Cost of living (COL) and jobs were listed as the top issues for voters in the recent General Election.
The findings were published by Blackbox Research on Thursday (16 Jul) where a total sample size of 1507 were surveyed in two polls during the campaign period: 1 -2 July and 7-8 July.
All respondents were eligible to vote in the General Elections GE) 2020 and proper representation was observed for age, gender and socio-economic status.
Cost of Living and Jobs as Main National Issues
Regardless of whether the voter supported the ruling party, the People’s Action Party (PAP), or an alternative party, the top two concerns across the board were COL and employment. 28 per cent and 25 per cent of survey respondents identified COL and jobs as their top two issues respectively.
Cost of living has been a staple issue constantly raised by Singaporeans for some years now, and a common manifesto policy that political parties bang on.
It is no surprise that this concern persists at the top spot as COL has only been increasing globally.
With an unexpected health pandemic wrecking havoc in the economy, many jobs have been lost and re-employment looks bleak.
Jobs and state of economy take the second and third spots at 25% and 17% respectively.
Government Accountability versus Stability
PAP and non-PAP voters cited COL and jobs as their primary concerns, with the percentages not varying much between the groups.
However, voters for alternative parties want greater government accountability and affordable healthcare costs.
PAP voters want more focus to be placed on the state of the economy and leadership.
Concerns about Different Areas of Cost of Living
COL also represented different things to different voter demographics.
While younger voters are more likely to look at COL in terms of their wage level, older voters identified medical and utility costs as the main cost of living concerns.
Gen Z More Concerned about Jobs; Boomers More Concerned about Cost of Living
As seen by the findings, different generations have different needs that they prioritise.
Gen Z voters (aged 21 – 24) are fresh graduates or graduating from higher education institutions soon. Securing a job would be their main focus.
However, joining the workforce during an economic slump like this, while competing in an already lean job market, is of greater concern to the Gen Z voters as compared to Boomers (aged 59 and above).
The discrepancy between the two generations is almost 10 percentage points.
But cost of living is a bigger issue to 13 per cent of Boomers.
Similarly, healthcare costs are a greater concern to 13 per cent of this demographic.