People's Action Party (PAP) candidate Tin Pei Ling stoutly defended Single Member Constituency (SMC) MacPherson by garnering some 65.6 per cent of votes, establishing a decisive win in the three-cornered fight.
Bernard Chen from the Workers' Party (WP) earned 33.6 per cent, while National Solidarity Party's (NSP) Cheo Chai Chen saw just under one per cent.
There were 26,268 votes in all, while 415 were spoilt votes.
"I thank (voters) for entrusting MacPherson back to me and my team," said incumbent Ms Tin, who is seen to have proven herself since she first stood for election back in 2011. "This win really humbles me but at the same time, I see it as our hard work (over the past few years) has been recognised by our voters. This gives us strength and we'll continue to do even better to take care of residents of MacPherson."
She added that she hopes that more young people will be willing to step forward to serve, whether at the community level or national level. "I think it's important that young people play a more proactive role," she said.
While MacPherson was part of the Marine Parade Group Representation Constituency (GRC) in the 2011 general election (GE) and was carved out as an SMC this time around, the ward is traditionally a PAP stronghold. In the 2001 and 2006 GEs, the PAP won 83.7 per cent of the vote against the Democratic Progressive Party and 68.5 per cent against the Singapore Democratic Alliance respectively.
During the campaign, Mr Cheo - a former Nee Soon Central MP - raised eyebrows for claiming that Ms Tin's role as a new mother was a weakness as it would distract her from her work, a comment he later dismissed as a "joke". Ms Tin hit back at this, stressing that she wants to build a nation where more women can successfully balance family and work responsibilities.
Mr Cheo also criticised the WP on the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council issues and the WP's alleged financial lapses, which has hogged much of the headlines in this year's GE.
Ahead of Nomination Day, NSP faced a number of stops and starts as it made an abrupt U-turn from its initial decision to eschew the SMC so that the WP and PAP could go head-to-head. As a result, NSP's then acting secretary-general Hazel Poa resigned from the party and pulled out of the election altogether, saying she "strongly disagreed" with the move.
Then, NSP's Steve Chia, who was seen as the likely candidate to be fielded for the SMC, dropped out citing Internet abuse. Defending its choice to throw its hat in the ring, NSP later stressed that it had "done well" at Marine Parade in the 2011 election and asserted that the WP should have stepped aside instead.
This article was first published on September 12, 2015.
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