Thursday, 27 August 2015

GE 2015 Outcomes - Scenarios

I shouldn't do predictions cos I keep getting them wrong.

So I'll take a page from the PAP and just do scenarios

First, let's put aside the unlikely, extreme scenarios

Extreme Scenarios - Highly Unlikely

There are two extremes. The first is PAP takes back AHPE and no other opposition wins any contest. PAP wins all 89 seats for a clean sweep of parliament. We all go back crying.

The second is PAP loses EVERY seat. And there are 28 WP, 11 SDP, 11 NSP, 11 RP, 10 SingFirst, 8 S/DPP, 6 SDA and 4 PPP.

We'll ignore independents.

As no single Opposition party has a simple majority, none of them can form the govt. So we will be in coalition govt territory.

That would be VERY interesting, but... for PAP to lose everything? Not possible either.

So this is likely a non-event.

Probable Scenarios

Probable Scenario 1: Status Quo

After all the sound and fury, when the dust settles, WP is still in Aljunied, Hougang and Punggol East. And no opposition wins new ground. That is, PAP had managed to address most of the issues or hot button issues from GE2011 and voters decide that PAP have probably learned their lesson, and so they don't have to punish PAP anymore.

Or voters in other GRCs SMCs challenged by WP were also affected by the accusations or insinuations of possible mismanagement by the AHPETC, so chose to take a wait and see attitude. i.e. not voting for WP for now. See if AHPETC explodes in the next few years.

Low and his A-team has stayed put in Aljunied, consolidating... Possibly, they are also ambivalent about winning more GRCs, as this would further tax their town management capability. Are they fielding A-listers? Do they have any more A-listers to field in the new GRCs?

Probability: Moderate to low.

Probable Scenario 2: WP makes progress, captures additional wards.

WP continues to build upon their brand and momentum from 2011 and 2013.

Voters ignore the AHPETC as fear-mongering by the PAP, and vote WP in Marine Parade, East Coast, Feng Shan, MacPherson, Nee Soon.

WP may not win all 28 seats they are contesting in, but they may take more than the 7 they currently have.

Probability: Moderate to High.

Probable Scenario 3: WP loses PE, or Aljunied, or both

PAP's attack on WP competence in Town Management pays off. Voters in PE and or Aljunied, "repent" and vote PAP.

Not blardy likely.

For PE, PAP has announced that Charles Chong will try to take that ward. This is Charles Chong's no-lose, nothing to lose gambit. If he wins, great! If he loses, retirement. This is his no stress contest. His swan song.

By this, PAP has also signalled that they consider PE lost to them. If they field Lim Boon Heng in Aljunied, it is also a sign of desperation. And it means that they are resigned to not re-taking Aljunied, but felt the need to make a show of... interest?

[Edit 28 Aug: PAP has announced their candidates for Aljunied, led by Yeo Guat Kwang and 4 newcomers. PAP does not seem confident about retaking Aljunied. Then again, What would they be willing to risk? Even if they were more confident, they would never be 100% sure. And if they cannot be sure, they would not risk their potential ministers.]

Probability: Low to very low. The technical term for this is, "not blardy likely".

Expanding on Scenario 2

Since Scenario 2 is moderate to high in probability what are the options or variations under this scenario?

WP is contesting in
  • East Coast
  • Marine Parade
  • Jalan Besar
  • Nee Soon
  • Fengshan
  • MacPherson
  • Sengkang West
Fengshan has a new PAP candidate. As the media noted, PAP has never introduced a new candidate to stand and defend an SMC. Either this new candidate has a lot of grassroots support, or Fengshan is a "gone case". Is PAP signalling that they are prepared to lose this SMC? Or that it is a risky seat?

I think PAP will hold Sengkang West, and MacPherson, despite the "public wisdom" about Tin Pei Ling. I think people under-estimate her grassroots connection.

For the GRCs, I see Nee Soon and Jalan Besar being retained by PAP. This is no sure thing, but the advantage (56% - 58%+) may be too large to overcome in 4 years. WP may narrow the gap, but I actually doubt it. I believe the AHPETC issue may weigh heavily on voters' minds.

Marine Parade and East Coast are iffy. East Coast had the lowest percentage of 54.8%. Has sentiment fallen by 4.8 percentage points? Most of the residents here are landed property owners. AHPETC does not worry them. PAP may lose East Coast. [Edit: Is carving out Fengshan, a "lizard's tail" strategy? To sacrifice the tail (Fengshan) so the Lizard (East Coast GRC) can survive/escape?]

Marine Parade has GCT, but the low scoring Joo Chiat has been added (51%). They only scored 56.6% in 2011. And Joo Chiat is also mostly landed property so AHPETC doesn't scare them. [Was carving out MacPherson the Lizard's Tail strategy here? Except then they added the Joo Chiat "tail"? At 51%, Jooc Chiat is more likely to add instability than stability. This suggests that the PAP is very confident of Marine Parade (w.o MacPherson). Unless they believe that MacPherson was less than 51% and was carving it out as a lizard's tail?]


WP could win either, maybe even both. But I think on balance they are more likely to take East Coast (lower percentage from 2011; same PAP team). Marine Parade was actually challenged by NSP in 2011. Does support for NSP in 2011 translate to support for WP in 2015? In 2011, they flip 9 percentage points to win Aljunied. They are hoping for the same magnitude of change. This would require PAP to ignore the voters like they did pre-2011. PAP has been listening. Thus it is unlikely that they would be punished with a 9 percentage point flip.

WP may have a chance to take Fengshan, East Coast, and Marine Parade. But the likely scenario is that they may take Fengshan and East Coast. Marine Parade is new to WP. It may not fall so easily to WP.

Note 1: WP have not revealed who will be contesting in the various GRCs and SMCs. This may be relevant and affect the probability of each scenario. it may also provide an indication of which GRC they are most confident of. For example, there are suggestions that Gerald Giam will stand in East Coast and Giam is well regarded by the WP leadership. So this signals that WP is most confident of taking East Coast GRC.

Note 2: In case you didn't read my other post on Irrelevant Sideshows, and wonder why I have not assess the chances of the other 8 political parties, the answer is there. 

If you haven't read that post and it never crossed your mind to ask why I have ignored the other parties, glad we are on the same page.

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