8 May 2011

Singapore ruling party returned to power

9:53 am on 8 May 2011

Singapore's ruling party has been returned to power in the most hotly-contested general election in recent memory, but has lost ground to the opposition.

The People's Action Party has dominated since independence from the Malaysian federation in 1965.

Unofficial results showed it gained 81 of the 87 seats. The seemingly modest six seats won by the opposition is its best result since independence.

Foreign Minister George Yeo was among those defeated.

A decision by opposition parties to co-ordinate more closely, and a rise in the use of social media created a greater sense of competition in this election.

Debate focussed on rising food and housing costs, increased immigration, and jobs.

The gap between the super rich and those less well off is widening in the tiny but hugely wealthy country and there is evidence of growing resentment towards foreign workers, the BBC reports.