Lower income group more likely to vote BN-PAS than PH, says research house

Economic issues such as cost of living are a primary factor in determining political allegiance, says Kajidata research poll.

PETALING JAYA: A poll conducted by Kajidata Research has found that those in the lower income group are more likely to vote for Barisan Nasional (BN)-PAS than Pakatan Harapan (PH).

In a statement today, Kajidata, which specialises in market, commercial and socio-political intelligence, said its findings were based on a survey of 1,007 Malaysians nationwide above the age of 21 at the end of March.

The respondents were selected based on random stratified sampling along ethnicity, gender, age and state lines.

The report found that while there is a lot of negativity towards PH, in particular its performance and management of the economy, as well as the direction the country, there are also silver linings for the ruling coalition.

On the plus side, it found that 42% are satisfied with Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s performance, compared to 37% who are dissatisfied.

“Forty percent prefer to vote for PH which is bigger than for PAS (16%) or BN (15%), so PH still has bigger support than that of BN and PAS combined.”

It also found that PH still commands solid support in the states it controls, as well as support in Sarawak, which it said bodes well for its chances in the coming state election.

But it noted that 42% of Malaysians believe that the country is headed in the wrong direction compared to 35% who think otherwise.

Some 39% are unhappy with PH’s performance and only 37% are happy, while 43% are unhappy with PH’s management of the economy and only 33% are happy.

Kajidata also found that 38% of youth prefer to vote for BN and PAS combined compared to only 33% for PH.

Notably, some 38% of low-income voters prefer to vote for BN and PAS combined compared to 31% for PH. High-income earners are also polarised, but a majority 51% still prefer PH.

“For low-income voters, there is a strong inverse correlation between economic distress and likelihood of supporting PH,” it said.

The results of the poll, Kajidata said, suggested that while many are disappointed with the performance of PH, people still see it as the most viable government compared to the alternative of BN and PAS.

“PH may find it difficult to persuade Malay-Muslim voters that it and in particular, DAP, are friendly towards their interests but it may be easier and sufficient to convince them that their economic interests are taken care of.”

It added that the economic well-being of the people is one of the most significant factors in determining political allegiance.

“Policies that reduce the cost of living, raise wages via productivity gains and maintain or even increase the purchasing power of the ringgit should be vigorously pursued.”