Pakatan Harapan is expected to win five states in the upcoming general election, according to a study by think-tank Invoke.
Presenting results of the survey tonight, Invoke founder Rafizi Ramli said the opposition coalition could win Kedah, Perak and Johor as well as retain its current states Selangor and Penang.
The survey, which polled 2,000 respondents also revealed the possibility of two hung state assemblies – Malacca and Negri Sembilan.
While the survey did not poll respondents from Sabah and Sarawak, it calculates that Harapan is expected to win 89 parliamentary seats in the Peninsular over the expected 76 seats to be won by BN.
According to the survey, PAS will not win any parliamentary or state seats and will even lose Kelantan – a state it has held since 1990 – to BN.
Apart from Kelantan, BN will also retain the east coast states of Pahang and Terengganu, said Rafizi.
Downtrending BN support
However, the survey also found that while Malay support for BN is still the higher than support for Harapan and PAS, Malay support for BN has been on the downtrend over the last three months.
“The last time Umno’s Malay number dropped this drastically was in 1999, it cost BN two states.
“Looking at the numbers, the big (Malay) wave is coming,” said Rafizi.
The study in February found that Malay support for BN was only at 28.5 percent while support for Harapan is at 14.1 percent and 18 percent for PAS.
“There’s a trend of Harapan support picking up, when compared to PAS. It wouldn’t be long before Harapan supersedes PAS.
However, 22.3 percent of Malays polled in February refused to divulge their voting inclination while 17 percent stated that they remain undecided.
Rafizi explained that Sabah and Sarawak were excluded from this survey because it was the ethnic profile for the two states were far more diverse and hence it would be difficult to build an adequate sample for ethnic groups there.
However, he expected the opposition parties to win eight parliamentary seats in Sabah and five to six in Sarawak. Taken altogether, Invoke’s model predicts that, for now, the opposition was capable of winning 103 seats – 19 short to form the federal government.
Many voters undecided
Rafizi said Invoke’s survey found that 44.2 percent of Chinese voters were would support Harapan while 18.9 would support BN. He said the data showed that none would vote for PAS.
“(MCA deputy president) Wee Ka Siong said Chinese support is going back to BN. Well, good luck to you,” said the Pandan MP.
As for Indian voters, Rafizi said the survey showed that 45.4 percent would vote for BN while 24.9 percent supported Harapan and another 0.2 percent backed PAS.
“Indians traditionally are supportive of BN except in 2008 and by 2013, BN had a slight edge,” said Rafizi.
However, the results of survey led Rafizi to conclude that some 30 percent to 35 percent of voters remain undecided.
“That’s why our focus on profiling is not on BN, Pakatan, or PAS because these are hardcore supporters, it’s on the undecided .
“The more they say they are undecided, the more we ask them questions. A majority of them are Pakatan supporters, they are just scared they will not get their BR1M and won’t tell their voting preference,” joked Rafizi.
Selangor is safe
As such, Rafizi said it was important for Harapan leaders to be careful of what they say and to be systematic in their approach.
“There is no point talking to the converted. And (the results) can go either way,” he said.
Meanwhile, elaborating on his predictions for Selangor, Rafizi said it would be a “walk in the park” for Harapan to retain the state. This, despite the redelineation process.
“The rejection, hatred for (prime minister) Najib (Abdul Razak) is highest in Selangor.
“We have taken into account the proposal for redelineation. If Najib wants to bring it to Parliament, bring it on.
“It does not materially swing the odds against us because of the Malay swing. For every 10 Malays you add in the constituency, only four at most will vote for BN,” said Rafizi.
Rafizi said it was up to Malaysians whether they wanted to believe in the results of the study or otherwise.
“It’s up to you, I’m not standing (in the elections), it’s not my concern. My concern is if we lose, I have to pack up and go to jail,” joked Rafizi, in reference to his jail sentence.
Data for the Invoke study had been collected since 2016 through the think-tank’s surveys via phone calls, social media and canvassing by volunteers and covers 24 strata of voters which include different age groups, races, genders and geographical locations.