“Indians are kingmakers in KKB polls; possible swing of Chinese votes due to dire economic woes”

THE division of votes by race will be the determining factor of who between the Pakatan Harapan/Barisan Nasional (PH/BN) and Perikatan Nasional (PN) candidates will emerge victorious in today’s (May 11) four-cornered Kuala Kubu Baharu (KKB) by-election.

While PH/BN has been able to maintain s strong support from the Chinese at about 71% support, PH also cannot be too comfortable because economic factors pertaining to cost of living could shift the support of Chinese voters to PN and other parties, according to think tank QGenAnalysts.

Nevertheless, the percentage of those who show no inclination towards any party is small (only 1%-2%) while a large majority of such voters – at 26%-27% – is still expected to support PH during the polls.

“(On the contrary), PN faces the challenge of increasing the support of the Chinese above 5%,” the think tank pointed out in its analysis ahead of today’s by-election which is touted as a major litmus test for PH to counter claims that support for the ruling coalition has dwindled significantly in recent times.

As for the Malay demographic, QGenAnalysts reckoned that support for PN is consistent at around 60%-85% with PH/BN only receiving about 18% support from the community.

“Although there is a candidate from Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM) who receives around 16% support, much of this is expected to switch to PN during voting. It is vital for PN to re-double its efforts to convince Malay voters not to vote for PRM candidate as this is critical to maintaining PN’s superiority.”

Meanwhile, Indians are likely the kingmakers given there is a “dynamic shift” in their support with a consistency of around 40-60% towards PN during QGenAnalysts’ study period.

“PN needs to focus on UDM (voting district units) with above 50% Indian voter majority to ensure stability of support from this community,” noted the think tank. “Our study shows that PN has an opportunity to increase the support of Indians in several important areas.”

Yesterday (May 10), fellow think tank Ilham Centre has projected that PH has an edge in retaining the KKB state seat which fell vacant following the demise of its three-term incumbent Lee Kee Hiong from ovarian cancer on March 21.

PN-Bersatu’s candidate Khairul Azhari Saut

The think tank acknowledged that although PN posed tough competition to PH’s incumbency, the latter still had an added advantage.

“By taking into account all factors, we conclude that PH – represented by DAP – has a slight advantage to retain the KKB seat from falling into the opposition’s hand,” observed Ilham Centre in a statement.

According to the think tank, most voters surveyed found the by-election intense despite the lacklustre albeit orderly campaign.

The think tank also noted the perceived underperformance of Hulu Selangor MP Mohd Hasnizan Harun and state assemblymen in the parliamentary constituency, namely Muizzuddeen Mahyuddin (Hulu Bernam) and Muhammad Muhaimin Harith Abdul Sani – all of whom are from PN.

PH-DAP’s Pang Sock Tao will face PN-Bersatu’s Khairul Azhari Saut, Parti Rakyat Malaysia’s (PRM) Hafizah Zainuddin and independent candidate Nyau Ke Xin in today’s by-election. – May 11, 2024

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