The redrawing of electoral boundaries makes Marine Parade a ward with the most changes, with a cut and a paste. Presumably the changes are meant to favour the PAP in Marine Parade. The weakest link in the team, Tin Pei Ling, has been hived out to front a single seat in MacPherson. Many political observers see her as a liability and her absence in a way should strengthen Marine Parade some what. But this is off set by the inclusion of Joo Chiat. The marginal win at Joo Chiat must be scary for the PAP and it must be hoping to retain Joo Chiat by making it part of the firmer Marine Parade GRC. How would this work out is yet to be seen as the voters in Joo Chiat seem to be swinging towards the WP camp.
The incumbents in Marine Parade are no guarantees for a win. Chok Tong, the strongest candidate due to his Premiership status is likely to be retired. Tan Chuan Jin has not much to show during his term in MOM and would not be the persuasive factor to carry Marine Parade. The rest of the team are just so so.
Now comes the checkmate move by Low Thai Khiang. He has announced that WP would contest Marine Parade. Low Thia Khiang has a very good track record in winning elections. He broke ground by winning Hougang. Again he broke the records by winning a GRC, once seen as near impossibility. For Low Thia Khiang to make his move in Marine Parade and East Coast, he must have read his cards well. He must have sense the moment has come.
PAP’s performance against NSP in the last election was nothing to crow about. NSP was a very weak team and the Nicole Seah effect was enough to rattle the PAP team and nearly knocked them over. The WP is no NSP, and has a more respectable track record and seen as a real challenger to the PAP in times to come. A so so team in Marine Parade is going to be a tough call and the chances of it falling to the WP is quite expectable. Would the PAP boost up the team with more ministers and take a big gamble to lose big?
Just a few days after the electoral boundaries have been changed and confirmed, and with some comments and indications of intent from the opposition parties, Marine Parade is now hanging by a very thin thread. And the bonus that could come along would be MacPherson. If top notch candidates like Dr Koh Poh Soon can lose to Ah Lian, Tin Pei Ling would need to a miraculous act to stand a chance against an opposition candidate on her own. Very likely she would be retired on medical ground from this GE.
It is looking like 1 GRC and 1 SMC down before the GE even started. My God, if this is the case, Tan Chuan Jin would be no more a minister.