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BN trails Harapan closely in voter preference for GE15

BN trails Harapan closely in voter preference for GE15

BN trailed its rival Pakatan Harapan in a close second in voters’ preference in the 15th general election, a Merdeka Center survey has revealed.

The survey, conducted among 1,209 voters aged 18 showed that 26 percent of respondents preferred Harapan over BN’s 24, followed by Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) 13 percent.

However, those who said they had no preference or were unsure of who they would vote for formed the biggest group with 31 percent. Four percent refused to answer the survey question while 2 percent said they would vote for Gerakan Tanah Air (GTA) or other parties. (Refer to the chart below)

The survey was conducted after Parliament’s dissolution, between Oct 19 and 28.

As for voting preference across racial lines, the majority of Malay voters (32 percent) preferred BN, followed by 29 percent who said they had no preference or were unsure. About 20 percent chose PN, while Harapan garnered just about 13 percent of support.

There is still a chance of the 29 percent undecided Malay votes going either way, the survey noted.

As for the Chinese respondents, 47 percent said they preferred Harapan, compared to 5 percent who chose BN, and 1 percent who picked PN. As many as 23 percent said they had no preference or were unsure.

Meanwhile, 51 percent of the Indians surveyed preferred Harapan over BN (32 percent), and PN (1 percent). About 8 percent said they had no preference or were unsure.

Voter turnout

As for voter turnout, those aged 50 and above recorded the highest inclination to come out and vote for the election.

In previous surveys on July 30 and Sept 30, 78 percent and 82 percent of voters in the age group said they would come out to vote, respectively, while post-Parliament dissolution, the number dipped slightly to 80 percent.

As for voters aged between 31 and 50, they recorded 79 percent and 78 percent in the previous two surveys respectively, but the interest dipped to 74 percent after Parliament was dissolved.

The biggest dip in interest to vote happened among the below-30 age group. While 76 percent and 74 respondents said they would vote in the previous surveys, the number dropped to 68 percent in the latest research.

Voting inclination among the Chinese was the lowest across all age groups, and high (75-86 percent) among the Malays and Indians. (Refer to the chart below)

Commenting on the possible GE15 outcome, Merdeka Center said that it is difficult to estimate, given the presence of three significant coalitions with large bases of support, as well as uncertainties on likely turnout rates.

“At this point, with the lower-than-expected level of Malay voter support for BN, it is possible to imagine that no single coalition will attain a large enough plurality to form a government with just one other party or coalition.

“Instead, there is a rising possibility that at least three or more parties/coalitions are needed to cooperate to form a government with a simple majority,” the survey said.

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