PETALING JAYA: A study by a leading financial publication has given Barisan Nasional the edge in the coming general election, thanks mainly to the redelineation of electoral boundaries.
However, Pakatan Harapan still had “an outside chance” of winning the elections, if Malay voters decide to switch sides.
According to Financial Times Confidential Research, the move by the Election Commission to redistribute voters along ethnic lines could play a key role in helping BN win at the polls.
Under the redelineation, many marginal seats, especially those won by the opposition in the 2013 general election, saw an influx of Malay voters with voting districts moved from one constituency to another.
On the flip side, many ethnic Chinese voters, seen by the government as being mostly pro-opposition, have also been moved, packing seats that the opposition had won with large majorities in 2013.
FTCR suggested that the popular vote, as in 2013, would remain with Pakatan Harapan, but that there will be no gain in the number of seats.
In 2013, Pakatan Rakyat as they were then, comprising PKR, DAP and PAS, obtained 53% of all votes cast, but BN won a majority of the parliamentary seats.
FTCR said there was still an outside chance of PH winning GE14, however, if the Malay voters decide to switch sides.
The study found that there was a palpable dissatisfaction among Malays, mainly due to the rising cost of living.
According to FTCR, slightly more than half of 252 Malay respondents in four Malay-majority states in the north of the peninsula gave negative feedback on the current state of the economy, while less than 25% said that they were happy.
One certainty from the last general election that FTCR said will continue in GE14 is the leanings of urban voters.
A survey of 1,000 respondents in cities across the country found that the majority were in favour of a change in the political environment.
The study by FTCR, which is a division of the UK-based Financial Times, is part of its quarterly survey on the state of politics and other matters in countries, in order to provide investors with predictive analysis.
Malaysia goes to the polls on May 9, with BN facing its biggest challenge ever, facing an opposition led by former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
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