PR must focus on winning over the four million “middle ground” votes if we are to succeed in the battle to Putrajaya in 13GE


The five-day 66th UMNO General Assembly, which a critic has described as “A five-day orgy of sound and fury”, ended with the UMNO leaders breathing confidence that UMNO/BN are headed to “a resounding electoral victory” – winning back the two-thirds majority in Parliament as well as state power in the Pakatan states of Kelantan, Penang, Selangor and Kedah in the 13 General Election and retaining illegal and unconstitutional power in Perak.

However, the speeches of UMNO leaders after the UMNO General Assembly, particularly the UMNO “eminence grise”, Tun Dr. Mahathir do not bear out this confidence.

Be that as it may, the battle for Putrajaya in the 13GE is going to be a very close one and whoever wins the majority of the four million “middle ground” voters will have the upper hand.

Pakatan Rakyat should focus on winning the over four million “middle ground” voters if we are to succeed in the battle for Putrajaya in 13GE.

For the 13GE, the electorate has increased to slightly more than 13 million voters. There are approximately 3 million new voters in the electorate, 60% of whom are under the age of 30. New voters will comprise 25% of the electorate in the next general election.

The new voters, together with the 10% or so of the swing voters from the 2008 GE, will constitute about 4 million voters in the next GE. These voters will decide on who will govern in Putrajaya after GE13.

It is not sufficient for Pakatan Rakyat to win over the majority of the 3 million new voters to reach Putrajaya. Assuming that the % of votes won by BN and PR among the GE2008 voters remain the same, even if PR wins 70% of the nett new voters, PR can only win 109 parliamentary seats out of 222 parliament seats (Table 1 below)

Table 1: BN and PR parliament seats if PR wins 55%, 60% and 70% of nett new voters since GE2008

PR’s share of nett new voters since GE2008 BN PR
55% 132 90
60% 129 93
70% 113 109

Under the Scenarios in Table 1, PKR would remain the largest party followed by DAP and PAS (Table 2 below)

Table 2: # of PR seats by PR parties if PR wins 55%, 60% and 70% of nett new voters since GE2008

PR’s share of nett new voters since GE2008 PAS PKR DAP Total
55% 26 34 30 90
60% 26 36 31 93
70% 32 43 34 109

To get to Putrajaya, PR must also convince a larger % of the GE2008 voters to switch their vote to PR. Only if PR manages to win 70% of nett new voters since GE2008 and an additional 3% of GE2008 voters can PR reach Putrajaya with a somewhat comfortable majority of 7 parliament seats (119) (See Table 3 below)

Table 3: BN and PR parliament seats under different scenarios (PR’s share of nett new voters since GE2008 and additional GE2008 voters)

PR’s share of nett new voters since GE2008 + additional GE2008 voters BN PR
55% of new voters + 1%GE2008 132 90
60% of new voters +2%GE2008 124 98
70% of new voters +3%GE2008 103 119

Under the scenarios in Table 3, PKR would remain the largest party followed by DAP and PAS (Table 4 below)

Table 4: # of PR seats by PR parties under different scenarios (PR’s share of nett new voters since GE2008 and additional GE2008 voters)

PR’s share of nett new voters since GE2008 PAS PKR DAP Total
55% of new voters + 1%GE2008 26 34 30 90
60% of new voters +2%GE2008 28 38 32 98
70% of new voters +3%GE2008 34 48 37 119

The factors that have hurt Opposition unity in the past include the following:

  • Multi-corner fights as a result of not being able to agree to seat allocation probably cost the opposition at least 2 parliament seats in Sarawak and 2 parliament seats in Sabah in 2008 and perhaps as many as 5 state seats in Sabah.

  • PAS passing the hudud legislation in the Terengganu state legislature in 2001 did not stop BN from regaining this state by winning 28 out of 32 state seats and 7 out of 8 parliament seats in Terengganu in the 2004 general election. The hudud issue led to the dismantling of the Barisan Alternative and it took the historic 2008 general election to bring together the three parties again.

  • The focus should have been on the ongoing corruption and abuse of power within the BN rather than to push the Islamic state agenda which does nothing to win over the middle ground and swing voters

The emphasis for PR to succeed in the battle for Putrajaya is to win over the swing voters/middle ground by focusing on national issues of importance.

For the new voters and for the swing voters, niche issues which are probably not that important to them will not win them over. For them, the focus is on national issues, including:

  • Whether PR or BN can manage and reduce corruption in the country;

  • Whether PR or BN can show a new path towards genuine national unity and inter-racial harmony;

  • Whether PR or BN can govern more equitably with social justice and economic efficiency;

  • Whether PR or BN can reduce poverty among the native population in Sabah and Sarawak and bring more sustainable development to both of these states; and

  • Whether PR or BN can usher in a new era of governance where democracy is developed and deepened.

Pakatan Rakyat should not let itself be distracted by narrow issues but focus on the larger picture to win these swing voters and to capture the middle ground to win the battle for Putrajaya in the 13GE.

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  1. #1 by yhsiew on Friday, 7 December 2012 - 12:34 pm

    What troubles us is we do not know how BN is going to manipulate the polls and what dirty tactics they are going to come up with.

  2. #2 by sheriff singh on Friday, 7 December 2012 - 1:58 pm

    If you know all these scenarios, what have you done about it ? It is kind of late isn’t it with the GE just around the corner.

    Don’t forget the many embedded phantom voters and the many postal voters that will surely spell doom for the PR. The many East Malaysian frogs too.

    So the coming GE is going to be tough for PR.

  3. #3 by Loh on Friday, 7 December 2012 - 2:04 pm

    ///Datuk Seri Najib Razak admitted today that his party needs to change but pointed out that he needs a mandate from voters in order to reform Umno “If I want to reform the party I need a mandate from the people Without the mandate from the electorate how can I reform the party ” he told the Malay Mail in an interview published today.///–MalaysianInsider

    Najib is the president of UMNO which makes him the PM. UMNO chose him as PM. He has no mandate from the people, and yet he rules.

    UMNO is for him to reform or to dissolve. But he says that he needs a mandate; from whom? He needs the mandate from voters; are voters UMNO members only? Is Najib telling us that he has no mandate from UMNO members to reform the party? What kind of President is he, if he has no mandate from the party to do good for the party?

    It appears that Najib was telling voters who are not UMNO members that unless they vote for his party to continue to rule, he would let UMNO remains racist, among other undesirable practices. He wants to let UMNO to continue to be a torn to the country, and to carry out what Mamakthir has laid out plan for UMNO to destroy Malaysia. That is a threat to the people, no less. Najib admits indirectly that UMNO in its present form is a liability to the nation.

    Malaysia has been in independent existence for 55 years. It has heard UMNO threat since 1969, or for 43 years. The usual threat had been racial riots, and now that threat is no longer tenable since the opposition to UMNO rule are Malays who have become enlightened. Najib now tells Malays that he would let UMNO ruin the country if UMNO is not returned to power. Najib cannot fool non-Malays anymore. Non-Malays have decided since the advent of NEP that the country is suffering terminal ills. Those who were in a position to leave early can congratulate themselves for the decision rightly taken. Those who are on the move will be better now than never.

    Najib’s UMNO wanted to make this land a Malay state. It has succeeded. It is now Malays in the government fighting Malays in the opposition. The position of non-Malays has been on the pit, thanks to UMNO. They will not want to remain there and so there is no hope that they want UMNO to remain in power.

  4. #4 by monsterball on Friday, 7 December 2012 - 4:34 pm

    First they Umno b will govern forever.
    Then they say Umno b will sure to win.
    And now they say…it will be a close fight.
    4 years ago…we knew 13th GE will be a close fight…but as time passes by…voters are sick of their hypocritical acts.
    Inspite of controlling newspapers and Tv medias….now say it will be a close fight?
    I guess the 3 million ghost riders have vanished more and more each day with the ever energetic vigilantes freedom fighters… watching them like hawks.
    Close fight it will be..if they succeed to throw in ghost riders…but the new 3 million young voters are Umno B biggest headaches.
    Voters have been waiting for years.
    How close can that be.

  5. #5 by Loh on Friday, 7 December 2012 - 7:05 pm

    ///KUALA LUMPUR Dec 7 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak who mooted the 1 Malaysia concept said he had deliberately not defined the idea so its meaning could absorb different views over time even as he acknowledged there were sceptics from the non-Malay community towards the idea translating into government policy “I didn’t define the concept very clearly but that was by design ” the prime minister told The Malay Mail in an interview published today.///–MalaysianInsider

    Najib admits now that 1Malaysia is just a slogan to fool Malaysians. To non-Malays, that might give hope that they are accepted as equal. To Malays, it is just a ploy by UMNO to get non-Malay words. Why does Najib has to spell it out now. Is it because he is under UMNO pressure to toe racist line?

    When Najib mooted the concept of 1Malaysia, there were objections from Mamakthir and others. If Najib was clear that he did not want to have 1Malaysia meant Malaysian Malaysia, then he is a 100% liar, saying things with intention to cheat. If he was afraid of Mamakthir and now changes his tune, then he is just a coward. How can a person of his character be trusted to head the government?

  6. #6 by waterfrontcoolie on Friday, 7 December 2012 - 11:49 pm

    Now, he is asking the public to help him TO CHANGE his UMNO members!!! Isn’t this perplexing and sounds rather desperate? If a leader is not prepared to take higher risk to tell his followers that unless they stay in line, he will have to “DROP THEM” by ALL means; he is not the support to lead the nation. If he had only dare to slam those obviously not wanting to toe his line, he should have called their bluff but instead he danced with PERKASA just because the Godfather did so. Now, isn’t it too late to ask all rational Malaysians for any form of support? Even when you are at this stage of being cornered by TRUTH, CORRUPTION ETC, you still pretend to hide behind slogans and obvious failed politicians, shysters and carpetbaggers for defense; knowing very well they can’t hold the fort on your behalf! And now the time is near………

  7. #7 by monsterball on Saturday, 8 December 2012 - 8:00 am

    For 13th GE….Najib knows that thousands government servants will be the eyes and ears.
    For the first time…Najib cannot trust his members like before.
    Phantom voters…ghosts voting…rigging..can he trust all not exposing??…and declare PR the winner for cheating by his candidates?

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