PORT DICKSON: Pakatan Harapan candidate Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is expected to win in the by-election here on Saturday (Oct 13).
A think-tank under the Selangor government, Institut Darul Ehsan (IDE), said that based on two surveys conducted, Anwar is leading with over 70% support in both surveys.
PAS candidate Lt Kol (Rtd) Mohd Nazari Mokhtar and former Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Tan Sri Isa Samad came up second and third respectively.
IDE's deputy chairman Prof Datuk Dr Mohammad Redzuan Othman said the support for Anwar stood at 72% in the first survey conducted from Sept 28-30.
In the second survey conducted from Oct 8-9, Anwar saw a two percentage point increase in support.
Mohd Nazari saw a 7-point increase to 11% while Isa saw an increase of four points from his initial 6%.
Independent candidate Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan had no support in either survey.
When asked why, Dr Mohammad Redzuan said that out of the 1,084 respondents, none of them had expressed support for Anwar's former aide.
“We asked all the respondents from the (five state assemblies under the Port Dickson parliamentary constituency) and no one said they would vote for Mohd Saiful.
“We have people saying they will vote for Isa and other candidates, but none for him.
“Maybe out of the 75,770 registered voters, there could be 100 supporters for Mohd Saiful but it’s hard to tell,” he told a press conference Thursday.
However, Dr Mohammad Redzuan emphasised that despite the surveys, actual voter support can only be gauged accurately on polling day this Saturday as voter turnout will also play a role.
When asked about support for PAS, Dr Mohammad Redzuan said it was evident that almost all non-Muslims did not support the Islamist party.
However, he noted that the PAS supporters club consists of non-Muslims.
“So we put the support of the non-Muslims at about 1%. We have a map that shows the campaigning trails of all political parties and we found that PAS mostly went to Malay areas in its campaigns.
“In the recent general election (on May 9), PAS also got 11% of the votes, so it looks like nothing much has changed for them,” he added.
When asked about areas such as Linggi and Bagan Pinang that are currently held by Barisan Nasional assemblymen, Dr Mohammad Redzuan said Barisan voters would never vote for PAS.
“They will either vote for Isa or they will abstain from voting,” he said, adding that Anwar's election campaign strategy focuses on a personal touch with voters.
Dr Mohammad Redzuan said the PKR president-elect has been seen frequenting many Malay majority areas.
“If you look at Umno voters, there is a sentiment for the ‘dacing’ (Barisan’s scales party symbol).
“When that ‘dacing’ isn’t competing, there are challenges in getting them to vote.
“Isa too doesn’t represent Barisan,” he said, adding that Anwar’s “personal touch” strategy in approaching voters could help sway them.
The survey also found that voters are concerned about both national and local issues.
The implementation of the Sales and Service Tax (SST) as well as the high cost of living are the main concerns of the respondents when it comes to national issues.
On the local front, many are worried about cleanliness, potholes, clogged drains, public transportation, lack of streetlights, as well as social and crime issues.