KUALA LUMPUR, May 9 ― Polling day is finally here and so we bring you all the numbers that you need to know about GE14.
1. What's up for grabs
First up, there are 222 parliamentary seats and 505 state seats throughout Malaysia. This includes parliamentary seats in the federal territories of Putrajaya, Labuan and Kuala Lumpur.
That also means that there will be only 12 new state governments to be voted in, as Sarawak already had its state elections in 2016.
2. Who wants a slice of the pie?
It's going to be a crowded race, with 687 candidates aiming for the limited 222 seats in Parliament and 1,646 candidates throwing their hat in for the 505 state seats.
That's 24 political parties and 24 independent candidates for the federal race, and 23 parties and 54 independent candidates for the state seats.
And they only had 11 days or just over a week to campaign for votes and make their faces and names known to their voters.
3. Age is not an obstacle
Malaysia's oldest candidate this time around for the parliamentary seats is Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, 92, for the Langkawi seat while the youngest is 22-year-old law student P. Prabakaran for the Batu seat.
The oldest candidate for state seats is aged 78, while the youngest is aged 23.
4. Is there a glass ceiling?
Both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan have been trying to court the female vote and have long sought to have 30 per cent women representation at all decision-making levels, including in corporate boards and in legislative bodies.
But for GE14, male candidates far outnumber female candidates ― there are 612 men and 75 women vying for federal seats, and 1,470 men and 176 women fighting for the state seats.
In other words, women only account for 10.92 per cent and a similar 10.69 per cent of the federal and state seats' candidates.
5. Who decides Malaysia's fate?
About half of the country’s citizens or about 14.9 million of Malaysians are registered to vote in GE14.
Women votes just slightly outnumber the men's votes, at 50.58 per cent or 7,557,187 female voters against 49.42 per cent or 7,383,437 male voters.
It's a relatively young electorate, with those falling in the age groups of 21-29 (17.02 per cent) and 30-39 (23.92 per cent) making up a combined 40.92 per cent. The second largest age group is the 40-49 group at 20.26 per cent.
Those aged 50 and above make up the remaining 38.79 per cent of voters.
Not in the equation are around 3.6 million Malaysians who have reached the voting age of 21, but as of September 2017 had not registered as voters yet.
6. By post and race against time
There is a total of 212,834 voters who will be voting via post, namely 149,730 (election, armed forces, police and media personnel), 51,472 (personnel for key civil services such as fire rescue, immigration, hospitals), 3,653 absent voters (civil servants abroad and their spouses, full-time students abroad and their spouses) and 7,979 Malaysians abroad.
Some of the postal voters had complained of late arrival of ballot papers and scrambled to ensure it reaches EC officers by 5pm today, either through the use of pricey courier services or by passing it on to Malaysians flying or making their way back to the constituencies.
7. Super-fierce fights
Candidates who want to be voted in really have to work hard for their victory or not lose their deposits at the very least. That's RM10,000 and RM5,000 for candidates in federal seats and state seats respectively that will be forfeited if they fail to win more than 12.5 per cent of the votes cast in their constituencies.
There won't be walkovers, as the bulk of the fight will be three-corner fights (68 per cent or 151 of the 222 parliamentary seats and 67.92 per cent or 343 of the 505 state seats). Every vote counts, especially in marginal seats, where a third candidate can easily split votes and tip the results over to either one of the other two candidates.
Four-corner fights will be seen in 33 parliamentary seats and 80 state seats, while a smattering of seats will have five-corner fights (six parliamentary seats, 31 state seats) and six-corner contests (two federal seats, nine state seats) and seven-corner fight in only the Merotai state seat in Sabah.
Rounding it up will the one-on-one fight in only 30 parliamentary seats and 40 state seats.
8. Half a billion ringgit
The EC expects to spend RM500 million to run GE14. Such a massive amount of funds is required, as there will be a record high of 259,391 election workers appointed just for this elections. The number of polling centres (28,995) and polling streams (8,989) is also the highest-ever.
9. Hopes for the magic number
There are lots of targets in GE14, with the federal opposition Pakatan Harapan hoping to finally win the 112 parliamentary seats required for a simple majority to form government.
BN will want to not only retain power, but to improve on its GE13 haul of 133 seats.
The coalition which has been in power for decades will be aiming to once again achieve a two-thirds majority, which it lost in 2008 for the first time since the 1969 elections.
To get this parliamentary supermajority, BN will need to win 148 federal seats.
On the back of the country's highest-ever voter turnout rate of 84.84 per cent in GE13, the EC is expecting an 85 per cent turnout today. PH wants an 85 per cent turnout for a shot at winning.
The voter turnout rate could affect the results for the popular vote, which BN lost in 2013 when it only garnered 47.37 per cent of the votes cast. This was BN's worst performance in terms of vote share since 1969, and also the first time it lost the popular vote since 1969.
10. Where does the vote tally stand now?
Before the flag off to the race today, there was already one seat that BN won uncontested. For the Rantau state seat in Negri Sembilan, the state's caretaker mentri besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan had an easy win when his sole rival Dr S. Streram from PH was disqualified as a candidate. So it's BN 1 - PH nil for now.
Worry not about speculation and fears of trouble as you head out to vote before polling closes at 5pm, as the police will be deploying about 79,000 or 69 per cent of the entire force to ensure security.
The EC expects to announce election results at 9pm, so stay tuned then and may the best man, woman (or party) win.