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1991 Parliamentary General Election 31st Aug 1991

The 1991 parliamentary general election was held on 31 August and it was called after parliament was dissolved on 14 August.[1] The number of parliamentary seats available for contestation in this election was 81, of which 60 were from 15 Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs) and 21 from single-member constituencies.[2] The ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) was returned to power on 21 August, nomination day, following walkovers in 41 of the 81 seats.[3] A total of 78 party candidates and seven independents contested the remaining seats. There were 40 candidates from the PAP, 13 from Workers’ Party, nine from Singapore Democratic Party, eight from National Solidarity Party, and four each from Singapore Malay National Organisation (PKMS) and Singapore Justice Party.[4]

Despite garnering a lower percentage of votes (61 percent) compared with the 1988 general election (63.1 percent), the PAP still won the election by a landslide after capturing 77 seats in the 81-seat parliament.[5] The four single-seat wards that went to the opposition were Potong Pasir, Bukit Gombak and Nee Soon Central to the Singapore Democratic Party, and Hougang to the Workers’ Party.[6] This election was Goh Chok Tong’s first as prime minister and it was held just nine months after he had taken over the premiership from Lee Kuan Yew.[7]

1. Henson, B. (1991, August 15). Election on Aug 31. The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
2. Teo, A. (1991, August 15). Parliament dissolved, election set for Aug 31. The Business Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3. Han, F. K. (1991, August 22). PAP returned to power; 41 seats uncontested. The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
4. Who’s standing where: Single-seat constituencies. (1991, August 22). The Straits Times, p. 22; Who’s standing where: GRCs. (1991, August 22). The Straits Times, p. 23. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
5. Fong, L. (1991, September 1). PAP wins all but 4; share of votes dips to 61%. The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
6. PAP loses ground in 13 single-seat wards. (1991, September 1). The Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
7. The Straits Times, 15 Aug 1991, p. 1.


The information in this article is valid as at 2013 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

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