SINGAPORE-- Singapore's ruling party romped to a strong election victory on Friday and increased its share of the vote and seat tally as it brushed off an opposition challenge in the city state's most hotly contested polls.
The People's Action Party (PAP), which has ruled since independence in 1965, was always expected to win but opposition parties, contesting in all seats for the first time, had hoped to gain enough votes to challenge its domination of politics.
"We are very grateful, we are very happy and at the same time, we are very humbled by the result," Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told cheering supporters as results flowed in showing the extent of his party's win.
"Tomorrow will be better than today."
The results showed the PAP won about 69.9 percent of the vote, above the 60.1 percent it won in the last election in 2011, which was its worst-ever showing. In the last parliament it had 79 of a total 87 seats.
The ruling party won 83 of the 89 seats in an expanded parliament, while the opposition Workers' Party ended up with six seats, less than the seven it held in the outgoing parliament.
The PAP had been hoping that a sense of patriotism inspired by this year's 50th anniversary of independence and respect for the country's independence leader, former premier Lee Kuan Yew, who died in March, would work in its favour.
Lee was the father of current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.