BN support shifting to PN, survey finds

(FMT) – A survey by the Society Empowerment and Economic Development of Sabah (SEEDS) has found that support for Barisan Nasional (BN) among Sabahans is shifting towards Perikatan Nasional (PN)

SEEDS chairman Arnold Puyok said PN had benefited from this campaigning period even in the interiors of Sabah, with Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s coalition gaining ground in seats where BN had won with a majority in 2018.

Speaking to FMT, he said that PN had gained 10% of the popular share of voters with BN losing by the same margin.

“In seats where BN won with a majority, BN has lost around 3% to 7% of the popular share and PN has gained around 3% to 10%.

“This gain from PN was obtained through BN’s and Warisan Plus’ share. In seats won by BN marginally, BN lost its voter inclination share substantially by more than 10%, whereas PN gained 13%.”

Puyok said another interesting finding was rising support for local Sabah parties outside of Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) and Warisan.

“The possibility is that they can become spoilers or kingmakers — Parti Cinta Sabah is gaining popularity — as they are in all seats. So their visibility is increasing.”

However, he sees no clear winner between GRS and Warisan Plus, saying it was too close to call.

While the issues of party-hopping and undocumented migrants have been a hot topic during campaigning, they were not among the top three matters that would affect voters’ choice.

“The top three issues which may influence the voters’ decision are infrastructural development, performance of the state government and performance of the federal government,” said Puyok.

He added that about half of those surveyed said they would vote for the party more than the candidate, although this sentiment was the opposite among youths.

This was the NGO’s second survey, conducted from Sept 18-24 and involving 1,138 respondents, after its first poll in late August.