On Sept. 4, it was announced that the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC) has been formed for the next election.
What does this mean, and when will the election take place?
What's the timeline like after the committee is formed?
#1: EBRC formed
The forming of the EBRC is the first step to Singapore's next election.
Singapore officially has until early April 2021 to hold its next parliamentary election.
#2: Report released
After the EBRC releases its report, election period will start to kick in.
This is when political parties will finalise their candidates and introduce them to the public.
Typically, it can take anywhere between two to seven months for the EBRC to release their report.
For 2011 and 2006, the report was released after about four months.
The quickest the committee took was in 2015, when it was released in just over two months.
#3: Dissolve Parliament, issue Writ of Election
Next, the president will dissolve Parliament and issue the Writ of Election upon the prime minister's advice.
For 2006 and 2011, the Writ was issued two months after the report was released.
In 2015, it only took one month.
The shortest time in between steps #2 and #3 was in 2001 GE, where it only took one day before the Writ was issued.
After doing so, Nomination Day will take place no earlier than five days and no later than one month.
Usually, however, Nomination Day happens within a week.
#4: Nomination Day begins
This is the period when political parties begin campaigning.
The campaign period usually lasts for nine or 10 days because the law states the polling day has to take place no earlier than 10 days but no later than 56 days.
#5: Polling Day happens
Polling Day is a public holiday and is usually on a Saturday.
So when can we expect the next GE?
Given this timeline, Day 1 of Nomination Day can come as quick as November 2019.
This is assuming that it takes the committee two months to release the report and the Writ is issued in under a month, which would be extremely quick going by historical precedence.
Likely to be next year?
If we assume fairly typical timelines at each of the stages, it is more likely that elections will take place sometime in 2020, probably in the beginning of the year.
This assumes the report will be released anywhere between two to four months, the Writ is issued within one to two months, and then Nomination Day happens within a week.
In PM Lee's 2016 President's Address, he highlighted that he will instruct the EBRC to "reduce the average size of GRCs further, and to create more SMCs" for the next election.
This is to strike a good balance between large and smaller GRCs, as well as SMCs.
What this suggests is that there is more work to be done for the EBRC in this round, and they are perhaps likely to take a slightly longer than shorter period to release their report.
Top photo via gov.sg