SEREMBAN: Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan of Barisan Nasional retained the Rantau state seat for the fourth term, as predicted, with a handsome majority of 4,510 votes.
The win did not come as a surprise as the Umno deputy president and former Negri Sembilan mentri besar won in 13 of the 14 polling centres throughout the state constituency, garnering 10,397 votes.
His main contender, Dr S. Streram of Pakatan Harapan, polled 5,887 votes.
The turnout was 79.3% among the 20,926 Rantau voters, after a 13-day period of campaigning.
This marks Barisan’s third consecutive win in the seven by-elections – after Cameron Highlands and Semenyih – since the 14th General Election (GE14).
This is also Mohamad’s fourth term as the assemblyman of Rantau, which is also his hometown.
As word spread that Mohamad had won, Barisan supporters spilt out onto the streets throughout Rantau to celebrate, especially outside the official tallying centre at SJK(C) Bandar Sri Sendayan.
In the 2004 general election, Mohamad secured 79.3% of the votes against PKR’s Badrul Hisham Shaharin. In 2008 and 2013, standing against PKR’s Aisah Lamsah, he secured 66.17% and 64.75% of the votes respectively.
In GE14 last year, Mohamad retained the seat unopposed after Dr Streram failed to enter the nomination centre.
However, an election petition filed by Dr Streram to declare Mohamad’s walkover as not valid then triggered the by-election.
The two independent candidates Mohd Nor Yassin and R. Malarvizhi lost their deposits with the 79 and 83 votes they received respectively.