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A pre-election survey conducted between 30 April to 3 May 2016 by Blackbox Research showed that SDP voters or those leaning towards SDP found Dr Chee Soon Juan to be the better candidate (33%) than those voting for the PAP (29%) who indicated that Mr Murali Pillai was the better candidate.
However, residents who indicated that they were inclined towards voting for the PAP rated the PAP as the preferred party (67%) to SDP (28%).
[This is a correction from the earlier version: "A pre-election survey conducted between 30 April to 3 May 2016 by Blackbox Research showed that Bukit Batok voters found SDP candidate Dr Chee Soon Juan to be the better candidate than his PAP rival Mr Murali Pillai. However, residents rated the PAP as the preferred party (67%) to SDP (28%).However, residents rated the PAP as the preferred party (67%) to SDP (28%)." We apologise for the inconvenience caused.]
The survey had predicted that the PAP would win the by-election by 64.4% of the vote to the SDP's 35.6%. The actual result turned out to be better for the SDP which secured 38.8% of the popular vote.
“The SDP clearly benefited from fielding a high-profile candidate,” Blackbox commented, “Polling results showed that Dr Chee was successful in pushing up the Opposition vote.” It added that the SDP would likely have benefited from a longer campaign period.
The group had predicted from its pre-election results a comfortable PAP victory. The data showed that the electorate indicated a generally higher level of satisfaction with present economic conditions: “87% think they are better off or doing the same as people living elsewhere in Singapore.” Only 8% said they were worse off.
The survey also showed Dr Chee with a 53% overall positive perception by Bukit Batok voters.
On the issue of upgrading of the estate, only 43% under 40 years of age said that it would continue regardless of whether the SDP or PAP won the election. 47% in the age group felt that upgrading would proceed only in the PAP won.
For those older than 40, 50% said that upgrading would continue regardless of whether the SDP or PAP won whereas 23% felt that upgrading would proceed only in the PAP won. 27% said they did not know.
“The short campaign and the PAP firepower likely helped to mitigate against the typical by-election effect this time around,” the survey concluded.
Click here for Blackbox survey results.