Jailed PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim is the most popular choice for prime minister among opposition supporters, with PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and Bersatu chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad coming in second and third place, a phone survey by PKR-linked research organisation Invoke found.
PKR vice-president and Invoke co-ordinator Rafizi Ramli presented the survey results at Invoke’s office in Kuala Lumpur today.
Close to 6,200 or 34.6 percent of the almost 18,000 respondents who answered the survey chose an opposition leader as their choice for prime minister.
Of the 6,200 respondents, 23.5 percent chose Anwar, 17.6 percent choose Hadi, while 16.5 percent chose Mahathir.
Among the Malays who chose an opposition candidate however, Hadi was the top pick at 29 percent, followed by Mahathir with 18 percent, while Anwar, with 14 percent, trailed behind Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin, who was picked by 15 percent of the Malay respondents.
Over the weekend, Harapan again got embroiled over a dilemma about who its choice for prime minister should be.
At the PKR convention on Sunday, leaders from PKR, DAP and Amanah raised placards naming Anwar as their premier designate.
Bersatu leaders, including Mahathir, however did not partake in the stunt.
Meanwhile, the Invoke survey also found that 12.6 percent of respondents who supported the opposition backed Muhyiddin as prime minister, while PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail was picked by 4.5 percent.
Other names chosen by the respondents were Rafizi himself (10.7 percent), Bersatu deputy president Mukhriz Mahathir (8.4 percent), PKR deputy president Azmin Ali (3.5 percent), and PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar (2.6 percent).
Invoke did not include candidates from DAP or Amanah in its questionnaire, but Rafizi said respondents had been free to name anyone they liked.
Asked if anyone named a candidate from DAP or Amanah, the Pandan MP responded that it was statistically irrelevant.
“Hypothetically it is less likely that the top leadership of DAP is going to be named as PM, it is the accepted political situation,” Rafizi said when asked why DAP and Amanah leaders were not given as a choice in the survey.
He added that PKR was also likely to have more seats than Amanah.
Overall in the survey, 31 percent chose current Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to stay in power, 34.6 percent chose an opposition candidate, while 34.4 percent did not give an answer.
On the breakdown of respondents, 68 percent were Malays, Chinese (15 percent), Indians (9 percent) Sabah and Sarawak bumiputera (8 percent).
The number of respondents by state was not revealed, but Rafizi said he had a system to ensure that the demographics were proporti