Selangor polls could go either way, say analysts

KLANG: The outcome of the upcoming Selangor state election is still up in the air, with no one able to predict which coalition will garner the most votes.

Both Pakatan Harapan and Perikatan Nasional have good reason to believe that they can win.

Perikatan is bolstered by PAS' sterling performance in Selangor during the 15th General Election (GE15) while Pakatan believes it can conquer at least 53 out of the state's 56 seats with Umno on board.

PAS also believes it has a very good chance in all Malay-dominant seats based on its GE15 performance.

In the recent PKR convention, Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari said data showed Pakatan would be able to secure about 40 seats.

He added that if there was a transfer of votes between the supporters of both coalitions, there was a big possibility of garnering 53 out of the 56 state seats.

Meanwhile, Selangor PAS commissioner Datuk Dr Ahmad Yunus Hairi had issued a statement saying that Perikatan had a good chance to wrest the state from Pakatan based on several factors.

This included the rise of the "green wave" that helped PAS in GE15 as well as support and votes received from younger voters.

In GE15, PAS managed to wrest the Kuala Langat, Hulu Selangor and Kapar parliamentary seats from PKR.

Merdeka Centre co-founder and programme director Ibrahim Suffian opined that Pakatan had a firm grasp on Selangor.

"I think Pakatan has an added advantage as it has been there (as state government) for a long time and has reasonably strong machinery on the ground," said Ibrahim.

He added that Selangor voters know the difference between state and parliamentary elections and would want the state government, which has been serving them well, to be retained.

Ibrahim said the Selangor government under Pakatan has been scandal free with the main problems faced by the people only revolving around water and pollution, which was not really the state government's fault.

"The Pakatan state government has quite a sizeable amount of social welfare programmes that benefit the people," said Ibrahim.

As for Perikatan, the coalition's chances must not be ruled out given its achievements in GE15, said political analyst Dr Sivamurugan Pandian.

He added it was not known how many of the combined 45 seats Pakatan and Umno could defend in the Selangor legislative assembly – more so given that PAS' campaign slant always pushes through a moral legitimacy agenda.

"In Perikatan, PAS is seen as being cleaner and currently Pakatan and Barisan appear to be lacking in perception management.

"The unity government must uplift its image and this will reflect positively on Pakatan and Barisan in the state polls," said Sivamurugan.

He added that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim must work closely with the Selangor government to tell the people that voting for a unity government is the best choice for them.

He said Perikatan may also receive a boost from young and first-time voters.

"However, Perikatan must also realise that one shoe does not fit all and the campaign used in Kedah, Terengganu and Kelantan will not work in highly urbanised Selangor," said Sivamurugan.

"They must not be seen as being too radical," he said.

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