Ilham Centre sees Pakatan taking 86 seats, BN and Perikatan getting 76 together
(MMO) – Pakatan Harapan was again projected to win the most seats in tomorrow’s 15th general election, with Ilham Centre the latest to predict it would gain a plurality of 86 seats that was below the threshold to form the next government.
The think tank saw Barisan Nasional coming in second with 51 seats, just over double that of Perikatan Nasional’s 25.
In East Malaysia, the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) coalition could bag 18 seats, while Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) would win just six seats in a tie with the rival Parti Warisan, the party led by Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Afdal.
The Bumiputera-based Gerakan Tanah Air and the fledgling Parti Bangsa Malaysia are expected to win only a seat each.
The centre had put 26 seats as too close to call.
The poll sampled 1,211 respondents nationwide. Surveys were done in person through targeted group discussions held between October 30 and November 17. The centre said the process involved collecting qualitative and quantitative data from all over the country, done via random stratified sampling.
The findings more or less reaffirm the status quo, the centre concluded. PH remains very popular in highly mixed urban constituencies despite the risk of having their votes split in three-cornered fights.
The think tank’s researchers said the Malay votes that went to PN in these seats appeared to have given PH more edge.
PN, the coalition led by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and his Bersatu, has mounted a strong challenge against BN in seats where they traditionally flourished. These are typically semi-rural constituencies where Malays form more than 70 per cent of the electorate.
Still, PN’s strong showing fell short of handing over the seats needed to overtake Umno, the BN lynchpin. From the 75 seats where ethnic Malays make up two-thirds of the total voters, BN is expected to win 38 of them. PN is expected to trail behind at 24 seats.
Only six of these seats will go to PH, the centre said.
But the PKR-led coalition appeared to be doing well in seats where Malays make up 50 to 69 per cent of the electorate. Ilham Centre predicted PH could win up to 30 of the 46 seats with such composition, the most relative to other coalitions.
BN came in second at just nine seats, while PN is expected to win just one. In the remaining six seats, the predictions were split.
In Sarawak, PH is expected to win six seats while PBM could win one. Ilham Centre puts six seats in the state as evenly split. In Sabah, BN and GRS (the pact between BN and Bersatu) are poised to share nine seats between them, while Warisan could win six seats and PH two. There are eight evenly split seats there.
The 26 seats where all coalitions are said to have an evenly split chance at winning could well be the decider, the centre suggested. And in these seats, the kingmakers would be the undecided voters who could easily swing either way.
These voters, the researchers suggested, could decide only until the very last minute before their votes are cast, making these seats hard to predict.
“The unique positions of these seats put the number of undecided voters there at a very high rate. Many of them (respondents) said they may only decide at the eleventh hour just as they are about to cast their votes,” the centre said.
Kangar, Arau, Pokok Sena, Kulim Bandar Baharu, Ketereh, Bukit Gantang, Sungai Buloh, Temerloh, Sungai Besar, Kuala Selangor, Tampin, and Ayer Hitam were listed among the seats considered “grey”, the colour typically used to indicate indecisiveness.
In the Borneo states, the seats considered grey are Kudat, Putatan, Penampang, Sipitang, Kinabatangan, Tawau, Kalabakan, Sri Aman, Lubok Antu, Igan, Sarikei, Miri, Kimanis and Lawas.