The next general election (GE) is expected to take place in July, coinciding with the transition from the first to the second phase of reopening Singapore's economy.
The first phase begins on June 2nd and is expected to last until July 2nd.
The second phase, in which most social activities will resume and all students will return to school, is therefore not expected to start before July 2nd.
In addition, the second phase could also take place earlier before the end of June, if the infection numbers remain low and stable, especially in the first two weeks of June.
When the second phase comes, it means that political campaigns and voting are allowed.
GE could take place in mid-July
Parliament could be dissolved immediately after its next session on June 4. Members of Parliament are expected to debate the fourth Fortitude budget on June 4.
After that, it may take approximately two weeks for the nomination day to be reached and one or two weeks for the campaign to complete.
This means that the election day could take place in mid-July.
End of July is also possible
The Ministry of Education had postponed school holidays to May 5 in June and added a weeklong half-time break from July 20 to 26.
This indicates that the election is likely to take place during the school holidays in the penultimate week of July, as most school facilities are available as polling stations.
Can it be earlier than July?
With Singapore retreating slowly from the breaker period on June 2, the GE is unlikely to take place in the same month.
This is because the authorities should monitor the infection rate and check whether it is safe to keep the GE in the same month.
For example, they may need to observe a consistent pattern of single-digit or zero infections across the community before they can warrant an earlier choice.
Another outbreak could push it back further
We have to be prepared for the possibility of a new outbreak or an increase in infected people, as this could reduce the choice. For example, the creation of a large Covid-19 cluster in June.
This could postpone the second phase to mid-July.
As a result, the GE can take place in August or September.
Holding the GE after the National Day in August could be an opportunity for the ruling party to consolidate the country's achievements through a platform like the National Day rally.
Later, GE is less likely to occur.
The presidential election in the United States will be held in November 2020. So if the GE takes place in Singapore later than in September, this can coincide with this major event and lead to uncertainties on the global front.
Must take place by April 14, 2021
According to the law, the GE must be held before April 14 next year, which means that the parliament must be dissolved by January at the latest.
According to the electoral rules, the GE must be held within three months of the dissolution of the parliament.
It is very likely that this will happen in July at the earliest, as Covid-19 pushed back plans for GE than was originally expected in April or May.
Selected image source: Reuters