PETALING JAYA: The curtains have closed on the six state elections with the status quo maintained in Selangor, Kedah, Penang, Kelantan, Terengganu and Negeri Sembilan.
Still, there are some key takeaways from the results of yesterday’s polls, in which Perikatan Nasional won the most seats overall.
FMT takes a look at the winners and losers.
Winner – Sanusi Nor
The caretaker Kedah menteri besar grabbed the headlines with his controversial claims during the campaigning period but his popularity in the state was never in doubt.
The PN election director not only oversaw a hugely successful campaign for the coalition in the six states but led the charge in Kedah.
When the dust had settled, PN won 33 of the 36 seats in Kedah and wiped out Umno from the state. PH only managed to win three seats compared to the 18 they won in the last election.
Loser – Umno
Barisan Nasional lynchpin Umno contested 108 seats for the unity coalition but won just 19, a paltry win rate of 17.6%.
It failed to win a single seat in Kedah and Terengganu, and won only one seat in Kelantan. It lost ground in Penang, Selangor and even Negeri Sembilan, where it performed best.
After being soundly beaten in GE15 and now the state elections, Umno will need to do some serious soul-searching – quite a step back for a party that once boasted of having three million members and a strong presence in nearly every parliamentary constituency in the country.
Winner – Pakatan Harapan
The Anwar Ibrahim-led coalition retained Penang, Negeri Sembilan and Selangor, even though PN made some inroads in the three states.
However, it is worth noting that PH showed it could hold its own in some Malay seats and it outperformed its ally BN in every state.
The results indicate that despite criticism of PH since it formed the unity coalition with a host of rivals including BN, it managed to retain the trust of its core support base.
All the party’s 14 candidates suffered heavy defeats in Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Penang.
The damage to the party went beyond election expenses. The campaigning period saw it being heavily criticised by PH supporters who accused the party of trying to split votes.
Where Muda was once seen as allies to PH, the party now looks to continue its political journey alone and with no sign that it can win any election.
Winner: Perikatan Nasional
The opposition coalition built on its strong performance in GE15 and showed it was no flash in the pan.
In many, if not most, seats, its two key parties – Bersatu and PAS – went toe-to-toe with Umno, especially in Malay seats, and came out tops.
PN’s credentials, especially among Malay voters, have grown stronger and they will make the most of their claim that the state elections were a referendum against the federal government.
PN may have gained the most but its triumph had very little, if at all, to do with Gerakan.
Gerakan president Dominic Lau lost in the Malay-majority seat of Bayan Lepas, but it was PAS’s treatment of him and the party during campaigning that was truly damaging.
At one PN ceramah, Lau, whose candidacy in Bayan Lepas drew the ire of the local PAS chapter, was told his presence was not welcome. It was also reported that PAS grassroots refused to help with his campaign.
Ultimately, Gerakan failed to help PN win non-Malay support, raising questions about its future in the coalition.