Government’s academic body predicts BN victory at next polls

AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR: A group of academics yesterday predicted that Barisan Nasional (BN) would still be able to form the government if there are three-cornered fights in the 14th general election (GE14).

Speaking at a round-table discussion organised by the National Council of Professors (MPN), they said this was in contrast to the 2013 general election which had seen straight fights between BN and the opposition coalition at the time, Pakatan Rakyat.

They said three-cornered contests this time would see PAS working as a separate entity.

MPN Politics, Security and International Affairs Cluster head Mohamed Mustafa Ishak said in the context of GE14, the race was on for the Malay vote.

“This time, Malay voters have been given a choice after PAS left the opposition pact and with the setting up of PPBM, which is an Umno splinter party.

“According to a study, Umno/BN still maintains the status quo,” he told a press conference at the conclusion of the “Pre-GE14 Roundtable Discussion: Will BN Be Retained Or…?”.

Also present at the press conference were MPN deputy chairman Shamsul Amri Baharuddin and MPN CEO Raduan Che Ros.

Mohamed Mustafa said based on a study conducted in all 222 parliamentary constituencies, if BN can achieve a minimum 40% victory in the peninsula in addition to the parliamentary seats in Sabah and Sarawak, which are considered BN strongholds, the coalition will still able to form the federal government.

“In three-cornered fights, the majority of Umno/BN votes will increase because the votes for the opposition will be divided into two. However, this study is not absolute. During elections, there are many other factors such as candidates, manifesto, issues and others,” he said.

Shamsul Amri said the study also revealed that BN was expected to win more parliamentary and state seats this time around due to the increase in Malay votes.

He said the opposition pact was expected to lose in areas it had won with marginal votes or small numbers of votes in GE13 following the transfer of Malay votes.

Raduan said according to the study, BN would win in the areas monopolised by Malay voters and see an increase in support in Chinese areas.

“If the prediction is right, there is no doubt that BN will win GE14 and increase its parliamentary and state seats,” he said.

Raduan said BN should get at least 40% of the Malay votes in GE14, which was possible following the success of the coalition in adding votes during the Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar by-elections.

In order to increase support, BN should pay attention to young voters, he added.