Azmin may lose his Gombak seat (Part 1)

Table: GE13 results for the Gombak parliamentary seat
Table: GE13 results for the Gombak parliamentary seat

A shift in support shown by those who voted for the opposition previously in favour of PAS could spell the political demise of the Selangor Menteri Besar as opposition voters are now split, says academician


MANY academicians, analysts, researchers, and observers are now trying their level best to make accurate predictions on the outcome of GE14 by convincing the public on the accuracy of their assumptions.

Predictions too are always based on assumptions of likely-to-happen events.

Some of these political pundits use various methods such as ‘dubious’ surveys which produce certain findings which is then used to convince the public on the accuracy of their assumptions.

The word ‘dubious’ is used because as an ex-lecturer who taught Research Methodology to MBA students, I know it’s almost impossible to get a ‘un-dubious’ sampling strategy when it comes to public surveys to predict nationwide election results.

Here’s one. Mathematically, it’s almost impossible for Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali to defend his parliamentary Gombak seat.

I boldly predict Azmin Ali to lose his Gombak seat.

This prediction is not based on any survey or observation over ‘political talk’ at any coffee shop, and certainly not based on the current sentiment of the people of Selangor.

My prediction is purely based on indisputable facts, common sense, assumptions and simple calculations.

Note that following GE13, Azmin Ali won Gombak by a small majority of 4,734 votes. He obtained 54,827 votes against Barisan Nasional candidate Datuk Dr Rahman Ismail who got 50,093 votes.

The assumptions used are:

  • Total number of registered voters in Gombak has not increased significantly for the past 5 years;
  • Percentage of voter turnout (in Gombak) will not be significantly increased or reduced in GE14 compared to the voter turnout in GE13. The voter turnout in Gombak during GE13 was at 86.58%. This is considered to be high; and
  • Those who voted for BN in GE13 will continuously vote for BN while those who voted for Pakatan Rakyat in GE13 will continuously vote for the opposition in GE14.

In other words, the Malay Tsunami will not happen this time.

This particular assumption I borrow from the findings of Dr. Wong Chin Huat (DAP’s own respectable strategist who leads the Politic Analysis Programme at the Penang Institute) and Invoke (led be Rafizi Ramli).

With the above assumptions, common sense tells us that Azmin Ali will have no problem defending his Gombak seat, and it’s likely he will win with the same majority of 5,000 votes.

Unfortunately (for Azmin Ali), PAS (Malaysian Islamic Party) announced that it will contest in Gombak.

“Total votes for the opposition (or votes against BN) will surely be divided into two. Vote splitting among the opposition supporters is a logical consequence of PAS’s decision to ‘kacau daun’ (poke fire) in this election.

Gombak is well known as a PAS stronghold. It has deep-rooted support in the constituency. This is also true for those who left PAS for Parti Amanah Nasional (PAN). 

PAN has about 85,000 registered members while PAS presently commands close to 1 million. This can be interpreted as over 90% of PAS members believe in the party and this becomes a formidable foe to Azmin Ali. 

With this development of the political landscape, nobody actually believes that Azmin Ali will get all the 55,000 votes (that he got in GE13) this time round. PAS will campaign to get as many votes as possible for its own candidate, Khairil Nizam Khirudin.

Assuming that (and this is the biggest assumption in this analysis) 20% of the votes previously given to Azmin Ali (in GE13) shifts to Khairil (in GE14), a simple calculation tells us that Azmin Ali will loss 11,000 votes to PAS, reducing his votes from 55,000 to 44,000.

This is assuming that BN candidate Abdul Rahim Pandak Kamaruddin will get the same number of votes as in GE13 or 50,000, rendering a loss to Azmin Ali by a majority 6,000 (50,000 – 44,000 = 6,000).

The ‘Key Fail Factor’ (my own antonym for ‘Key Success Factor’) in this common analysis very much depends on how convinced the voters are on the point that at least 20% or 11,000 voters who voted for the opposition previously, would now vote for Khairil.