Just spoke to a media source just now and he said the crowd last night at Bukit Gantang was closer to 20,000. (My other media contact had said 10,000 while blog reader Gantangian estimated it at 15,000). Whatever, it was a huge turnout. The ceramah was held in a kampong near Bukit Gantang.
The Pakatan candidate is now expected to be revealed only on Thursday, according to my source. PR leaders are probably delaying the announcement after seeing how the BN lured three of their assembly members into jumping ship.
According to my source, the word is that Pakatan is likely to cruise home with a 3,500-5,000 majority (among 55,471 voters), improving on its 1,566-vote margin in GE2008.
BN won the Trong state seat in the Bukit Gantang parliamentary constituency by a 916 vote-majority, but lost the Changkat Jering (by 1,102 votes) and Kuala Sepetang (by 564 votes) state seats to PKR.
Initially, the Malay votes were said to be about evenly split but my media source informs me they are now leaning in favour of Pakatan.
Blog reader, Karma, who accurately read the feeling on the ground during the Permatang Pauh by-election last year, informs us:
The crowd was huge. Really huge. Over 10,000. Malays, Chinese, Indians and Orang Asli thronged the venue.
The police were not harsh, but frendly. Most of them smiled at the people coming to the ceramah. They were just doing their job as ordered. The road-blocks all over did not deter the people from attending the ceramah. A positive sign for PR. If this is an indicator, then PR candidate will win the coming by-election.
For every 10 people I talked to, almost all were not happy with what had happened to Nizar and the PR government. They love Nizar and want him to remain as MB.