Study finds one-third of BN voters switched sides to Perikatan in state elections

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 29 — A new survey has revealed that one-third of Barisan Nasional (BN) voters switched their support to Perikatan Nasional (PN) in the recent six state elections.

In a report released today, Nusantara Academy for Strategic Research (NASR) said that BN could not retain the backing of its supporters even in constituencies previously contested.

“The impact is more significant in the states governed by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government, where only around 55 per cent of BN voters who voted for the coalition in the 15th general election (GE15) still voted for the unity government,” it said.

NASR also pointed out that the low rate of BN’s transferability vote in Selangor caused PH-BN to lose some marginal seats.

The seats are Bukit Melawati (24 per cent BN), Ijok (29 per cent BN), Semenyih (31 per cent BN), Taman Medan (35 per cent BN), Paya Jaras (35 per cent BN), Gombak Setia (42 per cent BN), Dengkil (58 per cent BN), Hulu Bernam (59 per cent BN) and Sungai Kandis (65 per cent BN).

NASR also said that there were seats where the BN votes were taken away by the Independent candidates, who are former Umno branch leaders, such as in the Ayer Hangat and Gombak Setia seats, which also contributed to PH-BN’s defeat.

The study concluded that in most marginal seats, the vote transferability of BN voters was a determining factor in the winnability of the contesting party, but at the same, it also affects some of PH-BN’s safe seats.

“Umno-BN should do something to determine the party’s direction and attract back their die-hard voters in order to continue remain relevant,” it said.

NASR said that the analysis on the vote transferability was done to find out whether BN voters are still loyal to their party and president or are no longer confident in Umno-BN’s ability to carry the Malay voice.

It was also done to find out to the extent of the impact on the seats contested by the respective parties. NASR said that the analysis was done based on three factors; namely, the GE15 voter turnout was prorated according to the state election voter turnout; the assumption that the same number of voters from all coalitions in GE15 did not turn out to vote during the state election; and that GE15 votes in Parliament are divided according to the respective state assembly votes.

In a separate study, NASR also said that it managed to predict accurately the outcome of three state elections: Penang, Kedah and Kelantan.

NASR predicted that PH-BN would win 29 seats and PN 11 in Penang, while for Kedah, it predicted that PH-BN would win three seats to PN’s 33.

For Kelantan, it predicted that PH-BN would win one seat and PN 41.

“Although the number of BN voters is the smallest compared to the number of PH and PN voters, they were the deciding factor for which coalition won in some of the state elections.

“Many constituencies had a majority of less than 2,000 votes. As for the number of fence sitters whose pick varies, this number was small and the likelihood of them changing was high. This situation was proven in several state assemblies,” it said.

“Overall, as expected, PH-BN have dominated three states, namely Penang, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan, while PN won Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu.”