2018 general election: My prediction

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Malaysians are poised to create history tomorrow. All the surveys have been done, but I will still stick my neck out and make a prediction (for what it is worth).

I will keep it simple.

Let’s look at the share of the popular vote won by the opposition (and the percentage number of parliamentary seats they have collected) since the 1995 general election:

1995 – 35% of votes (16% of seats)
1999 – 44% (23%)
2004 – 36% (10%)
2008 – 47% (37%)
2013 – 53% (40%)

2018 – ? ?

In the 2008 general election, the opposition’s share rose by 11 percentage points from 2004.

In the 2013 election, the popular vote rose by six percentage points since 2008.

Given the wave of discontent sweeping across the country in this Whatsapp general election (I have 600 unread messages!), galvanised by the Mahathir factor, I expect the popular vote to rise from 53% in 2013 to around 60% (call it a hunch), which would be roughly the proportion needed to win a simple majority of seats in Parliament (given the extent of gerrymandering and malapportionment we have witnessed).

But much depends on where the 60% is secured. In the first-past-the-post system, a simple majority is all that is needed to win a particular seat. So if the opposition parties win in rural seats even by 51%, that is a seat lost by BN. With 60% average support by Pakatan, many rural seats could fall to opposition hands by slim majorities.

I always felt that for the opposition parties to capture federal power (close to 60% of the popular vote), they would need to attract many BN supporters to change their affiliation.

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The short-cut way to do this would be to draw in many (former) BN leaders to the opposition side: this Pakatan have done by roping in Rafidah, Daim, Rais Yatim and none more so than Mahathir and before him, Anwar. (The risk is, will these ex-BN types have the stomach or ideological inclination to push through all the far-reaching reforms that are needed.)

So here’s my prediction:

With 60% of the popular vote, the opposition could perhaps win 55% of parliamentary seats (less than 60% because of all the gerrymandering and malapportionment). This 55% translates to 122 parliamentary seats – 10 seats more than the minimum simple majority of 112 in the 222-seat Parliament.

That said, there are several uncertainties and variables, which make this election difficult to call:

  • How many seats can Warisan and PKR win in Sabah?
  • Will opposition parties be able to win 51% of the popular vote in rural areas in the West Coast of the peninsula.
  • Will the increase in postal votes influence the outcome? Did early voters feel free to vote according to their conscience?
  • What impact will the considerable BN handouts in rural areas have?
  • How many voters from overseas and out-of-town will be able to return home to vote?
  • What kind of impact will BN’s social media advertising blitz have? BN may have the advantage in social media advertising over Facebook and the irritating and perhaps counterproductive YouTube ads.
  • But that spending blitz is up against many ordinary people each sifting through hundreds of messages on WhatsApp forwarded to them by friends and family every day. No amount of money can buy that. So BN is still behind online. In 2008, BN relied on traditional media, but people had turned to SMS and blogs. By the time BN moved fully to social media, many had moved on to WhatsApp. To what extent will WhatsApp and larger broadband penetration influence rural votes? Areas with larger penetration – the entire West Coast of the peninsula, for instance – are likely to fall to the opposition.
  • What kind of impact will the emergence of Nik Omar Nik Abdul Aziz have among Muslim voters in the East Coast and beyond?
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On a personal note, I will be watching a couple of seats closely as two outstanding parliamentarians are involved in the fight of their lives.

In Parit Buntar, Mujahid Yusof Rawa of Amanah is involved in a three-way fight with BN and Pas. From what I hear, there is a jump in the number of postal voters there.

In Sungai Siput, two-term MP Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj of PSM is up against BN (MIC), PKR and Pas in a tough four-way contest.

Other seats to watch out for are Lembah Pantai (Fahmi Fadzil vs Raja Nong Chik), Bentong (Wong Tack vs Liow Tiong Lai), and Petaling Jaya, where activist Maria Chin Abdullah is contesting.

Whichever side wins, the struggle is by no means over – not until all the reforms  civil society has been seeking have been realised and everyone is able to live in peace and solidarity with social, economic and environmental justice.

We cannot afford to relax the morning after. We cannot rely on politicians alone to bring about the change we want. We too should be vigilant and get involved.

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Ho Wan Lai
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Ho Wan Lai

PCM Huan Cheng Guan at Bagan may lose deposit but likely he is able to cover the cost thru his appearance fees on TV3 ?

USM’s Prof Sivamurugan’s GE14 prediction is skewed against conscience unlike more realistic one by Anil Netto.

Freddie
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Freddie

Huan said he would set up service center if he does not lose his deposit. (An alleged) BN agent to steal votes from Pakatan…

YB Loh
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YB Loh

WHichever party wins,there will not be peace and harmony in Malaysia. Being a 3rd world country, the looser is NOT going to congratulate and shake the winner’s hand and walk away in a gentlemanly way. The country will be bogged down with politics in education, secularisation, objections to projects, Memali, 1MDB, Petronas, etc….while our neighbours like Thailand and Singapore will leap ahead economically, financially….

