071 $112,284
Hougang 26,468 $105,872
Kebun Baru 22,653 $90,612
MacPherson 28,564 $114,256
Marymount 23,444 $93,776
Mountbatten 24,267 $97,068
Pioneer 24,672 $98,688
Potong Pasir 19,740 $78,960
Punggol West 26,579 $106,316
Radin Mas 24,980 $99,920
Yio Chu Kang 26,005 $104,020
Yuhua 21,376 $85,504

 

GRC Name No. of Electors No. of Seats Maximum amount each candidates can spend
Aljunied 151,007 5 $120,805.60
Ang Mo Kio 185,465 5 $148,372.00
Bishan-Toa Payoh 101,366 4 $101,366.00
Chua Chu Kang 106,693 4 $106,693.00
East Coast 121,772 5 $97,417.60
Holland-Bukit Timah 115,012 4 $115,012.00
Jalan Besar 107,936 4 $107,936.00
Jurong 131,234 5 $104,987.20
Marine Parade 139,738 5 $111,790.40
Nee Soon 147,047 5 $117,637.60
Pasir Ris-Punggol 166,587 5 $133,269.60
Sembawang 147,876 5 $118,300.80
Sengkang 120,166 4 $120,166.00
Tampines 151,708 5 $121,366.40
Tanjong Pagar 136,642 5 $109.313.60
West Coast 146,251 5 $117,000.80

All information accurate as of 15 April 2020. Please contact us at editorial@dollarsandsense.sg if you spot any mistakes

From the table above, you can see that the maximum amount a candidate can spend contesting on the election range from $78,960 (Potong Pasir) to $141,988 (Bukit Panjang).

Do note it’s illegal to spend beyond the imposed limit.

According to the GE2015 handbook, in general, payments for election expenses can only be made by or through a candidate’s election agent. Even if a candidate is permitted to enter into a contract whereby election expenses are incurred, the candidate cannot pay those expenses unless he/she is his/her own election agent.

These restrictions have been imposed by law to prevent loopholes in the control over spending on election expenses. No person other than the election agent can make a payment, and the election agent cannot plead ignorance of what payments have been made by others.

Expenses can be broken down into the following categories. The election agent is responsible for ensuring the proper and accurate reports of each item that the candidate has spent on during the election campaigning.

  • Remuneration of election agents, polling agents and counting agents
  • Advertising and printing of promotional materials
  • Transport
  • Stationery, office supplies and postage
  • Fax machines, telephone and other means of communication
  • Furniture and equipment rental
  • Office rental and utilities for election meeting, committee room
  • Food, refreshments and accommodation
  • Miscellaneous expenses

Election candidates typically get their funds from the political party they represent and/or from donations which they have raised. Do note that the Political Donations Act prevent foreigners from funding candidates and political associations.

To read more content from DollarsAndSense on the Singapore General Elections, you can follow our GE2020 coverage here.

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