A 20% reduction of votes for PKR could result in state seats being taken over by BN
PAKATAN Harapan (PH) held 29 seats out of a total 56 prior to the dissolution of the Selangor Legislative Assembly or its Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN).
The state assembly was dissolved on April 7 following Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s announcement, paving the way for the 14th General Election (GE14) on May 9.
The 29 PH DUN seats comprise 13 seats held by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), 14 by the Democratic Action Party (DAP) and two by Parti Amanah Nasional (PAN).
It’s important to note that Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali held the state’s top legislative post with a minimum simple majority of one seat (56 seats divide by 2 = 28 seats).
On the other side of the house, the 26 remaining state seats were held by United Malay National Organisation (UMNO) with 11 seats, PAS, 13 seats, two seats were held by Independent Assemblymen while one was left vacant.
Once the dust settles after GE14, DAP is expected to retain all its 14 DUN seats, provided most of the seats being contested comprise a significant percentage of the Chinese community which remains loyal to DAP.
There is a doubt whether PAN could retain its two seats since the “splinter party” is made up of less than 10% of the total PAS members.
Doubts also lie with PKR on whether the party could hold onto all of its 13 DUN seats.
There is no intention to belittle PKR’s political strength in Selangor but it’s common knowledge that a percentage of the party’s strength was “borrowed” from PAS during the last two general elections.
In terms of the number of registered members held by a party, at a national level, the number of political operation rooms and the number of dedicated supporters who help in election campaigns, it can be said that PAS is the second strongest party after Umno.
In the past, it would appear that during any election campaign, PAS supporters would assist their party in the name of God or ‘lillahita’ala’. Supporters of PKR or even Umno could not match such high dedication.
During GE13, it’s not an exaggeration to assume that between 10% to 30% of the votes obtained by PKR candidates were from PAS loyalists, who at the time voted for PKR as PAS was a part of the opposition coalition known then as Pakatan Rakyat.
This time round, PAS has declared that the party will contest in all the DUN constituencies in Selangor, which could result in many three-cornered fights, leading to a logical conclusion that the votes from the opposition supporters will be split into two.
Out of 15 DUN seats won by PKR in 2013, six seats were won with a majority of 10% or less namely Ijok (4.45%), DusunTua (10%), Taman Medan (9.82%), Kota Anggerik (9.26%), Batu Tiga (9.68%) and Pelabuhan Klang (8.61%).
It has to be noted that PH lost the Pelabuhan Klang seat when former Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim became an Independent assemblyman when he was sacked by the PKR leadership.
A 20% reduction of PKR votes in the first five DUN seats mentioned could result in the seats being taken over Barisan Nasional (BN), and that is the reality in defending the DUN seats for PKR in Selangor.
In contrast, there are no tell-tale signs of BN winning an additional 18 seats (from 11 seats of the 29) to make up a simple majority.
However, a loss of at least two seats means PH no longer has a simple majority to form the state government.
And due to that nature of three-cornered fights, neither PH nor BN will get enough number of seats to form a simple majority state government.
PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang did say that PAS could be a ‘kingmaker’ at GE14. And, to be a ‘kingmaker’, at federal level, would be almost impossible but it’s possible to be the ‘kingmaker’ in the formation of the Selangor government.
PAS has a bitter experience with some of the component parties in PH particularly, PAN and DAP. PAN was the splinter party from PAS and PAS members’ perceived PAN leaders as betrayers.
DAP’s involvement in PAS’ last internal party election was seen as another act of betrayal in the perception of PAS leaders and members.
Now, if PAS were needed to be the ‘kingmaker’ to form the Selangor government, there is no doubt that PAS would prefer to form a coalition government with BN rather than with PH.
This would lead to the fall of the PH state government in Selangor.
The outcome of GE14, particularly in Selangor, would be interesting; political pundits are desperately keeping watch.