Perspectives on Pritam Singh

In the days after Leader of the Opposition and Workers’ Party chief, Pritam Singh, was charged with lying to Parliament, Black Dot Research polled 200 locals to grab a snapshot of perspectives and opinions. How do locals view Singh and the Workers’ Party? Are they invested in the case and any political outcomes it may have? Are there variations in how different groups feel?


We found that locals seemed to be engaged with the case and its possible outcomes. However, this engagement is characterised moreso by personal perspectives rather than a potential impetus for political action or change in political opinions.

Our findings also suggest that perceptions of Pritam Singh and the Workers’ Party are tightly intertwined, despite the case involving Singh individually. The potential of these perceptions (be they negative or positive) being pegged to each other is one which could be important in the future.

Detailed Breakdown

Findings from the poll suggest that a significant section of respondents are engaged with the case, with 91% having at least heard about the charges. 60% indicated a more active intention to follow news and updates about the case, with only a minority of 12% indicating no intention at all.

Unpacking how locals feel about elements of this case can, then, be a useful snapshot of broader public sentiment, political understanding, and barometer of investment in political issues or events.46% felt that the outcome of the case is important to local politics, with 28% indicating neither, and 26% disagreeing.52% felt that the outcome of the case was unlikely to impact their voting decisions, with 28% (more than half) feeling strongly that this is the case. Conversely, only 19% indicated that the outcome will likely impact their voting decisions. Both responses suggest a high level of engagement with the case – with a larger proportion appearing to have formed strong conclusions or taken stances prior to (or soon after) the issue began, and the other section displaying active concern over the outcome.Of those who indicated concern over the outcome such that it might impact their voting decisions, those aged between 44 and 54 were most likely to feel this way. Interestingly, the eldest and youngest age groups – 19-24 and 65 and over – had the lowest and second lowest incidence of respondents who felt the outcome would impact their voting decisions. While this could be an indicator of levels of political engagement across different age, more detailed questions might be asked in future surveys for more detailed perspectives.

The pattern of respondents indicating strong feelings continues through questions about the impact of the case on perceptions of Singh and the Workers’ Party. To both questions, more than 20% “Strongly Disagreed” that their view of either had changed. While these questions sought a broad sensing of personal investment and awareness, future polls might examine the ways (positive or negative) in which perceptions of Singh and the Workers’ Party have or have not changed.  Nevertheless, responses show a high overlap between perceptions of Singh and the Workers’ Party, suggesting that sentiments and reactions to both are intertwined – potentially being pegged to each other due to strong perceptions of Singh as chief (figurehead, and representative) of the Workers’ Party. Conversely, this also suggests that any actions or issues involving the Workers’ Party might also be strongly tied to Singh as well. Respondents were highly likely to indicate identical perceptions of both, with over 85% of respondents who selected Agree or Strongly Disagree for Singh indicating the same for the WP.

Further questions about Singh continuing his current role as Member of Parliament and head of the Workers’ Party also reflect this. 88% of those who felt Singh should remain as a Member of Parliament also felt that he should retain his role as Workers’ Party Chief.While the poll suggests that a sizable section of respondents do hold strong or definite opinions – and have considered potential implications on their personal actions –  it is also the case that some display less definitive opinions when it comes to how the case might affect Singapore’s political landscape. 21% of all respondents were unsure about Singh continuing in both his positions and, when asked about the effectiveness of the current system of checks and balances on MPs, a majority of 38% chose the most neutral option.30% of respondents neither agreed nor disagreed that the legal process in Singh’s case would reach an impartial or fair verdict.  While these less certain responses might represent ambivalence, they could also suggest a lack of confidence or surety in the current political environment for some. Taken together, these findings reflect that locals are engaged with the case and it’s possible outcomes,  but that this engagement is not (for the majority) characterised by the potential for altered political opinions or for causing political action.

Poll Demographics

200 locals were polled by Black Dot Research between 22nd and 27th March 2024. The demographic breakdown of our respondents are represented below:

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