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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Report: 3 reasons why BN will retain power in GE14

Financial Times Confidential Research says the shifting of electoral boundaries, PAS’s insistence on contesting most seats and a weak opposition in Sabah and Sarawak will ensure BN wins GE14.
BN_Logo_001_c2568633_18110_KUALA LUMPUR: Despite the fact that Dr Mahathir Mohamad is winning the attention of more rural Malay voters, the Barisan Nasional is set for victory, according to a Financial Times Confidential Research (FTCR) report.
The report, prepared by senior researcher Hafiz Noor Shams, gives three reasons for its confidence as to why the BN will emerge triumphant in the 14th general election.
The most important reason, according to the report, is the redrawing of electoral boundaries which is expected to favour the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN).
“The Election Commission (EC) has resumed this exercise after the courts dismissed Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) complaints against the body in December.” Past redistricting has led to large BN victories.
It noted that when the EC last redrew the electoral map in 2003, the BN won 90% of the seats but with only 64% of the popular vote in the 2004 election.
In 2013, the BN won 60% of seats with only 47% of the popular vote.
The report said: “We expect the EC to finalise the process by March or April. We believe this latest example of gerrymandering in Malaysia will benefit BN.”
Opposition sources told FTCR they would try to delay the process in the courts to beyond June, when parliament would dissolve automatically if prime minister Najib Razak had not done so earlier. Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who is in jail on a sodomy charge, is expected to be freed in June and this will give PH a further boost, according to the report.
Nevertheless, the report says the chance of postponement is low.
A second reason why FTCR says the BN will win is that PAS will split opposition votes, as the Islamist party intends to contest even seats it previously did not contest, and despite having little chance of winning.
The third reason is that the PH coalition is weak in Sabah and Sarawak where about a quarter of the seats are located.
“Without a serious breakthrough there, PH would need to win about two-thirds of peninsula seats to control parliament, which is a difficult task. PH holds just 39% of the parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia, and even when PAS was part of the coalition the figure was just 47%.”
The report said BN might lose some seats to Parti Warisan Sabah but that such a setback would be limited to eastern Sabah.
The report also noted that the position of Najib, the Umno president, was safe even if the BN were to win narrowly, as an Umno convention in December had agreed there would be no leadership contest. Traditionally, the Umno president becomes prime minister.
It said: “Our fourth-quarter 2017 survey of 1,000 urban Malaysians showed Mr Najib is generally more unpopular among 18-29 year olds than with those in their 30s and 40s. But the respondents most unhappy with the prime minister are those aged more than 50, the people who may feel indebted to Mr Mahathir’s leadership in the 1980s and 1990s.”
Although it said the BN would win, the report noted: “An opposition victory would be unprecedented. It would be the first time Umno has lost power since Malaya – as the country was known before it became Malaysia – had its first election in 1955.” -FMT

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