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Tharman Shanmugaratnam Becomes Singapore President With 70.4% Of The Votes: 4 Other Interesting Numbers From The Presidential Election Results

Win-Win-Win: A contested election, a clear mandate and no deposits lost.

Unlike the 2011 Presidential Election, when a recount of votes was called due to the tight vote difference between eventual winner Mr Tony Tan (35.20%) and Mr Tan Cheng Bock (34.85%), there was no uncertainty about who the winner of the 2023 Singapore Presidential Election once the sample count result was announced by the Election Department Singapore (ELD). And it’s likely many Singaporeans went to bed after the sample count results were announced.

Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam achieved 70% of the sample count votes. The final result saw him securing a total of 70.40% (1,746,427) of the votes, with Mr Ng Kok Song and Mr Tan Kin Lian getting 15.72% (390,041) and 13.88% (344,292) of the votes respectively.

Tharman Shanmugaratnam 70.40% (1,746,427)
Ng Kok Song 15.72% (390,041)
Tan Kin Lian 13.88% (344,292)

Beside the clear victory that provides a strong mandate for Mr Tharman, here are 4 other interesting numbers from the Presidential Election that we think are worth pointing out.

#1 Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam Winning 70.4% Of Votes Mirrors His Popularity In Previous Elections

In GE2020, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, then a member of the PAP Jurong GRC team, won 74.62% of the votes in the GRC. This was also the highest vote percentage won across all constituencies during GE2020.

Other constituencies that won more than 70% include Ang Mo Kio GRC (71.91%), Mountbatten SMC (73.84%), Macpherson SMC (71.74%), Radin Mas SMC (74.03%) and Yunha SMC (70.54%). In fact, besides Jurong GRC led by Mr Tharman, the only other GRC that managed to win more than 70% of the votes was Ang Mo Kio GRC led by PM Lee Hsien Loong.

In a way, Mr Tharman winning 70.4% of the vote in the Presidential Election mirrors his very strong showing in GE2020 at Jurong GRC. This can likely be attributed to his popularity not just among Jurong voters, but across the entire Singapore.

#2 Mr Ng Kok Song and Mr Tan Kin Lian May Have Split The Opposition Vote

With Mr Tharman winning 70.4% of the votes, both Mr Ng Kok Song and Mr Tan Kin Lian saw votes of less than 20% each. This would likely be the opposition vote and one possibility is that the voting bloc for the opposition was split among both candidates, with Mr Ng edging out Mr Tan.

That said, the most important thing however, is that unlike the 2011 Presidential Election, the vote split (if that is the theory we believe) was inconsequential to the final result because even if both Mr Ng and Mr Tan votes were added together, it would have been far from sufficient for either candidate to have won the election.

#3 No Deposit Lost Despite A 3-Cornered Fight

In GE2020, the two constituencies that had a 3-cornered fight (Pioneer SMC & Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC) saw both last-placed candidates losing their election deposit.

This proves not to be the case in the 2023 Singapore Presidential Election as Mr Tan Kin Lian managed to secure 13.88% of the votes, slightly above the 12.5% required for his $40,500 deposit to be returned.

#4 Number Of People Who Voted & Rejected Votes

A total of 2,530,912 people voted in the Presidential Election. This represents about 93.4% of the total number of eligible voters. However, do note that the current numbers only account for local voters and overseas votes will only be accounted for at a later date so the final number will increase.

Of the 2,530,912 votes cast in Singapore, 50,152 were rejected votes. This represents about 1.98% of the number of votes cast. Nobody would know if the rejected votes were spoilt deliberately, or due to mistakes in voting.

In comparison, for the 2011 Presidential Election, a total of 2,156,389 people voted (94.80% out of a total of 2,274,773). Of the total number of votes cast, 1.755% of the votes were rejected votes.

Read Also: How Accurate Are Sample Counts?

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