After Opposition parties concluded their final round of horse-trading talks, it seem highly likely that all 89 seats will be contest during the upcoming General Elections.
However, the discussions ended with MacPherson SMC, Marine Parade GRC and Ang Mo Kio GRC still facing three cornered fights. When queried, NSP representative Sebastian Teo admitted that there is unlikely to have more Opposition meetings as it was finalised.
Out of the 10 Opposition parties, the Workers Party was unrepresented at the talks. It appears that WP is holding firm on their claims for 5 GRC and 5 SMC and will not be making any alterations to their earlier announcement.
The NSP did mention that they were hoping for direct talks with WP to ward off a multi-cornered fight in Marine Parade GRC and MacPherson SMC. NSP Sec-Gen Hazel Poa said: “Obviously there is a clash of interest. But I think in light of opposition unity, we would still like to try to reach out and see if we can work out a compromise”.
When queried on WP’s absence from the talks, SingFirst’s Tan Jee Say was coy and said the “meeting was not binding on anyone” while PPP’s Goh Meng Seng lamented WP’s lack of diplomacy during negotiations.
The Singapore Democratic Party also announced it was pulling out of Sembawang GRC for the sake of Opposition Unity and Chief Chee Soon Juan made the following apology to Sembawang residents. He said: “This is a difficult decision to make as we contested in the area in the 2011 General Election and have been working the ground there since then…we apologise to the residents of the Sembawang GRC but we feel that in order that there be one-to-one contests between the PAP and the opposition parties, compromise is key”
Meanwhile, SPP announced that it will partner Benjamin Pwee’s DPP to contest Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC.