On Elections: Where’s Malaysia’s Magnificent One Third? (II)

If you really want to deny BN its parliamentary two-thirds, you must know how the system works. (Read Part I here.)

First thing first, an effective one-third means 75 seats (actually74 seats plus one, otherwise BN will still retain its exact two-third) because next parliament will have 222 seats in total.

Secondly, efforts and resources should be focused on the 75 most winnable seats for non-BN candidates. Your goal is to help the Opposition (widely-defined here to include independent candidates) to win as many as seats as possible, not to win as many votes as possible within those winnable seats or hopeless seats. The battle is at the marginals.

The first-past-the-post (FPTP) system rewards parties that can distribute its voters optimally. Technically speaking, a party only needs 50% plus one vote to take a constituency. In a straight fight, winning anything less than that means all the votes would be wasted. On the other end, over concentration of voters are inefficient because the extra votes (or the resources to call out these votes), if can be transferred, may deliver extra seats.

While of course no parties would take risk to go for a wafer-thin victory of 50% plus one vote, to my mind, working for a vote gain greater than 60% (which means 20% margin in a straight fight) within a constituency is extravagant.

On the other hand, if BN can hope to win 70% of votes, the chances that extra effort can upset the ruling coalition is almost zero. Throwing in resources for such hopeless seats is morally admirable but strategically irrational. (Putting up a tough fight in unwinnable seats is strategically justifiable if this may force the opponents to hold back their resources from campaigning in more winnable seats. This threat is unlikely to be credible to opponents with more than 70% of popular support.)

So, how do we choose the 75 seats to work on? Which are the 75 most hopeful seats? The actual distribution of support may depend on many factors including the candidates and local issues.

For a broad-brush analysis, we may look at the outcomes in past elections as a reference. It is rare that all voters will change from one end to another, says, to turn a UMNO stronghold into a PAS stronghold or vice versa.

More likely, if we expect some swings away from party A nationwide, then the impact felt at constituency level varies with its original strength: some party A’s strongholds will still return its candidates with smaller margins, some party A’s marginal seats will change hand, and finally some of its opponents’ strongholds will return them with greater margins.

Hence, an educated guess of the top 75 most winnable seats for the Opposition would be those they won the highest vote shares in 2004. Table 1 lists all of them. All Sarawak constituencies are excluded because the state has gone through its own constituency redelineation since 2004. With the constituency boundaries changed, any speculation based on previous results will not be accurate.

(Similarly, 2004 results will not be reliable if there have been en mass transfer of voters, like what happened in Ipoh Barat. Transfer of voters and implantation of phantoms are in fact alternatives to gerrymandering.)

Table 1 The 75 Most Winnable Seats for the Opposition Outside Sarawak

Based on 2004 Outcome (With Ethnic Composition for West Malaysian Seats)

 

No.

Code

Constituency

State

Winner

1st Runner-Up

BN vote /TVV

Malay

Chinese

Indians & Other

1

P123

Cheras

FT, KL

DAP

BN-MCA

37.18%

9.10%

83.40%

7.50%

2

P122

Seputeh

FT, KL

DAP

BN-MCA

37.95%

4.80%

89.20%

6.00%

3

P064

Ipoh Timor

Perak

DAP

BN-MCA

39.80%

8.80%

85.60%

5.60%

4

P045

Bukit Mertajam

Penang

DAP

BN-MCA

40.24%

18.50%

72.80%

8.70%

5

P179

Ranau

Sabah

BN-UPKO

Ind.

40.52%

6

P022

Pasir Mas

Kelantan

PAS

BN-UMNO

40.69%

95.80%

3.80%

0.40%

7

P020

Pengkalan Chepa

Kelantan

PAS

BN-UMNO

41.12%

97.40%

2.10%

0.50%

8

P066

Batu Gajah

Perak

DAP

BN-MCA

41.91%

10.00%

79.00%

11.00%

9

P024

Kubang Kerian

Kelantan

PAS

BN-UMNO

42.44%

97.90%

1.70%

0.40%

10

P049

Tanjong

Penang

DAP

BN-Gerakan

44.59%

4.80%

86.30%

8.90%

11

P186

Sandakan

Sabah

Ind.

