Ilham Centre: Non-Malay voters are kingmakers to PH-BN alliance in Aug 12’s six state polls

THE latest field survey by pollster Ilham Centre has pointed to the unity government needing to rely on non-Malay votes to defend the three states under the control of the Pakatan Harapan-Barisan Nasional (PH-BN) alliance, namely Selangor, Penang and Negri Sembilan.

At a glance, Malay majority seats, especially in the northern zone and the east coast, are more likely to be controlled by Perikatan Nasional (PN) while PH-BN will likely be dominant in non-Malay majority and mixed racial areas.

“(Our) field research shows that the popularity of the Prime Minister (PM), the government and the policies of Madani Malaysia are at a high level in PH-governed states but on the contrary in PN states,” Ilham Centre pointed out in a media statement.

“With the high demographics of Malay voters in Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu, the matter becomes different. Despite this, the popularity of the PM, the government and the policies of Madani Malaysia among non-Malay voters is at a high and at a consistent level in all the six states.”

Added the pollster: “Expecting a split in Malay votes – even if the split is not serious due to two-cornered compared to three-cornered contest as in GE15 (15th General Election) – the votes of the non-Malay group can be the kingmaker in Selangor, Negri Sembilan and Penang as well as mixed seats in southern Kedah.”

As it is, the current perception is that Malay voters who in Malay majority constituencies are now leaning towards the narrative brought by the PN.

“This means that the PN wave that won the support in Malay majority areas is still strong. BN or UMNO need to work harder to win back Malay support that was eroded or even lost in the last GE15,” observed Ilham Centre.

“These six state polls are clearly a test of the PH-BN unity government’s survival in addition to gauging the voting pattern of Malays in the Peninsular which direction is to become clearer after the surprising change in the (voting) pattern during GE15.”

Elsewhere, the Malays also showed a low satisfaction rate of only 24% with regard to PMX’s popularity level compared to solid support from the Chinese (89%), Indians (81%) and other races (75%).

“Regarding the level of satisfaction of the respondents towards the PM’s performance, Penang recorded 70% with both Selangor and Negri Sembilan sharing the same percentage at 62%,” noted Ilham Centre.

“In the opposition states of Kelantan, Kedah and Terengganu, the level of satisfaction is relatively low. This means that voters in the opposition states are still sceptical about all the efforts undertaken by the PM.”

Conducted between July 11 and 27, the Ilham Centre survey involved a total of 2,416 respondents in the six states of Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah, Penang, Selangor and Negri Sembilan. – Aug 10, 2023

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