PETALING JAYA: While past general elections have mainly seen battles between just two coalitions, the entry of Perikatan Nasional (PN) in the 15th general election (GE15) is expected to bring mixed results for Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Barisan Nasional (BN), said Ilham Centre head researcher Assoc Prof Dr Mohd Yusri Ibrahim.
He said PN would gain part of the Malay-Muslim votes meant for BN, and this might result in the latter losing several of its traditional seats in constituencies in Pahang, Perlis and Perak.
In constituencies populated with more than one race and previously won by PH, he said the split in votes would cause PH to lose Malay votes and put BN at an advantage.
Mohd Yusri said PN had a slim chance in constituencies with a multiracial population as it has minimum support from non-Malays, adding that after a week of campaigning, voter enthusiasm appeared “damp and cold” compared with GE14.
“Since nomination day, BN’s campaigns appeared to be static. However, PH’s campaigning is developing well in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Malacca and parts of Negri Sembilan.
“PN is making similar progress in Terengganu, Perlis, Kedah and parts of Perak while keeping the status quo in Kelantan and Pahang. In East Malaysia, GPS appears favourable in Sarawak while Warisan is at an advantage in Sabah.”
Merdeka Centre programme director Ibrahim Suffian told theSun its research indicated PH may see a gradual increase in support from Malays in the days before polling.
He said the number of non-Malays eager to cast their votes is rising and if this continues until Saturday, PH stands to garner the largest share of seats in parliament, adding that PN was gaining traction with Malay support and putting BN in a precarious situation.
“Which party will get the most votes depends on the turnout of non-Malay voters in areas where Malay votes will swing. Our research shows most of the ‘undecided’ voters are women and the younger generation. In the Klang Valley, a majority of voters have decided (on who to vote for) except maybe for first-time voters,” he said.
Emir Research head of social, law and human rights Jason S.W. Loh said while all three coalitions claim to have the support of a majority of voters, it was safe to say that none have the upper hand, even with just days before polling, as uncertainties continue.
He said with PN contesting in the elections, a substantial chunk of Malay votes which could go to PH or BN would be lost.
“Whoever wins will still have to rely on support from Sabah and Sarawak to have a stable majority to form the federal government. Hence, we could have a hung parliament with no coalition being able to claim to have the majority.
“Even if PH wins, there is no guarantee it can automatically form the federal government due to the aversion of Sarawak’s GPS, which is expected to win the lion’s share of the 31 parliamentary seats in the state.
“In Sabah, GRS will provide the numbers to boost BN. PN will also prefer to throw its support for BN while it is unknown where Warisan’s support would swing,” he said.
Loh predicts PH would win between 80 and 90 seats, while BN would secure 70 seats at most and PN no more than 25 seats.