"It does not matter how many deposits we lost, it’s about democracy," said Jeyaretnam, who will now lose his election deposit of $14,500 after finishing with a mere 1.2 per cent of votes or 353 votes.
The 53-year-old former hedge fund manager, who is the son of former firebrand opposition leader JB Jeyaretnam, added that his loss was a small price to pay for democracy and that the Reform Party is here to stay no matter what the results.
Staying at the counting centre at North Vista Secondary School until all the votes had been counted, Jeyaretnam said neither he nor Desmond Lim were the biggest losers.
“We are only one of the losers, the biggest losers tonight is the People’s action Party”, he said.
Lee Li Lian of the Worker’s Party won with 54.2 per cent of the votes, beating the People Action Party’s Dr Koh Poh Koon who garnered 43.7 per cent of votes.
[VIDEO: WP responds to surprise Punggol East victory]
Similarly, SDA chief Desmond Lim, said the results was “it will not dampen the spirits of him or his party”.
Lim, who received a mere 168 – or 0.57 per cent – of votes, left the counting centre early for home to be at home after it was clear that he too had lost his election deposit.
Saying he joined the by-election race because SDA had to keep the “political flame alive”, Lim remained unbowed by his latest defeat – his second in the ward after he contested the 2011 election – and said the defeat only means he will fight harder next time.
Despite finishing with even less than in 2011 when he garnered 4.5 per cent of votes, the engineer didn’t shy away when asked if he would contest the next election in 2016.
"As you know, I'm not a fly-by-night politician and I'm not a person that will run away from defeat," he said.
Watch the PAP respond to their loss of the Punggol East seat here: