Pakatan needs 7pct vote swing to win Putrajaya

By Chong Zhemin | 10:33AM Apr 4, 2013

The 13th general election will be the first election in history where Malaysians go to polls knowing that they have a chance to vote for a regime change.

There are three possible outcomes for the coming election:

Scenario 1 – BN regains two-thirds majority
Scenario 2 – Slight gain for Pakatan Rakyat
Scenario 3 – Pakatan wins the election

Scenario 1 – Low possibility

For BN to regain two-thirds majority, BN would need to swing 1.5 percent of Pakatan voters in 2008.

If BN succeeds in this, the coalition will add 11 parliamentary seats to the 140 seats won in 2008, giving them a total of 151 parliamentary seats with a comfortable two-thirds majority.

However, this is unlikely given Chinese voters, which form a significant proportion of the electorate, are reportedly swinging heavily against BN.

[See chart – Scenario 1, left]

Scenario 2 – medium possibility

The second scenario has a medium possibility where the status quo is maintained, with Pakatan gaining an additional nine parliamentary seats.

If Pakatan could swing 1.5 percent of BN voters in 2008, Pakatan can add nine seats to the 82 seats they won in 2008. In total, Pakatan will win 91 parliamentary seats, 21 seats short of a simple majority.

[See chart – Scenario 2, below]

Scenario 3 – high possibility

The third scenario which has a high possibility is where Pakatan forms the next federal government.

In order for this to happen, Pakatan needs to overturn seven percent of BN voters in 2008.

Pakatan would be able to gain an additional 38 seats giving them a total of 120 parliamentary seats to form the next federal government.

[See chart – Scenario 3, below]

In order to overturn seven percent of votes for seats like Lubok Antu – (at the bottom of the list) where BN gets a popular vote of 56.75 percent – for every six Pakatan voters, one BN voter needs to be converted to vote for Pakatan in the coming election (seven percent out of 43 percent is roughly 1 to 6).

To put things into perspective, if every six Pakatan voters could convince one BN voter to vote for Pakatan in the coming election, the third scenario could become a reality.

Political barometer

An interesting side note would be the Gelang Patah seat, to be contested by DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang. If Pakatan is only able to swing seven percent of votes from BN, Lim Kit Siang will still lose in Gelang Patah.

However, if Pakatan is able to obtain a swing of an additional one percent, making it a total eight percent of the votes, Pakatan will be able to win eight more seats (including Gelang Patah) giving them a total of 128 seats – a very comfortable majority in the new government.

Hence the Gelang Patah parliamentary seat acts as the political barometer on whether Pakatan could form the next government.

[See chart – If 8% swing, left]

The above scenario is based on the following justifications:

  1. In 2008, the opposition parties did not form any electoral pact hence any cross-voting among the opposition parties in 2008 was limited.

  2. PM Najib Razak has already lost one of his trump cards – the timing of the election – and thus he was unable to take Pakatan by surprise. The opposition is ready for elections this time, unlike in 2008.

  3. The opposition poses a more credible challenge compared to 2008 as they are able to present an alternative budget and election manifesto.

  4. New voters traditionally favour the opposition.

  5. Internet penetration rate is higher than in 2008 making it easier for opposition parties to disseminate information. The opposition parties also have an upper hand in the social media war.

  6. The rise of civil society movements, in particular Himpunan Hijau and Bersih, will help the opposition to garner some fence-sitter votes.

Other factors

BN has provided freebies and cash handouts to the people, and these allow them to strengthen their current vote base in the rural areas which benefitted most from the cash handouts.

The urban voters still favour the opposition and are more interested in the reform agenda rolled out by Pakatan.

However there is a slight possibility that the semi-rural constituency will buy Najib’s transformation plan and swing back to BN, hence giving BN its much-vaunted two-thirds majority.

Najib’s delay in calling the election however shows his lack of confidence in getting back the two-thirds majority, validating the low possibility of this scenario from happening.

The above analysis is based on the 2008 election result without taking into account the three million new voters and transfer of voters from one constituency to another (for example the alleged transfer of 5,000 voters from Seputeh to Lembah Pantai).

Other factors that also need to be considered are the local issues and the strength of candidates.

Nevertheless, the above analysis provides an educated guess on the possible seats that will fall to either BN or Pakatan should there be a swing of votes in the 2013 general election.

CHONG ZHEMIN is a lecturer at a local university.

  1. #1 by ahkmlog on Friday, 5 April 2013 - 12:24 pm

    Its the final leg to Putrajaya for PR and BN. A clean and fair election is of utmost important for PR to win big but it looks like that will never happen due to BN underhand tactics.

    Voters go out and do your part by spreading the news. Malaysia needs a CHANGE and not only to see our country’s fortune change but also to ensure that the BN politics will NEVER happen again.

  2. #2 by Bigjoe on Friday, 5 April 2013 - 2:13 pm

    I have always said PR needed to go further by another 10% from 2008 to get it done..I don’t see in the above the factoring of fraud which is very real but I believe not more than 5%..

    So 7% won’t do it. It must be by my estimate at least another 10% to make it..

  3. #3 by Shadowss on Friday, 5 April 2013 - 2:35 pm

    I agreed with ahkmlog on this . A clean and fair election is what we needed most now , that is the meaning BERSIH was formed in the first place . The purpose is to provide us with transparent information about the election . If BN plays by the rules , PR should be on the track to claim Putrajaya .

