Electoral divisions (also called constituencies) are areas within Singapore demarcated by the Prime Minister by law for the purposes of parliamentary elections and presidential elections.
Each electoral division is sub-divided into many smaller areas known as polling districts and each polling district will have its own polling station.
A register of electors is prepared for each electoral division.
There are 2 types of electoral divisions or constituencies in Singapore
Single Member Constituencies (SMCs)
- An SMC is an electoral division that has a single Member of Parliament (MP) representing the interests of those residents in the constituency.
- Thus, during a by-election in the SMC or a general election, the registered electors of the SMC will vote for a single individual to be their MP.
- The Parliamentary Elections Act requires that there must be at least 8 SMCs at any time.
Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs)
- A GRC is a larger electoral division, both in terms of population as well as physical area. A group of Members of Parliament (MPs) represents the interests of those residents in the constituency.
- Thus, during a general election or by-election in the GRC, the registered electors of the GRC will vote for a group of individuals to be their MPs, who must be from the same political party or are all Independents.
- The group may be made up of 3, 4, 5 or 6 individuals. The President declares the group number for each GRC by law.
- At least one of the MPs in the group representing a GRC must belong to a minority racial community, either the Malay community or the Indian and other minority communities.
- By law, the President designates the GRCs for which at least one of the MPs in the constituency must belong to one of these minority racial communities. However, the number of GRCs that can be designated as those belonging to the Malay community cannot be more than three-fifths the total number of GRCs, rounded to the next higher whole number.
- The GRC system was established in 1988 to ensure that the minority racial communities in Singapore will always be represented in Parliament. To ensure this, the Parliamentary Elections Act requires that at least one-quarter of the total number of MPs must be representatives of GRCs.
There are a total of 2,348,976 electors in the registers of electors of the 29 electoral divisions as of 20 Apr 2016.
Elections Department Singapore, Types of Electoral Divisions, http://www.eld.gov.sg/elections_type_electoral.html.