BN POISED TO RETAIN POWER DESPITE POPULAR VOTE DECLINE | KUCHING, 08-May-2018 : The Barisan Nasional (BN) is poised to retain power despite popular vote decline, said independent research group Merdeka Center.

In a press statement issued in Bangi today, the center said they carried out a last-minute survey for Malaysia’s historic 14th general election (GE14) as the nation goes to the polls tomorrow.

“A survey carried among registered voters in Peninsular Malaysia between April 28 until noon on May 8 found that ruling coalition Barisan Nasional is poised to retain federal power in what is seen as one of the most contested elections ever in the country’s political history. Cost of living and governance, top voters’ concern,” the center said.

This has been an election propelled by a voter revolt over the GST as well as concerns over rising cost of living, running parallel alongside perceived governance shortfalls.

The top three issues considered most important to the voters were economic concerns at 43 per cent followed by good governance (corruption) issues at 21 per cent and weakness of leadership at 8 per cent.

Malay voters expressed the highest concern about economic issues (46 per cent) and followed by good governance issue (17 per cent).

Chinese voters placed equal emphasis on economic (37 per cent) and corruption issues (35 per cent).

Meanwhile Indian voters also held high levels of concern over economic issues (43 per cent) and placed the need for better treatment towards the Indian community at 15 per cent.

Younger voters, those below 40 years old, placed more emphasis on matters related to good governance and leadership, while voters over 40 years expressed slightly higher on concerns over communal rights (11 per cent).

Aside from voters’ top-of-mind issues, the survey also asked about latent factors underpinning their political choices.

Following up on earlier surveys which sought to work out the importance voters attached to factors underpinning Malaysian politics, the survey detected a significant shift to factors such as ethnic rights, which saw a perceptible decline, while desire for better economic performance increased.