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The Workers' Party (abbreviation: WP) is a major centre-left political party in Singapore and is one of the three contemporary political parties represented in Parliament, alongside the governing People's Action Party (PAP) and opposition Progress Singapore Party (PSP). It is currently the largest opposition party in Parliament. It is also one of the two oldest parties active in the country, having contested every parliamentary election since 1959, the other being the PAP. The WP has been the only political party other than the PAP with elected Members of Parliament (MPs) since the 1991 general election.
|Malay name||Parti Pekerja|
|Tamil name||பாட்டாளிக் கட்சி|
|Chairperson||Sylvia Lim Swee Lian|
|Vice-Chairman||Muhamad Faisal Manap|
|Founded||3 November 1957; 65 years ago (1957-11-03)|
|Preceded by||Labour Front|
|Headquarters||701 Geylang Rd |
|Youth wing||Workers' Party Youth Wing|
|Colours|| Light Blue|
|Slogan||Make Your Vote Count|
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The WP was founded in 1957 by David Marshall, having previously led the left-wing Labour Front (LF) to victory in the 1955 general election, forming a minority government and becoming the first Chief Minister of Singapore. After his delegation to London to negotiate for complete home rule and eventual independence was initially rejected by the British, He resigned as leader of the LF and from his seat in 1957. After creating the WP, Marshall returned as its first representative in the Legislative Assembly as a Member for Anson in 1961, before resigning in 1963 after a disagreement with some members of the party.
The party would thereafter decline in prominence during the 1960s and 1970s before its re-emergence in 1981, when then party leader J. B. Jeyaretnam became the first opposition MP to be elected since Singapore's independence in 1965, having surprisingly defeated the candidate of the governing PAP at a by-election in Marshall's former constituency of Anson. He was re-elected at the 1984 general election, but subsequently lost his seat in Parliament in 1986 following a conviction for falsely accounting the party's funds, a conviction Jeyaretnam claimed was politically motivated. Prominent former members of the WP also include former Law Society President Francis Seow as well as socialist activist Lee Siew Choh.
Since the 1991 general election, the party's safe seat has been the constituency of Hougang, which was represented by Low Thia Khiang for two decades. The popularity of the party in Hougang has been attributed to the area's Teochew heritage and Low's personal affability. Low moved to the constituency of Aljunied for the 2011 general election, where he led the first team from an opposition party to win a group representation constituency (GRC), with the WP becoming the first Singapore opposition political party to win two adjacent constituencies and to elect the first female opposition MP. In 2012, then-Speaker of Parliament and incumbent PAP MP for Punggol East SMC, Michael Palmer, had resigned from his seat due to an extra-marital affair, triggering a by-election. The WP candidate, Lee Li Lian, who stood in the same constituency in 2011, was chosen to represent the party once again and was subsequently elected to become the first woman in Singapore's history to win a by-election. In the 2020 general election, the WP become the first opposition party to win multiple GRCs in a single general election. Sengkang GRC MP Raeesah Khan became the youngest MP and the first female minority opposition candidate elected into Parliament.
Positioning itself as a "check and balance" in Parliament while being on the centre-left of Singapore politics, the WP is ideologically social democratic. It supports a progressive approach to civic nationalism, reducing the voting age from 21 to 18 in line with most other established democracies, expanding the minimum wage policies to cover all sectors as well as providing more flexibility in regards to the Central Provident Fund (CPF). In recent years, members of the WP have worn light blue uniforms during political campaigning to represent the party's links to blue-collar workers.