Ho Wan Lai
Guest
Ho Wan Lai

YB should be more optismic on peaceful transition rather than to strike fear lah?!

Freddie
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Freddie

No progress if we keep to the old ship and useless skipper mo.

Constance Singam
Guest

Good luck Anil. I hope your prediction prooves right.

Soakkoon Wong
Guest

Hope springs eternal in the human heart!

Jessica K
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Jessica K

Congratulation! Your prediction is spot-on. 122 I’m re-reading this write-up just for fun of it.

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Last minute offer:
tax cuts for youths under 26 years old,
two public holidays next week,
and five toll-free days in conjunction with the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration.

Don’t take it & risk your future.
We are already GST-ed, do you think the tax money so desperately needed will be refunded? Think carefully – promises may not be fulfilled at all.
Some more public holidays will cause businesses to lose money. Care for your bosses, not a kleptocrat.
Toll free is nothing compare to a highway to hor-lan for the next 5 years. You want that???

Vote carefully, vote with a clear conscience, vote out the thieves.

Velu
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Velu

This is just a desperate move by Najib knowing that he is losing votes. He is likely to increase GST to 8-10% in a year’s time. Also I urge sll to boycott Air Asia that is turning blue, teaching that Tony guy a good lesson!

Hotmax
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Hotmax

Former finance minister Daim Zainuddin today said that Pakatan Harapan will capture Putrajaya in the 14th general election based on “sentiments on the ground.”

“Wherever I go, people ask me who will win GE14.

“I tell them Harapan will win, God willing,” he told a press conference in Langkawi today.

Awang Selamat Ori
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Awang Selamat Ori

Dr. Mujahid Rawa by a nose in Parit Buntar and in Sungai Siput, PH to win by around 1,500 votes.

Ho Wan Lai
Guest
Ho Wan Lai

Ori or Celop, GE14 outcome can be reversed euphoria or black out compared to GE13’s???

bigjoe
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bigjoe

THIS is what is wrong with the liberal left in this country. WHO is the opposition, Does it include Hadi’s PAS? If its NOT PH only, the seat argument falls apart. If 60% include Hadi’s PAS, PAS could take as much as 18% of the vote which means that PH only has 42% of the vote, PH needs at least 55% of the popular vote to win and BN will still stay in power

Mah HS
Guest
Mah HS

The National Union of Flight Attendants (Nufam) claimed that AirAsia may have breached its own SOP by having its flight attendants dress in blue in an aircraft emblazoned with BN’s election slogan “Hebatkan Negaraku”.

Oscar
Guest
Oscar

Every vote must go to Harapan!

Freddie
Guest
Freddie

XXX will still cheat his way to steal the election, even with much lower popular votes for bn.

shriek
Guest
shriek

Look 2004 year of dummo abdullah’s call to work with him. Other races respond to him. Karpal and uncle lim lost. Mca and gilakan has most seats. Rocket crashed with only 10%. Pg has only chong eng and a few. MCA has more seat than gilakan but cm still goes to gilakan. What did dummo gave to other races?…
Time to change and reform the gomen, agee and eecc. Otherwise wait for karma? This polling is the karma

Johan Khun Pana
Guest
Johan Khun Pana

Really hope the PH is able to do it this time.
I myself is about to go out and buy some instant noodles,snacks,bottled water and whatever i think might be essential.
All my elderly friends are doing the same thing as well, just incase those “cilakas” are up to no good after the counting ended.
Thank You

Mah HS
Guest
Mah HS

Will desperate Najib cancel GST at his 10pm speech to salvage losing votes?

MTUC and Taxi drivers openly support Harapan.

Oscar
Guest
Oscar

These meagre promises made by BN/UMNO President Najib during campaign period are insulting to Malaysians of all walks of life. (i) Most under-26 pay little or no taxes anyway. (ii) Granting ‘post-victory’ holiday (in addition to gazetted holidays) would ultimately be at the expense of consumers who would have to bear the extra costs for business owners. (iii) Throwing in the ‘allow preparation for Ramadan’ appeal and five toll-free days “to celebrate Raya” is shamelessly misusing religion for personal benefit (i.e. to gain votes).As some intelligent Malaysians had pointed previously, Malaysians should vote for Harapan based on their election promises… Read more »

Mah HS
Guest
Mah HS

What is your prediction?

Ho Wan Lai
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Ho Wan Lai

My prediction is that the GE14 hosts of mainstream media like TV3, RTM, Astro Awani may have difficulty to spew out words should there be a collapse of present acting regime.

Oscar
Guest
Oscar

Also must have a new Chinese organization to replace Hua Zhong that has been tainted with close political association with MCA-BN.

Hope to see Malaysiakini becoming a daily printed newspaper to replace NST and The Star.

HC Pang
Guest
HC Pang

One of the most important factor is PAS creating a three way fight. Your trend of % of popular votes holds water only if there were two-way fights. There won’t be a change in federal government, not when Borneo and Felda remain asleep.