It is likely that BN will win the Balingian by-election. But we should watch closely whether Pakatan can reduce the 75 per cent of the popular vote clinched by the BN in this constituency in the 2011 state election.
The by-election today is between BN’s Yussibnosh Balo and Pakatan’s Abdul Jalil Bujang (PKR). Voter turnout at 11.00am was 53 per cent compared to the total turnout of 70 per cent in the 2011 state election.
In the 2011 state election, former-Chief Minister Taib Mahmud won the state seat with a reduced majority of 5,154 votes (2006 – 5,726 votes) in a three-cornered contest.
Back then, the area had 11,792 registered voters. It has 13,366 registered voters now, a rise of 13 per cent.
In the run-up to the
buy-election by-election, a few prominent national PKR leaders were denied entry into Sarawak. PKR vice chairman See Chee How was reported (in FMT) as saying that millions of ringgit were being thrown around in Balingian since nomination day on 17 March – which he said was unprecedented and “more than the constituency has seen in decades”.
The 2011 state elections:
PKR (Suriati Abdullah) (PKR) – (871) (10.5 per cent of total votes cast)
BN (Taib Mahmud) (BN-PBB) – 6,210 (2006 – 6393) (75.2 per cent of total votes cast)
Independent (Salleh Jafaruddin) – 1056
Valid votes cast – 8137
Spoilt votes – 116
Total votes cast – 8,253
Registered voters – 11792
Turnout – 70.0 per cent
Majority (5154) (2006 – 5726)