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Presidential Election 2023: How Accurate Will The Sample Count Be Tonight?

No need to order McDonald’s supper later to stay awake past 12.

For the first time in Singapore’s Presidential Election, the Elections Department Singapore (ELD) will publicly release a sample count. Sample count are not new in Singapore and were first introduced in GE2015 and also used in GE2020.

How Does The Sample Count Work?

As explained by the ELD, the sample count helps prevent speculation and misinformation from unofficial sources while counting is underway, before counting is completed and the election results are announced. A sample count also helps election officials check against the election result for that electoral division.

At each polling station, a counting assistant will randomly pick a bundle of 100 ballot papers and count the number of votes for each candidate. Since each polling station will have a different number of total votes, different weightage will be assigned to each station to account for the difference in votes cast. Votes from all 1,264 polling stations will be included in the sample count.

How Accurate Would The Sample Count Be?

The sample count will give a fairly accurate indicative result with a confidence level of about 95%, plus or minus 4% points. What this means is that there is a 95 percent chance that the actual election results will be within a 4% margin of the sample count. This implies that any indicative results announced that fall between the 46% to 54% range are far from a done deal since there is a 4 percent margin in error.

Statistically speaking, candidates who win 60% of their sample votes would have a 95% assurance that the final result will win between 56% to 64%.

Candidates that win 52% of the sample votes have a 95% probability of accumulating between 48% and 56% of the votes cast, so it would be fair to say that the contest is far from over. Likewise, a candidate winning 46% of the sample vote may still have a chance, statistically speaking, to win the actual vote.

In a very tight race, the sample count may not give us an accurate result. For example, in the 2011 Presidential Election, President Tony Tan won 35.2% of the vote with Tan Cheng Bock getting 34.85%, or just 7,269 votes less. In such a tight race, the sample count, had it been taken, would not be able to give us an accurate indication of the actual result.

In the event of a winning margin of 2% or less, a recount will be made.

But if the race isn’t tight and one candidate is shown during the sample count as being clearly in the lead, it’s safe to assume that he would win the election.

Regardless of what the sample account results are, the ELD recommends waiting for the Returning Officer’s announcement to know the finalised results.

If you are curious about how closely the sample count reflects the actual results of the election, you can refer to the difference between the sample count and final results in GE2020

Constituencies Sample Count Final Results
Ang Mo Kio GRC PAP 72%: RP 28% PAP 71.91%: RP 28.09%



Aljunied GRC WP 60%: PAP 40% WP 59.93%: PAP 40.07%
Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC PAP 67%: SPP 33%



PAP 67.25%: SPP 32.74%



Bukit Batok SMC PAP 57%: SDP 43% PAP 54.80%: SDP 45.20%
Bukit Panjang SMC PAP 56%: SDP 44% PAP 53.74%: SDP 46.26%
Chua Chu Kang GRC PAP 59%: PSP 41% PAP 58.64%: PSP 41.36%



East Coast GRC PAP 54%: WP 46% PAP 53.41%: WP 46.59%
Hong Kah SMC PAP 63%: PSP 37% PAP 60.98%: PSP 39.02%
Holland-Bukit Timah PAP 68%: SDP 32% PAP 66.36%: SDP 33.64%



Hougang SMC WP 58%: PAP 42% WP 61.19%: PAP 38.81%
Jalan Besar GRC PAP 67%: PV 33% PAP 65.37%: PV 34.63%
Jurong GRC PAP 75%: RDU 25% PAP 74.62%: SPP 25.38%
Kebun Baru SMC PAP 68%: PSP 32% PAP 62.97%: PSP 37.03%
Mountbatten SMC PAP 75%: PV 25% PAP 73.84%: PV 26.16%



Macpherson SMC PAP 73%: PPP 27% PAP 71.74%: PPP 28.26%



Marymount SMC PAP 54%: PSP 46% PAP 55.04%: PSP 44.96%
Marine Parade GRC PAP 57%: WP 43% PAP 57.76%: WP 42.24%
Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC PAP 64%: SDP 36% PAP 63.18%: SDP 36.82%
Nee Soon GRC PAP 61%: PSP 39% PAP 61.90%: PSP 38.10%
Pioneer SMC PAP 66%: PSP 32%: INDEPENDENT: 2% PAP 61.98%: PSP 35.24%; Independent: 2.78% (lose election deposit)
Potong Pasir SMC PAP 61%: SPP 39% PAP 60.69% : SPP 39.31%
Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC PAP 63%: SDA 25%: PV 12% PAP 64.15%: SDA 23.67%: PV 12.18% (lose election deposit)
Radin Mas SMC PAP 76%: RP 24% PAP 74.03%: RP 25.97%
Punggol West SMC PAP 65%: WP 35% PAP 60.97%: WP 39.03%
Radin Mas SMC PAP 76%: RP 24% PAP 74.03%: RP 25.97%
Punggol West SMC PAP 65%: WP 35%



PAP 60.97%: WP 39.03%
Sengkang GRC WP 53%: PAP 47% WP 52.13%: PAP 47.87%
Sembawang GRC PAP 69%: NSP 31% PAP 67.29%: NSP 32.71%
Tampines GRC PAP 67%: NSP 33% PAP 66.41%: NSP 33.59%
Tanjong Pagar GRC PAP 63%: PSP 37%



PAP 63.13%: PSP 36.87%
West Coast GRC PAP 52%: PSP 48% PAP 51.69%: PSP 48.31%
Yuhua SMC PAP 69%: SDP 31% PAP 70.54%: SDP 29.46%
Yio Chu Kang SMC PAP 61%: PSP 39% PAP 60.83%: PSP 39.17%

Read Also: How Much Can Candidates Spend On The Singapore Presidential Election And How Are Expenses Calculated

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