KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13 — Voting in the uneventful Port Dickson has officially closed and attention is now shifting to the ballot counting to determine the winner and margin of victory.
Despite Pakatan Harapan’s efforts to get out the vote for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the Election Commission (EC) reported a turnout of just 54 per cent at 4pm.
Although the figure is the highest in the by-elections since the 14th general election and still not final, it is far below the 83.6 per cent from May 9.
A low turnout will weigh on the majority of the expected winner, Anwar, who is after a convincing win to solidify his claim of being next in line to become prime minister.
The previous MP, Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah, won with a majority of 17,710 votes in the general election and Anwar will be under pressure to at least come close to that number.
The PKR president-elect was unperturbed by the low attendance, however, describing the figure as “satisfactory” when met at the Sekolah Kebangsaan Telok Kemang polling station.
His former accuser turned poll rival, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, had warned that a low turnout would bode ill for favoured contestants such as Anwar.
“Currently, the voter turnout is quite low, but as an underdog, I’m not worried. It is the major candidates that should be worried,” said Saiful.
Aside from Saiful, Anwar is facing five other candidates in the by-election triggered expressly for him to contest.
Counting will take place at the Port Dickson Municipal Council building, with results expected around 8pm.