Electoral Boundaries Review Committee formed: Prime Minister's Office
SINGAPORE — The Prime Minister’s Office announced on Wednesday (Sept 4) that the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC) has been formed, the clearest indication that the next General Election (GE) could be just months away.
SINGAPORE — The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) announced on Wednesday (Sept 4) that the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC) has been formed, the clearest indication that the next General Election (GE) could be just months away.
The polls must be held by April 2021.
In a statement, the Elections Department, which comes under the PMO, said that the committee — which was formed last month — has been directed to review the boundaries of the current electoral divisions and to recommend the number and boundaries of Group Representation Constituencies and Single Member Constituencies.
The committee has to take into consideration changes in the number of electors in the current electoral divisions as a result of population shifts and housing development.
The committee has also been tasked to further reduce the average size of the Group Representation Constituencies; and to have more than the current 13 Single Member Constituencies.
The statement added that the committee is now in the midst of its deliberations and will make its recommendations to the Prime Minister when it has completed its review.
Then-Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng said in 2010 that it would take the EBRC around two to four months to complete its review.
For the past five GEs, the interval between the formation of the EBRC and Polling Day was between two and seven months.
In the 2015 GE, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told Parliament in July that the EBRC had been formed two months earlier. This meant that it took around four months from the committee’s formation until the polls in September 2015.
For the 2011 GE, it took around seven months from the formation of the EBRC in October 2010 to the polls in May 2011. The committee had released its report in February 2011.
In 2006, the time gap was around six months between the GE and the creation of the EBRC, while in 2001, it took between two and four months, as the date of the committee’s formation was unclear then. The gap was around three months in the 1997 GE.
The committee is appointed by the Prime Minister who sets its guidelines or terms of reference. Its role is to review electoral boundaries and redraw them, as well as to recommend how many Members of Parliament, single seats and Group Representation Constituencies there should be.
In 2016, Mr Lee said in Parliament that the next GE will see smaller GRCs on average and more single seat wards in order to “strike the right balance”. Smaller GRCs can create a closer connection between MPs and their residents, while single-member constituencies give an MP direct responsibility for everything that happens in his or her constituency, he said. The latter is also easier to contest.
After its formation, the EBRC will then make its recommendations to the Prime Minister in a report, after which the writ of elections will be issued, typically within days of the report. Parliament will then be dissolved in the coming days or weeks following the writ.
The election must be held within three months of the date of dissolution.
EBRC formed: May 2015
Report released: July 2015
Polling day: Sept 11, 2015
EBRC formed: October 2010
Report released: February 2011
Polling day: May 7, 2011
EBRC formed: November 2005
Report released: March 2006
Polling day: May 6, 2006
EBRC formed: After July 2001
Report released: Oct 17, 2001
Polling day: Nov 3, 2001