The internet’s public availability in Singapore has fostered a belief among opposition parties in the city-state that the internet will provide them with a new tool of external outreach to overcome local media bias and make electoral gains against the ruling People’s Action Party. Ten years after the first opposition party went online, Singapore’s opposition parties’ online presence is small, its online external outreach weak and their electoral fortunes remain unchanged. Why is this so? This article argues that a do-it-yourself approach, technical challenges, a culture of caution and the parties’ control over its members’ online communications are the chief reasons why their use of the internet for external outreach has been less than optimal. The article concludes that the internet provides opposition parties an additional external outreach medium. However, that outreach has not helped improve their electoral success. This shows that relying on the internet does not yield electoral advantage.
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