Hornbill Unleashed

April 5, 2013

Pakatan needs 7pct vote swing to win Putrajaya

Chong Zhemin

The 13th general election will be the first election in history where Malaysians go to polls knowing that they have a chance to vote for a regime change.

There are three possible outcomes for the coming election:

Scenario 1 – BN regains two-thirds majority
Scenario 2 – Slight gain for Pakatan Rakyat
Scenario 3 – Pakatan wins the election

Scenario 1 – Low possibility

For BN to regain two-thirds majority, BN would need to swing 1.5 percent of Pakatan voters in 2008.

azlanIf BN succeeds in this, the coalition will add 11 parliamentary seats to the 140 seats won in 2008, giving them a total of 151 parliamentary seats with a comfortable two-thirds majority.

However, this is unlikely given Chinese voters, which form a significant proportion of the electorate, are reportedly swinging heavily against BN.

[See chart – Scenario 1, left]

Scenario 2 – medium possibility

The second scenario has a medium possibility where the status quo is maintained, with Pakatan gaining an additional nine parliamentary seats.

If Pakatan could swing 1.5 percent of BN voters in 2008, Pakatan can add nine seats to the 82 seats they won in 2008. In total, Pakatan will win 91 parliamentary seats, 21 seats short of a simple majority.

[See chart – Scenario 2, below]

Scenario 3 – high possibility

azlanThe third scenario which has a high possibility is where Pakatan forms the next federal government.

In order for this to happen, Pakatan needs to overturn seven percent of BN voters in 2008.

Pakatan would be able to gain an additional 38 seats giving them a total of 120 parliamentary seats to form the next federal government.

[See chart – Scenario 3, below]

In order to overturn seven percent of votes for seats like Lubok Antu – (at the bottom of the list) where BN gets a popular vote of 56.75 percent – for every six Pakatan voters, one BN voter needs to be converted to vote for Pakatan in the coming election (seven percent out of 43 percent is roughly 1 to 6).

To put things into perspective, if every six Pakatan voters could convince one BN voter to vote for Pakatan in the coming election, the third scenario could become a reality.


Political barometer

An interesting side note would be the Gelang Patah seat, to be contested by DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang. If Pakatan is only able to swing seven percent of votes from BN, Lim Kit Siang will still lose in Gelang Patah.

However, if Pakatan is able to obtain a swing of an additional one percent, making it a total eight percent of the votes, Pakatan will be able to win eight more seats (including Gelang Patah) giving them a total of 128 seats – a very comfortable majority in the new government.

Hence the Gelang Patah parliamentary seat acts as the political barometer on whether Pakatan could form the next government.

azlan[See chart – If 8% swing, left]

The above scenario is based on the following justifications:

1. In 2008, the opposition parties did not form any electoral pact hence any cross-voting among the opposition parties in 2008 was limited.

2. PM Najib Razak has already lost one of his trump cards – the timing of the election – and thus he was unable to take Pakatan by surprise. The opposition is ready for elections this time, unlike in 2008.

3. The opposition poses a more credible challenge compared to 2008 as they are able to present an alternative budget and election manifesto.

4. New voters traditionally favour the opposition.

5. Internet penetration rate is higher than in 2008 making it easier for opposition parties to disseminate information. The opposition parties also have an upper hand in the social media war.

6. The rise of civil society movements, in particular Himpunan Hijau and Bersih, will help the opposition to garner some fence-sitter votes.

Other factors

BN has provided freebies and cash handouts to the people, and these allow them to strengthen their current vote base in the rural areas which benefitted most from the cash handouts.
The urban voters still favour the opposition and are more interested in the reform agenda rolled out by Pakatan.

However there is a slight possibility that the semi-rural constituency will buy Najib’s transformation plan and swing back to BN, hence giving BN its much-vaunted two-thirds majority.

Najib’s delay in calling the election however shows his lack of confidence in getting back the two-thirds majority, validating the low possibility of this scenario from happening.

The above analysis is based on the 2008 election result without taking into account the three million new voters and transfer of voters from one constituency to another (for example the alleged transfer of 5,000 voters from Seputeh to Lembah Pantai).

Other factors that also need to be considered are the local issues and the strength of candidates.

Nevertheless, the above analysis provides an educated guess on the possible seats that will fall to either BN or Pakatan should there be a swing of votes in the 2013 general election.

CHONG ZHEMIN is a lecturer at a local university.



  1. in their desperate attempt to topple BN, the opposition has become the worlds dirties political party Malaysians ever seen, but thanks to the art of Gerrymandering the coalition Government has won the election, for those who oppose this system can move and migrate to countries where it’s not used…LONG LIVE OUR KING! psst..pstt..40,000 Bangla your head lah..

