Dr Tan Cheng Bock shall win the Presidency with 42% votes

Political watchers say Dr Tony Tan has the the edge in three-cornered fight--involving Dr Tan Cheng Bock & Mr Tan Kin Lian--in the 'coming soon, please!' Presidential race.

Political watchers are wrong.

It's Dr Tan Cheng Bock who will benefit from such a situation.

This is why.

Note that the logic is based on the following 2 premises:
1. The "pro-establishment" votes could be split between Dr Tony Tan and Dr Tan Cheng Bock. (As thought by SMU law lecturer Mr Eugene Tan.)

2. The "non pro-establishment" votes would likely be split between Mr Tan Kin Lian and Dr Tan Cheng Bock. (As suggested by a former NMP Mr Siew Kum Hong.)

From all eligible voters, let's assume that 60% are of "pro-establishment" and 40% are of "non pro-establishment". (The figures are simplistic indeed - and based from the latest General Election result.)

Of "pro-establishment" voters, let's assume that another 60% would prefer Dr Tony Tan (as he's perceived to be more pro-establishment. Disclaimer: I strongly disagree with this perception as evident from this post of mine, "Dr Tony Tan the Government's preferred Presidential candidate? Perhaps. Perhaps not.").

That means 40% (of "pro-establishment" voters) will opt for Dr Tan Cheng Bock.

In other words:
a) 60% of 60% total voters will go for Dr Tony Tan, that means 36% of overall votes.
b) 40% of 60% total voters will go for Dr Tony Tan, that means 24% of overall votes.

Of "non pro-establishment" voters, let's assume that 55% shall vote for Mr Tan Kin Lian whereas 45% for Dr Tan Cheng Bock (Note: I make use of the poll result conducted by Yahoo to gauge the choice between Mr Tan Kin Lian & Dr Tan Cheng Bock where they secured 2,270 votes & 1,987 votes respectively.)

In other words:
c) 55% of 40% total voters will go for Mr Tan Kin Lian, that means 22% of overall votes.
d) 45% of 40% total voters will go for Mr Tan Kin Lian, that means 18% of overall votes.

In conclusion:
- Dr Tony Tan shall secure 36% of overall votes
- Mr Tan Kin Lian 22% of overall votes
- Dr Tan Cheng Bock 24% + 18% = 42% of overall votes (WINNER!!)

There you go. Dr Tan Cheng Bock as the next Singapore President winning 42% of overall votes.

As many have commented, this Presidential election is going to be the most exciting ever!

The above are based on 'assumptions'. I could be very wrong. In the first place, it may not even be a three-cornered fight, it could be a many-cornered fight. Just see the recap so far of how many possible candidates in this Race. Heh.

On Saturday, former NTUC Income CEO Tan Kin Lian reportedly said he was open to discussion with fellow presidential hopeful Tan Cheng Bock about the possibility of one of them stepping aside, should both get the nod from the Presidential Elections Committee.

Yesterday, when contacted by this newspaper, Mr Tan Kin Lian explained that the thought arose after some people had asked him to do so, in order "to give the other candidate a better chance against Dr Tony Tan" - a view that was shared by political observers whom Today spoke to.

Even so, some of the observers reiterated that a withdrawal of any of the hopefuls will be a setback to the maturing political landscape here.

The Presidential Election should not be framed as a contest between political affiliations, they pointed out. Rather, the higher the number of candidates contesting for the highest office on the land, the better it would be for Singapore because it gives voters more options.

Former Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) Zulkifli Baharudin said: "This is not party politics where it's the Opposition challenging the ruling party and trying to unseat its members."

What matters instead, is how each candidate would convince voters that he is independent and is best qualified to become President, he added.

Said Mr Zulkifli: "It's good for Singapore that more people contest, so anybody who is qualified and prepared to contest should come forward."

Concuring, another former NMP Siew Kum Hong, however, acknowledged that in the event of a three-cornered fight, the "non pro-establishment" votes would likely be split between Mr Tan Kin Lian and Dr Tan Cheng Bock.

Independent scholar Derek da Cunha noted that although former Deputy Prime Minister Tony Tan is not the Government-endorsed candidate, he is "very closely identified" with the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) - which means that he "is likely to pick up the bulk of support from all those who voted for the PAP in last month's General Election".

"That is a sizeable block vote," said Dr da Cunha.

Dr da Cunha argued that "the moment Dr Tony Tan announced his intention to stand in the Presidential Election, it made Mr Tan Kin Lian's candidacy quite uncompetitive".

Singapore Management University law lecturer Eugene Tan offered a different take: A three-cornered could actually work to Mr Tan Kin Lian's advantage if voters assessed the presidential hopefuls through politically-tinted lenses.

Assistant Professor Tan suggested that pro-establishment votes could be split between Dr Tony Tan and former Ayer Rajah MP Tan Cheng Bock.

With votes split three ways, it also raises the possibility that the President could be elected without an absolute majority, he added.

Reiterating that he is keeping his options open until after the Certificates of Eligibility are issued, Mr Tan Kin Lian told Today that some people feel "strongly" that he should continue running because he is the "most independent" of the PAP among the presidential hopefuls.

When contacted, Dr Tan Cheng Bock stressed that he is contesting the election.

When asked if he is open to discussions about either himself or Mr Tan Kin Lian withdrawing, he said he had no comment because the latter had not spoken to him yet.

From Today, "Dr Tony Tan has the edge in three-cornered fight, say political watchers".

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