This is a list of political parties in Singapore, including existing and historical ones. The earliest political parties were established in the lead-up to Singapore first Legislative Council elections in 1948. Singapore is a republic. While the country has a multi-party system, the dominant political party have often been the People's Action Party since 1965, along with the main opposition party, the Workers' Party. Minority governments are uncommon, as elections have not resulted in a hung parliament since independence.
Legislative power is vested in parliament, which consists of the president as its head and a single chamber whose members are elected by popular vote. The role of the president as the head of state has been, historically, largely ceremonial although the constitution was amended in 1991 to give the president some veto powers in a few key decisions such as the use of the national reserves, as well as the appointment of key judiciary, civil service and Singapore Armed Forces posts. They also exercise powers over national security matters.
Singapore has consistently been rated as the most least-corrupt country in Asia and globally amongst the top five by Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index, and the degree of accountability and transparency is reflected in the public's high level of satisfaction with the political institutions. Thomas Friedman of the New York Times also considers the country's civil service to be one of the most efficient and uncorrupt bureaucracies in the world, with a high standard of discipline and accountability. The World Bank's governance indicators have also rated Singapore highly on rule of law, control of corruption and government effectiveness.
Amongst the oldest parties, the Malay Union, traced its history back to 14 May 1926, was initially a non-political association as the party only participated in the 1955 election. The Progressive Party and Labour Party, both established in the late 1940s, were some of the pioneering local establishments, with the PP the only party to contest in the first elections in 1948, and the LP coming on board in 1951. By 1955, the fledgling British colony had seven parties contesting, and reached a pinnacle of 13 parties in 1959. A total of three parties were established in the 1940s, 12 in the 1950s and five in the 1960s.
Post-independence Singapore saw the dominance of the People's Action Party, which first came into power in 1959. On 16 May 1960, a new Societies Ordinance was passed, and in December 1966, local parties were forbidden from being affiliated to foreign ones. This directly impacted the handful of small parties with links to Malaysia, most of which renamed themselves and/or cut formal foreign ties. The PAP's dominance stemming from Singapore's economic advancement further weakened the smaller opposition parties, with a majority of Singaporeans voting for the PAP in subsequent elections. To date, 13 parties have officially dissolved, mostly through mergers with other parties.
Still, new parties continued to be established. Seven new parties were formed in the 1970s (including the Justice Party, Singapore and the United Front, the preprocessor of today's Democratic Progressive Party), two in the 1980s, two in the 1990s, three in the 2000s, and six in the 2010s. The newest party to be registered is Singapore United Party, on 24 December 2020. There are therefore a total of 30 registered political parties today, of which ten have never contested in an election.
Over the years, alliances between political parties existed, however short-lived. Presently, only one functioning multi-party alliance, the Singapore Democratic Alliance, which was formed on 3 July 2001, initially composed of the Singapore People's Party (SPP), National Solidarity Party, Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Melayu Singapura and the Justice Party, Singapore, with the SPP being the lead party. The vision was to bring all opposition parties under one banner to counter the PAP's dominance, but it was met with limited success due to opposition infighting. The NSP left the alliance in 2007, and in 2010, the SPP itself left when there was internal disagreements over the SPP's attempts to bring in the newly formed Reform Party.
After the 2015 Singaporean general election, 4 new political parties were formed, Progress Singapore Party (PSP), Red Dot United, Peoples Voice (PV) and Singapore United Party (SUP). Peoples Voice was formed by Lim Tean in 2018 after he resigned from the National Solidarity Party in 2017.
PSP was founded in 2019 by former People's Action Party Member of Parliament Tan Cheng Bock and 11 other members. Former Progress Singapore Party members Ravi Philemon and Michelle Lee, together with other former members of other political parties submitted an application to form the Red Dot United to the Registry of Societies.
Under the current legislation, all political parties (termed "Political Associations") must be registered under the Societies Act. As such, the following rules pertaining to political associations apply:
- All members of political parties must be Singaporean citizens.
- Political Association must not be affiliated or connected with any organisation outside Singapore. The fact that a political association uses a name or symbol which is the same as that of an organisation outside Singapore shall be deemed to be sufficient evidence that the political association has an affiliation or connection with that organisation.
The government has the power to dissolve the party if it contravenes the above rules, or any other rule applicable to all forms of registered societies.
Under the Political Donations Act which came into force on 15 February 2001, Political Associations are also barred from accepting any donation in cash or kind from impermissible donors, or from anonymous donors where the value exceeds S$5,000. The government announced that it was to "prevent foreigners from interfering in domestic politics through the financial support for any association's cause", and cited an example of a case in 1959 when S$700,000 was sent to Chew Swee Kee, then Education Minister from the Singapore People's Alliance by a "neighbouring intelligence service in a "black operation" against the interests of Singapore". Another case was also cited pertaining to foreign financial support for Francis Seow of the Workers' Party in 1988.
