Perikatan Nasional (PN) could have the edge in the next general election in the event of three-cornered fights with Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Harapan (PH), a study says.
According to Mohd Fuad Mat Jali, head of research at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Electoral Forensic Laboratory, the study shows that 40% of voters believe PN would win if a three-cornered fight occurs for any seat, compared to 13% who believe that BN will win and 11%, PH.
“This expectation is also seen among 51% of Sabah Bumiputera voters followed by 48% of Malay voters and 35% of Sarawak Bumiputeras,” he said, adding that only 32% of Indian voters and 23% of Chinese feel the same way.
“Those aged 21 to 39 comprise the biggest group (43.5%) who believe PN can win, followed by those 60 and above with an average of 41%, and those aged 40 to 59 with 39%,” he said in a statement.
The study also found that 42% of voters want PN to remain in government while 13% want a BN administration and 11% want PH.
Fuad said the study, conducted through phone from Feb 7 to 10, involved 4,864 voters chosen according to voter data from the third quarter of last year. Samples were taken from 83 parliamentary constituencies across the country.
He said the survey also measured the popularity of main leaders from the three blocs with Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin in the lead followed by others such as opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
“The survey results show that Muhyiddin had the most support at 55%, followed by Anwar (8%). Zahid and former prime minister Najib Razak had 2% each,” he added.
In terms of voter age, Muhyiddin garnered support from across the board.
“Those aged 60 and above showed the most support with an average of 58.3%,” Fuad said. “For those aged 21 to 39, 56.5% supported Muhyiddin and for those aged 40 to 59, 56%.”
He said Muhyiddin’s frequent appearances on television and his prayers for the prosperity and well-being of the country had boosted his popularity among the people.
He said while social media played a big role in influencing voters, many still trusted electronic media in the spread of information about national policies and current issues.
The majority of respondents also said they would turn out to vote in the coming general election.
Noting however that 30% of respondents had declined to answer, Fuad said it was unknown if these were fence-sitters or if they were comfortable with the current situation.
“This is one of the questions for which we hope to find an answer when the next phase of the study is conducted before GE15,” he said.