Will BN take Rantau? Kajidata forecasts April 13 vote likely similar to Semenyih

Residents go about their daily activities in the town of Rantau, March 29, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Residents go about their daily activities in the town of Rantau, March 29, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 — With campaigning for Rantau at the half-way mark, a market research firm predicts that the vote for the Negri Sembilan state seat will likely mimic the outcome of the Semenyih by-election last month.

Based on the results of its public satisfaction survey released this week, Kajidata Research said bets are very much in favour of the Barisan Nasional (BN), despite the coalition now being on the opposite side of the political divide.

“With PAS actively backing Barisan Nasional as well as declining political support for Pakatan Harapan and lower economic confidence especially amongst the youth, it is likely that Barisan Nasional will achieve an even higher share of votes in the Rantau by-election,” Kajidata said in a statement accompanying its political study on public satisfaction towards the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition.

The nationwide survey of 9,071 Malaysians polled over the phone between January 1 and December 31, 2018 found support for PH on the wane, dropping from 76.8 in June to 57.2 points six months later, with BN pipping the ruling coalition by a sliver at 58.2 points at the end of the year.

While Kajidata said there is no result for Rantau to compare with, it noted that 56 per cent of local constituents had voted for the Rembau parliamentary seat and the other neighbouring state seats last year.

Rantau is one of the state seats under the greater Rembau federal seat.

Kajidata’s political tracking index showed a strong youth shift in support towards PH prior to GE14, but the market research firm said the trend has shifted dramatically, as shown in the last Semenyih by-election.

It said Rantau has a similar electoral profile as to Semenyih, where most voters are Malays with a sizeable Chinese and Indian population, and both are located close to large metropolitan areas but distant enough to have both rural and urban features.

“Barisan Nasional’s share of the youth’s votes in Semenyih increased from 30.2 per cent in GE14 to 51.6 per cent for the Semenyih by-election. Pakatan Harapan experienced a drop from 51.9 per cent to 43.7 per cent.  

“The Semenyih by-election shows that there has indeed been a reversal in youth support to the benefit of Barisan Nasional... the political implications of this trend decided the Semenyih by-election in Barisan Nasional’s favour and will likely have a similar effect on the Rantau by-election,” Kajidata said.

Polling date for the Rantau by-election is on April 13 with early voting on April 9.

Kajidata’s study was conducted through computer aided telephone interviews across the 222 parliamentary constituencies including in Sabah and Sarawak. The respondents were represented of different races in each state based on the actual population of voters in Malaysia.