There have been a total of 43 political parties (not including Malaysia's parties, those contested in both Malaysia and Singapore elections, or those which contested during Singapore's merger with Malaysia) in Singapore.
Party or Alliance active
Party or Alliance active, but collated to another party or alliance
Party or Alliance dissolved
Party or Alliance registered, but is yet to contest
Party or Alliance's status unknown
Current Political PartiesEdit
|Party||Abbr.||Established||Registered||Elections Contested 1||Leader (Secretary-General)||MPs|
|National Solidarity Party
Parti Perpaduan Nasional
தேசிய ஒருமைப்பாட்டுக் கட்சி
|NSP||6 March 1987||6 March 1987||8 (1988, 1991, 1997, 20013, 20063, 2011, 2015, 2020)||Spencer Ng|
0 / 104
|People's Action Party
Parti Tindakan Rakyat
மக்களின் செயல் கட்சி
|PAP||21 November 1954||18 February 1961||16 (1955, 1959, 1963, 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1991, 1997, 2001, 2006, 2011, 2015, 2020)||Lee Hsien Loong|
83 / 104
|Progress Singapore Party
Parti Kemajuan Singapura
சிங்கப்பூர் முன்னேற்றக் கட்சி
|PSP||18 January 2019||28 March 2019||1 (2020)||Francis Yuen|
2 / 104
|People's Power Party
Parti Kuasa Rakyat
மக்கள் சக்தி கட்சி
|PPP||15 May 2015||15 May 2015||2 (2015, 2020)||Goh Meng Seng|
0 / 104
|PV||29 October 2018||29 October 2018||1 (2020)||Lim Tean|
0 / 104
|Red Dot United
Titik Merah Bersatu
ஒன்றுபட்ட சிவப்புப் புள்ளி
|RDU||26 May 2020||15 June 2020||1 (2020)||Ravi Philemon|
0 / 104
|RP||3 July 2008||3 July 2008||3 (2011, 2015, 2020)||Kenneth Jeyaretnam|
0 / 104
|Singapore Democratic Alliance
Perikatan Demokratik Singapura
சிங்கப்பூர் ஜனநாயக கூட்டணி
|SDA||3 July 2001||3 July 2001||5 (2001, 2006, 2011, 2015, 2020)||Desmond Lim|
0 / 104
|Singapore People's Party
Parti Rakyat Singapura
சிங்கப்பூர் மக்கள் கட்சி
|SPP||21 November 1994||21 November 1994||6 (1997, 20014, 20064, 2011, 2015, 2020)||Steve Chia|
0 / 104
|Democratic Progressive Party
Parti Demokratik Progresif
ஜனநாயக முற்போக்குக் கட்சி
|DPP||16 March 1973||16 March 1973||5 (1976, 1980, 1984, 1997, 2015)||Mohamad Hamim bin Aliyas|
0 / 104
|Singapore Democratic Party
Parti Demokratik Singapura
|SDP||6 August 1980||8 September 1980||10 (1980, 1984, 1988, 1991, 1997, 2001, 2006, 2011, 2015, 2020)||Chee Soon Juan|
0 / 104
|Singapore United Party
Parti Bersatu Singapura
|SUP||24 December 2020||24 December 2020||Andy Zhu|
0 / 104
|WP||3 November 1957||30 January 1961||15 (1959, 1963, 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1991, 1997, 2001, 2006, 2011, 2015, 2020)||Pritam Singh|
9 / 104
|Singapore Justice Party
Parti Keadilan Singapura
சிங்கப்பூர் நீதிக் கட்சி
|SJP||–||10 August 1972||10 (1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1991, 20013, 20063, 20113, 20153, 20203)||—|
0 / 104
|Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Melayu Singapura
Singapore Malay National Organisation
|PKMS||23 December 1951||20 February 1961||13 (1955, 1959, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1991, 20012, 20062, 20112, 20152, 20203)||—|
0 / 104
The candidates and supporters of the various political parties tend to wear the following shirt colours while making their rounds in various wards or campaigning.
