Singapore’s largest Chinese newspaper, Lianhe Zaobao, conducted an online poll asking Singaporeans for their views on holding an election during the coronavirus pandemic.
The question read “What are your views on holding an election during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic?”
Over 11,000 people responded to the online poll. An overwhelming majority of respondents (67 percent) said they weren’t in favor as the election would be very difficult to organize given the restrictions on crowd sizes and mandatory social distancing.
Only 21.96 percent of respondents were in favor. Another 10.57 percent had no opinion.
Despite serious reservations by Singaporeans and the mounting measures being implemented to curb the spread of coronavirus, the government has not ruled out holding an election in the midst of the pandemic.
In an interview with local media a day after the government unveiled a mammoth S$48 billion (US$33.4 billion) stimulus package, PM Lee described the logistical hurdles of conducting an election amid a pandemic as “solvable problems”, adding that he faced a choice between “conducting an election under abnormal circumstances against going into a storm with a mandate which is reaching the end of its term”.
Political commentators and pundits have been speculating that the PM is leaning heavily towards calling elections in late April or May – well ahead of the April 2021 deadline – mindful that the unprecedented crisis wrought by coronavirus will send Singapore voters into the arms of the ruling PAP.