KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 ― Popular support for Islamist party PAS in Selangor has fallen to a mere eight per cent, almost half of the 15 per cent popular vote it received in the 14th general elections (GE14) in May 2018, results of a recent survey showed.
Selangor government-linked think tank Institut Darul Ehsan (IDE) however noted that this does not mean that voters have decided to shift their support to the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition or PAS ally Umno, as the latter two had stable support levels.
“Current scenario shows they tend to observe current developments in deciding on their political support,” the think-tank's senior research manager Khairul Arifin Mohd Munir said in a statement.
“Studies also show the support towards PH and Barisan Nasional is stable as given by voters in the last general elections.”
The survey was carried out on July 12 and July 14, with IDE contrasting this with its previous findings of support of 12 per cent for PAS in Selangor pre-GE14, and the subsequent increase to 15 per cent on voting day in GE14.
IDE described PAS as having three types of supporters: PAS members that will continue supporting the party whatever happens; PAS supporters that are not members but supportive of the party's ideals and struggles; and PAS voters that are neither party members or supporters but who vote for the party due to their own reasons or attraction to the party's alternative offer.
“PAS now is only successful in maintaining support from among the category of hardcore members, while the category of supporters and the category of PAS voters in the last general elections have started to change their attitude towards the party,” the think tank said.
According to IDE, the July survey titled “Survei Persepsi Rakyat Selangor 2019: Mood Rakyat #Moodofthenation” was carried out in all 56 state assembly seats in Selangor, with 2,581 respondents of various races and demographics selected via random sampling.
IDE said the poll, which was carried out using tablets and the think tank's own e-survey app, carries a margin of error of two per cent.
It had also carried out group interviews with different groups to verify the survey findings, adding that it had also carried out several field studies last month and this month to observe the trend of voter support towards PAS throughout the country.
In the 14th general election, PAS was completely wiped out in the contest for parliamentary seats within Selangor when it went alone to lead the Gagasan Sejahtera pact after parting ways with its allies in PH’s predecessor Pakatan Rakyat.
The party garnered zero seats, in comparison to its haul of four parliamentary seats in Selangor for both the 13th general election in 2013 and 12th general election in 2008.
Also in the 14th general election, PAS also had a zero haul for state seats in Selangor, down from its previous haul of 15 state seats (2013) and eight state seats (2008) within the state.