Past Political PartiesEdit
|Party||Alternative name(s)||Established||Registered||Dissolved||Elections Contested 1|
Kesatuan Melayu Singapura
|–||14 May 1926||–||1961||2 (1955, 1959)|
|Singapore National Front
Barisan Nasional Singapura
|–||–||15 August 1991||NA||0|
| Singapore People's Alliance
Perikatan Rakyat Singapura
|–||10 November 1958||–||16 May 1965||1 (1959)|
| United National Front
Barisan Nasional Bersatu
|–||–||6 March 1970||NA||1 (1972)|
| United People's Front
Barisan Rakyat Bersatu
|–||–||20 March 1975||NA||4 (1976, 1980, 1984, 1988)|
| United People's Party
Parti Rakyat Bersatu
|–||–||14 July 1961||1968||1 (1963)|
|United Singapore Democrats
Demokrat Singapura Bersatu
|–||–||25 March 2010||NA||0|
| Socialist Front
|–||–||1 September 2010||NA||0|
| Singaporeans First
|–||25 May 2014||19 August 2014||25 June 2020||1 (2015)|
|Singapore Indian Congress
Kongres India Singapura
|Singapore Regional Indian Congress (1946–1953)
Malayan Indian Congress (1953–1968)
|August 1946||7 August 1962||NA||1 (1959)|
|People's Republican Party
Parti Rakyat Republik
|–||–||30 August 1973||NA||0|
| Partai Rakyat
People's Party (Singapore State Division)
|–||11 November 1955||18 June 1962||NA||2 (1959, 1963)|
|Singapore Alliance Party
Parti Perikatan Singapura
|Singapore Alliance, Perikatan Singapura (1963–1965)||30 May 1963||17 February 1966||NA||1 (1963)|
| Angkatan Islam
|Pan-Malayan Islamic Party
Persatuan Islam Setanah Melayu (1958–1967)
|–||6 August 1958||NA||4 (1959, 1963, 1984, 1988)|
| Barisan Sosialis
|–||29 July 1961||13 August 1961||1988||5 (1963, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984)|
| Citizens' Party
|–||25 February 1959||–||13 September 1960||1 (1959)|
| Democratic Party
|–||11 February 1955||–||5 February 1956||1 (1955)|
| Katong United Residents' Association
Persatuan Penduduk Bersatu Katong
|–||11 January 1959||–||23 June 1960||1 (1959)|
| Labour Front
|–||21 August 1954||–||28 February 1960||2 (1955, 1959)|
|–||23 March 1948||–||1961||1 (1951)|
| Liberal Socialist Party
Parti Liberal Sosialis
|–||5 February 1956||24 May 1961||10 September 1963||1 (1959)|
|National Party of Singapore
Parti Nasional Singapura
|–||–||26 February 1971||NA||0|
| People's Front
|–||–||21 May 1971||NA||2 (1972, 1976)|
|Parti Kesatuan Rakyat
United Democratic Party
|–||–||18 June 1962||NA||1 (1963)|
|People's Liberal Democratic Party
Parti Liberal Demokratik Rakyat
|–||–||2 May 2006||NA||0|
|Persatuan Melayu Singapura
Singapore Malays Association
|–||–||2 February 1952||NA||0|
| Progressive Party
|–||25 August 1947||–||10 May 1956||3 (1948, 1951, 1955)|
|–||9 May 1960||–||29 January 1962||0|
|Singapore Chinese Party
Parti Cina Singapura
|Malayan Chinese Association (1950–1967)||–||26 September 1950||NA||3 (1955, 1959, 19724)|
- ^ The tally does not include city council elections, by-elections, Malaysian parliamentary elections or presidential elections (the latter which requires nonpartisan candidacy).
- ^ The party was contested under the coalition of Singapore People's Party (SPP).
- ^ The party was contested under the coalition of Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA).
- ^ The party was contested under the coalition of United People's Front (UPF).
Other defunct partiesEdit
- Thomas L. Friedman (14 September 2005). "Singapore and Katrina". New York Times. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
- "Governance Indicators: 1996-2004". World Bank website. Retrieved 25 March 2022.
- "Red Dot United gets approval for registration as political party, set to take part in coming GE". TODAYonline. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
- "NSP Secretary General Lim Tean quits party suddenly". Mothership.sg. Archived from the original on 27 September 2019. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
- "Former opposition party chief Lim Tean forms new political party, People's Voice". TODAYonline. Archived from the original on 27 September 2019. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
- "Lim Tean resigns as NSP secretary-general". CNA. Archived from the original on 27 September 2019. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
- "Tan Cheng Bock files application to form new political party". CNA. Archived from the original on 18 January 2019. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
- "Former PSP members file application to form new political party Red Dot United". CNA. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
- Sin, Yuen (5 January 2021). "Former Reform Party chairman Andy Zhu and others form new political party, Singapore United Party". The Straits Times. Retrieved 5 April 2021.
- "Ministry of Home Affairs - Introduction of the Political Donations Act". Archived from the original on 22 January 2013. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
- "Mayne digs some donations data dirt". crikey.com.au. 1 February 2010. Retrieved 17 April 2018.