Four months after the passing of Singapore's founding father Lee Kuan Yew, speculation is mounting that city-state's general election may be set for September.
"The feel-good effect of golden jubilee celebrations and a National Day Rally in August for PM Lee to give a last rallying call," is a key factor, Kit Wei Zheng, a Citi economist, said in a note on Thursday. Singapore celebrates 50 years of independence on August 9.
Local newspaper The Straits Times reported on Wednesday that September 12 was the most likely date, pointing to comments by the organizing secretary of Singapore's ruling political party—the People's Action Party (PAP)—that hinted the party may officially announce new candidates in August. Singapore Press Holdings, which owns the Straits Times, has close ties with the government.
"The Straits Times report is consistent with our view that September is the most likely election window," Zheng agreed.
September 12 is also the last Saturday of school holidays, which matters because schools are typically used as polling stations.
If that date is accurate, it would cap months of conjecturing after the government introduced a slew of populist measures that tea-leaf readers took as harbingers of the election, such as reducing the cost of car-ownership and lowering maid levies.