    From my point of view , this is the one and only , last battle for PR . If PR fail to win , i think Malaysia is done for , there will be no tomorrow for us . Our country is going to bankrupt within the next 5 or so years based on reports and statistics shown , if we dont choose to CHANGE now , i afraid this is the end . It`s now or never .

  4. #4 by PR123 on Friday, 5 April 2013 - 2:53 pm

    GE13, is a final wake-up call for all to vote for change. Change is a must for a brighter & prosperous future for Malaysians, especially our next generation.

    BN is utilizing the whole government machinery at the expense of the people to ensure victory. They resort to all dirty tactics, tricks, gimmicks, handouts, giveaways & whatever possible ways to win. People will take whatever goodies is given and vote otherwise

    Running out of intellectual capabilities, they instigate fear and violence at Pakatan ceramah. This also did not deter people from attending.

    Cybertroopes are paid to post/write fabricated articles incriminating the opposition & deceiving the public. On the other hand PR Co. are paid heavily to falsely project achievements & prop up BN’s image. It has no impact.

    Whatever policy BN uses, it will backfire on them. Voters, especially the young & smart feel their intelligence being insulted. BRIM & handouts will increase the National Debt and further lead Malaysia into the brink of Bankruptcy.

    Its time to BERSIHKAN MALAYSIA!!

    Let us vote PAKATAN To POWER and let us all progress together. Look at the finacial status of the Pakatan governed states.

  5. #5 by good coolie on Friday, 5 April 2013 - 4:59 pm

    Let’s say we get the 120 seats needed to form the government. Then one wee katak becomes ‘independent”. Then what?
    Form the government only if we can spare one or two wee kataks, as in Penang; don’t, if we have only the barest minimum, as was the case in Perak. Heh, am I teaching ducks how to swim?

  6. #6 by drngsc on Friday, 5 April 2013 - 5:18 pm

    Mr Chong,
    I am surprised. There is a 4th possibility.
    4. PR wins 2/3 majority.
    We will work very very hard. If you do not reach for the moon, you cannot catch the stars. The time is right. It is time for change. The Malays too want change. With our Malay brethren’s help, it will be 2/3 PR. All my patients want change. But we must work hard. It will not come easy. They will cheat.

    It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything. Joseph Stalin

    We have to mobilise every one to vote. Go early to vote to prevent phantoms voting in your place. We must not spoil any vote, Clean the indelible ink carefully so that it does not smudge and spoil your vote. Bring an eraser. This time there will be volunteer linemen to help check the “tow kai” We are even prepared to bring portable lamps to counting stations in case there is a sudden ” power failure”.
    This GE is different.

    We must change the tenant at Putrajaya. GE 13 is coming soon. Let us continue the hard work. We have been working for 18 months. A few more weeks to go. WORK WORK WORK. First to GE 13, then to Putrajaya.

    Change we must. Change we can. Change we shall.

  7. #7 by cinaindiamelayubersatu on Friday, 5 April 2013 - 6:20 pm

    Vote for PR full stop.

  8. #9 by john on Friday, 5 April 2013 - 7:16 pm

    A concerted effort from All – PKR, PAS or DAP.
    Must see through the “smokescreen”, be EFFECTIVE all round ! The Pakatan Momentum !

  9. #10 by cseng on Friday, 5 April 2013 - 10:01 pm

    Whatever it is, if you go online, read online, you have no style, your girl friend dumped you, if you support bn.

    The trend, the fashion of the youth is PR, throw away the mahathir style of analysis, you have not cater for the power of internet media, facebook effect.

  10. #11 by cseng on Friday, 5 April 2013 - 10:05 pm

    Go to yje pub, go to disco, they dance PR, they cheers PR, no more BN longeng.

    So, how can BN wins, the only supporter here, chengho bin dump, he is away in new york, he did not vote, so bn score 0 here.

  11. #12 by Chong Zhemin on Friday, 5 April 2013 - 11:22 pm

    Dear all,

    Thank you for all your feedback on the analysis. I’m glad to be back after been away for some time. It’s good to see some of the old commentators still hanging around. Keep it up.

    4th possibility : PR win 2/3, that put a smile on my face. Highly improbable but not entirely impossible. Who could have predicted we won penang with 2/3 majority in 2008.

  12. #13 by drngsc on Saturday, 6 April 2013 - 12:12 am

    Mr Chong,
    For GE 13, we must believe in the impossible, even a miracle. In 2008, I also never felt that we could win 5 states, I am sure neither you.

    We must reach for the moon and stars. If we work for 2/3, we will get majority easily.

    Change we must. Change we can. Change we shall.

  13. #14 by chengho on Saturday, 6 April 2013 - 1:19 am

    mathematical BN will win 2/3 majority

  14. #15 by sheriff singh on Saturday, 6 April 2013 - 2:05 am

    Yes I agree. BN has factored in the required number of instant phantoms this time around. PR is going to have a very big shock.

  15. #16 by chengho on Saturday, 6 April 2013 - 9:48 am

    PR still dreaming , and some snoring . a lot of parachutes from PR , don’t you know politic is local equation
    Dapters still playing father and son , some with 2 sons and daughter in law game , undercurrent dissatisfaction building up eh

  16. #17 by on cheng on Saturday, 6 April 2013 - 1:32 pm

    First kris waver in public in Malaysia, and said kris will drink Chinese blood, year 1987 about ops lallang time, guess who??
    Who want to vote for some one whose kris need to drink Chinese blood?

  17. #18 by raven77 on Sunday, 7 April 2013 - 5:30 pm

    If it really was a science, Obama would have lost the elections…

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