    Comment by Tan Chong — November 26, 2013 @ 12:07 PM | Reply

  2. Sabah situation is no good for PR to win Putrajaya. SAPP and STAR are the destroyer and trailtors to the people of Malaysia who need to change out the corrutped BN government. But SAPP and STAR all have personal agenda and might also have been bought under table by BN to destroy PR in Sarawak. If Yong Tek Lee still relevant to Sabah poiltic, why he almost lost his deposit in a by election? And, who is Jeferry fighting for? Both are like dead rats in the ceiling, smelly and poisonous

    Comment by Sarawak New Hope 2013 — April 6, 2013 @ 1:25 PM | Reply

  3. Phantom voters or instant citizen voters in Pakatan rule states already make up about 3% to 4 %. Only a 80% or more turnout by Malaysians themselves can overcome the fraud put in place by the EC and UMNO. Malaysians must come out in full force.

    Comment by Ali Sujang — April 5, 2013 @ 7:20 PM | Reply

  4. 90% Chinese, 50% Malay, 50% India will go for PR. BN will lost heavily in this coming election. Trust me.
    PR will form a new government.

    Comment by Mike-Johor — April 5, 2013 @ 2:59 PM | Reply

    • Please tell Johor folks to back Lim Kit Siang against Ghani in Gelang Patah!

      Comment by Jiman — April 5, 2013 @ 3:45 PM | Reply

      • Please all pray for LKS. God hear prayers and His power is most mighty

        Bala Dayaks Johor keluar kepem numbang ke perintah kurap BN

        Comment by Raban Penuh Cinta Sarawak — April 5, 2013 @ 5:37 PM | Reply

      • MCA is nothing but a tool and a decor piece for big brother (and that is UMNO)!

        Did they fight on behalf of the rakyat (people) or the political bully (UMNO)? Look at the MCA’s failures and actions.

        1. Failure to get United Chinese School Examination (UCE) recognized.

        2. Failure to settle the PKFZ issue.

        3. Failure to condemn corruption and rent seeking in general.

        4. Failure to said even a word when Teoh and othgers died in custody.

        5. Failure to oppose negotiated tender at the national level. The hypocrites make lots of noise that no Chinese got DID contract in Penang.

        6. Failure to oppose all the rent seeking projects, IPP’s, IWK, Syabas, highways.

        7. Failure to condemn public land grab.

        8. Failure to use MCA paper for transparency, but instead using it for propaganda.

        9. Failure to condemn Utusan.

        10. Failure to condemn Ibrahim himself.

        11. Failure to response to Nazri’s comment that MCA is like an abused wife.

        12. Failure to get scholarship for the many deserving and in need.

        13. Failure to speak out against Christian bashing during the Allah issue.

        14. Failure to support Bersih for a clean, free and fair elections, and instead took to lying (Tung Shin hospital) and apple polishing big brother.

        15. Failure to speak out again AP’s and Proton. Both increase the costs of cars for all Malaysians.

        16. Failure to advise Namewee, whose fault was using vulgar language to condemn racist principals.

        17. Failure to speak out against the NFC scandal, of which MCA has a deputy minister.

        18. Failure to speak out for the rakyat on the case of the Scorpene deal.

        19. Threaten to withdraw from all government positions, if they get less seats than 2008.

        20. Supporting all policies, even if they hurt the rakyat, as long as they get a share of the cake, perhaps some crumps will do.

        21. Supporting football betting, just because his boss wants it, falsely claiming it to be non-Malay right. (It may be good for one Chinese, but what about the thousands who will suffer as a result.)

        22. Supporting the Evidence Act, OSA, ISA, PPPA, EA and other repressive laws.

        23. Supporting the man made water and electricity crisis in Selangor.

        24. Supporting and maybe profiting from all the speed traps set up all along the highway. (We support speed trap as deterrence, not profit.)

        25. Supporting hudud in Trengganu and Kelantan when it was passed in the state assembly. What hypocrites!

        26. Becoming the tool of a political bully, by supporting blindly, (“through thick and thin”).

        Consequently, I tend to feel MCA = Malaysian Company of Accomplices

        Comment by Fanny — April 6, 2013 @ 12:09 PM | Reply

  5. Rafidah says changing government is not like changing boy friend or changing a car. My dear, if the government is bad and corrupt and dirty, we have to change it like changing a shirt, a car or a boy friend when they are no more clean. This is a normal person mentality. How about if your wearing and clothing got dirty, you have to change or not?

    Why all these expired poiticians from UMNO rising from the dead, coming out talking like idiots? What are you all scared of if a new government come in to rule Malaysia? any hidden dirt that you all cannot shack off? may be too many !

    The few hundred thousands new voters are ready to take on BN even with many undi hantu and undi transfer already in the make

    Najib says winning with bigger majority in seats, let us see. We believe God will restore righteousness this round in the country He has given us

    Comment by Raban Penuh Cinta Sarawak — April 5, 2013 @ 12:30 PM | Reply

  6. ..PR will not get majority, and they shouldn’t ,..they can only give hope, but will soon realise they are not realistically feasible, or sustainable. Eye wash!

    Comment by Azlan — April 5, 2013 @ 9:29 AM | Reply


    Comment by VINCENT AK PAUL — April 5, 2013 @ 8:18 AM | Reply

  8. all bull shit

    Comment by orangmalaysia — April 5, 2013 @ 12:46 AM | Reply

    • Yes, 1malaysia is all bullshit.

      Comment by Jiman — April 5, 2013 @ 3:46 PM | Reply

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