KKB polls: Where the votes came from


Clean-up operation: Volunteers removing campaign materials after the by-election. — KK SHAM/The Star

Change in trends from Indians, Malays and voters in their 40s

PETALING JAYA: The Kuala Kubu Baharu (KKB) by-election saw the biggest change in voting patterns from ethnic Indians, Malays and voters in their 40s.

Collectively, they played the biggest role in Pakatan Harapan’s victory on Saturday.

However, a closer look at the results in 18 polling districts and streams showed that despite the ruling coalition’s victory, it would need to redouble its efforts to persuade voters aged 18 to 40, who make up 49.7% of the constituents.

Observations from The Star and think tanks Institut Darul Ehsan (IDE) Selangor and Ilham Centre found that the Opposition coalition, Perikatan Nasional, was clearly dominant among voters aged 18 to 40, especially Malays.

When it came to voters aged 51 to 60, Pakatan only managed to get the support of 48% of this cohort compared with the 60.5% in the state election last year.

“The by-election continues the momentum of identity politics that clearly emerged in the 15th General Election in 2022 and in the six state elections in 2023,” said political analyst Hisommudin Bakar.

ALSO READ: Zahid: Results show maturity of Malay voters

(Identity politics is when people vote or organise themselves along ethnic, religious or tribal lines.)

“Although various issues were raised during campaigning for the by-election, such as cost of living concerns, job opportunities and the quality of public infrastructure, voting trends tend to reflect continued ethnic polarisation,” said Hisommudin, who is from Ilham Centre.

Pakatan’s Pang Sock Tao polled 14,000 votes to beat three other candidates to retain the seat by a 3,869-vote majority. Her closest rival, Khairul Azhari Saut of Perikatan, garnered 10,131 votes.

Parti Rakyat Malaysia’s Hafizah Zainuddin and Independent candidate Nyau Ke Xin officially lost their deposits after only getting 152 and 188 votes, respectively.

ALSO READ: KKB polls: Result shows Pakatan and Barisan should work together in GE16, says Johor rep

During the by-election’s two-week campaign period, Ilham had conducted face-to-face interviews with 404 respondents for its survey of voting trends, in which the centre predicted that Pakatan would have a slight edge.

It found that the majority of Malay voters – just as in GE15 and the state elections – still preferred Perikatan over Pakatan although they were highly satisfied with the performance of the Pakatan-ruled state government and the Mentri Besar, Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari, who is from Pakatan component party PKR.

Despite Perikatan’s dominance among Malay voters, IDE Selangor’s analysis showed that there was a slight three-point increase in their support for Pakatan, from 39% to 42%.

Truly grateful: Pang thanking her constituents in conjunction with Mothers Day at Pasar Awam Rasa in Hulu Selangor.Truly grateful: Pang thanking her constituents in conjunction with Mothers Day at Pasar Awam Rasa in Hulu Selangor.

Malays make up 52% of KKB’s electorate and form the majority of voters in the polling districts of Bandar Utama Batang Kali, Ampang Pechah and Kampung Air Jernih.

IDE Selangor senior research manager Khairul Ariffin Mohd Munir said the increase in Malay votes for Pakatan was due to the announcement of salary hike for the civil service by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim before campaigning began for the by-election.

The impact of this announcement was most apparent in the 750 early votes from policemen, military personnel and their spouses, 78.9% of whom voted for Pakatan.

It was the opposite in the state election last year when Perikatan garnered 77% of all early votes.

“There were also some Malay votes from Umno supporters. This enabled Pakatan to win the majority of the votes in the Pertak and Sungai Air Jernih polling districts.

“These two areas had been won by Barisan Nasional and Umno in GE15,” said Khairul Ariffin.

ALSO READ: KKB polls: Mature electorate chose progress over politicking, says Umno veep

Local Umno activist Syed Idris Syed Shamir puts down the slight increase in Malay support for Pakatan to the closer rapport between his party members and DAP.

“While not yet at 100%, it is improving. It is about 70%. We’re seeing efforts to be closer with one another. The relationship is improving,” said the Pekan Kampung Pasir Kerling deputy branch chief.

The biggest rise in support for Pakatan came from Malaysian-Indian voters, which registered a 10-point bump from 60% support in the state election to 70% in Saturday’s poll, according to IDE Selangor.

The increase was despite repeated campaigns from politicians in the Urimai party to get the community to not vote for Pakatan.

“Indian voters were taken in by the rhetoric during the first week of the campaign, but our survey showed that their attitudes changed in the second week after Pakatan government officials went down to solve their problems,” said Hisommudin.

The turning point came when the Housing and Local Government Ministry promised to build low-cost houses for 245 families that had been evicted from five plantations in the KKB area, he added.

Going forward, the biggest concern for Pakatan is still the youth vote, said Khairul Ariffin, adding that support among the 18-24, 25-30 and 31-40 age groups was at 36%, 33.8% and 39.5%, respectively.

According to IDE Selangor, the strongest support for Pakatan came from groups aged 41-50 and those above 61 at 58.3% and 66.8%, respectively.

“Pakatan still needs to work on ways to get the youth vote,” said Khairul Ariffin.

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Kuala Kubu Baharu , By-Election , KKB Polls

   

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