Chee Soon Juan made a speech at a rally (Thurs, 3 Sep) that was titled (by the one who put up the video), "The Best Speech of GE2015."
On the one hand, that is some honour to bestow on an election rally speech. So I watched it.
On the other hand, considering all the other speeches and soundbites of other speeches, that may not be saying a lot.
Is it as good as the hype?
I would say it resonated with the audience.
But then it was an opposition rally. Why wouldn't it resonate with the audience?
Chee has some oratory skills. And he is certainly able to put together shared or common knowledge to weave a believable narrative.
And he knows how to connect with his audience. His story of buying ice cream for his children and having to pass over the Haagen Daz and the Ben and Jerry's to consider carefully the Wall's Ice Cream (Or the SingFirst Ice Cream), only to have his wife suggest that they wait for a sale to get the Ice Cream on discount, resonated with those who are living paycheque to paycheque.
The crowds at SDP's rallies are second only to the WP.
Dr Chee and Paul Tambyah are credible candidates. Are they dark horses and can they take Holland-Bt Timah from the PAP?
The bookies say no.
But what do they know?
On the one hand, what Chee said, resonated with the lower middle class, those struggling to keep their head above water. Voters in the H-BT GRC are mostly the upper middle income in landed property and generally considered wealthy.
Many pundits are already saying, and Chee acknowledged at the lunch time rally, that he had been told that he was campaigning in the wrong GRC. That H-BT is too "rich" for him.
Or maybe not.
1) In 2011, many of those who voted SDP were from the upper middle income despite the fact that SDP was pro-low income, and their policies would actually mean more tax burden on the upper income.
2) Vivian Balakrishnan is considered a rather weak candidate and his team is not particularly notable.
3) The people that won the election for PAP in 2011 were the heartlanders in Ulu Pandan/Ghim Moh area. However, they may have been swayed (and may well have been the target) of Chee's speech and rally.
Could SDP and Chee pull off an unexpected upset in H-BT?
PAP polled over 60% in 2011 against an SDP with Vincent W., and Tan Jee Say. Can Chee take 10% from PAP?
I doubt it. The "bookies" predict a drop of 2% only. Not enough for SDP to take H-BT.
A 10 percentage point swing is quite insurmountable.