“Can Pakatan Rakyat take over Putrajaya?” by Greg Lopez

Liew Chin Tong’s public lecture on whether Pakatan Rakyat can win at the next general election points PR’s fortunes towards two key factors:

(i) How well PR does in marginal seats throughout Malaysia; and

(ii) How well PR does in Sabah and Sarawak.

This is of course not taking into account how the BN will tamper further the electoral process – which in its present form, is already stacked against the opposition (read herehere and here) and if I may say, that the BN administration does not suddenly make a U-Turn and become a corrupt free and efficient administrator of the nation.

Chin Tong’s public lecture builds on earlier analysis done by PR’s strategists (of which Chin Tong is one of them), and the independent pollster Merdeka Centre. The following links provide an analysis of the marginal seats in Malaysia and Pakatan Rakyat’s chances at the 13GE:

(1) Swinging Pakatan Rakyat into Putrajaya (read here)

“… Bukit Bendera’s Liew Chin Tong said a 10 percent swing in votes to Pakatan would take its current tally of 82 parliamentary seats to more than 130, giving it a simple majority at federal level.

Conversely, a similar swing to Barisan Nasional would increase its seats from 137 now to 180 – giving it back a two-thirds majority in the process.”

Chin Tong’s analysis is supported by Merdeka Centre’s own analysis. They noted that 61 seats will decide the next election (read here and here).

“… In the 12th GE, BN obtained 51% of the votes with 140 seats – a drop of 13 percent from 2004 – and Pakatan Rakyat took 48% or 83 seats (As at 20 June 2010, BN has 138 seats, PR has 77 seats while there are seven independent seats with five openly declaring support for BN. Read here).

To form the federal government in the 13th GE, Pakatan would need a swing of 6% (29 seats) to declare victory with a simple majority.

To rule comfortably, it requires a 10% swing (139 seats), and to obtain a two-thirds majority, it needs a 13% swing (148 seats).”

In East Malaysia, PR will need a 20% swing to win the state of Sarawak (Read here). There are no publicly available analysis for Sabah.

Increasing urbanisation (now at 65%) and Malaysia’s demographic structure (between 20-35% of voters will be below 35 at the next GE in addition to the unregistered 4 million voters – many believed to be young) also favours PR (read here and here).

Chin Tong however recognised that PR has much work to do as many of its Members of Parliament and state assemblymen benefited from protest votes at the 2008 GE. This time around PR will have to demonstrate that it is indeed a reliable government in waiting.

Listen (or read the transcript) to an ABC Radio Australia interview with Chin Tong here.

Read also How Pakatan Rakyat can beat Barisan Nasional here

by Greg Lopez

New Mandala New perspectives on mainland Southeast Asia

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