BN-LDP

44.88%

12

P043

Bagan

Penang

DAP

BN-MCA

45.75%

15.00%

70.70%

14.30%

13

P060

Taiping

Perak

BN-PPP

DAP

47.41%

32.30%

52.60%

15.10%

14

P114

Kepong

FT, KL

DAP

BN-Gerakan

47.93%

3.50%

91.00%

5.50%

15

P120

Bukit Bintang

FT, KL

DAP

BN-MCA

48.03%

13.00%

75.80%

11.20%

16

P019

Tumpat

Kelantan

PAS

BN-UMNO

48.32%

91.80%

3.40%

4.80%

17

P051

Bukit Gelugor

Penang

DAP

BN-MCA

48.56%

15.60%

74.40%

10.00%

18

P023

Rantau Panjang

Kelantan

PAS

BN-UMNO

48.75%

97.70%

1.00%

1.30%

19

P044

Permatang Pauh

Penang

Keadilan

BN-UMNO

49.31%

67.60%

26.30%

6.10%

20

P065

Ipoh Barat

Perak

DAP

BN-MCA

49.34%

12.80%

64.10%

23.10%

21

P011

Pendang

Kedah

PAS

BN-UMNO

49.95%

87.50%

6.50%

6.00%

22

P037

Marang

Terengganu

BN-UMNO

PAS

50.15%

97.60%

2.10%

0.30%

23

P138

Kota Melaka

Melaka

BN-MCA

DAP

50.18%

30.60%

64.10%

5.30%

24

P029

Machang

Kelantan

BN-UMNO

PAS

50.19%

94.90%

4.60%

0.50%

25

P028

Pasir Puteh

Kelantan

BN-UMNO

PAS

50.44%

97.50%

1.50%

1.00%

26

P013

Sik

Kedah

BN-UMNO

PAS

50.52%

92.40%

2.10%

5.50%

27

P182

Pensiangan

Sabah

BN-PBRS

Ind.

51.05%

28

P036

Kuala Terengganu

Terengganu

BN-UMNO

PAS

51.61%

87.50%

11.50%

1.00%

29

P025

Bachok

Kelantan

BN-UMNO

PAS

51.74%

98.20%

1.30%

0.50%

30

P021

Kota Bharu

Kelantan

BN-UMNO

Keadilan

51.88%

79.10%

19.10%

1.80%

31

P005

Jerlun

Kedah

BN-UMNO

PAS

52.97%

89.60%

8.60%

1.80%

32

P031

Kuala Krai

Kelantan

BN-UMNO

PAS

53.37%

92.40%

5.50%

2.10%

33

P103

Puchong

Selangor

BN-Gerakan

PAS

53.38%

46.70%

36.40%

16.90%

34

P016

Baling

Kedah

BN-UMNO

PAS

53.46%

86.90%

6.30%

6.80%

35

P046

Batu Kawan

Penang

BN-Gerakan

Keadilan

53.85%

20.50%

56.30%

23.20%

36

P026

Ketereh

Kelantan

BN-UMNO

Keadilan

53.89%

96.70%

2.00%

1.30%

37

P007

Padang Terap

Kedah

BN-UMNO

PAS

53.97%

91.90%

1.70%

6.40%

38

P027

Tanah Merah

Kelantan

BN-UMNO

Keadilan

54.26%

93.30%

4.90%

1.80%

39

P035

Kuala Nerus

Terengganu

BN-UMNO

PAS

54.48%

98.90%

0.70%

0.40%

40

P130

Rasah

Negeri Sembilan

BN-MCA

DAP

55.02%

26.50%

51.80%

21.70%

41

P039

Dungun

Terengganu

BN-UMNO

PAS

55.11%

94.80%

4.60%

0.60%

42

P003

Arau

Perlis

BN-UMNO

PAS

55.15%

87.20%

8.60%

4.20%

43

P111

Kota Raja

Selangor

BN-MIC

PAS

55.25%

50.40%

21.30%

28.30%

44

P076

Telok Intan

Perak

BN-Gerakan

DAP

55.78%

34.70%

45.10%

20.20%

45

P167

Kudat

Sabah

BN-UMNO

Ind.

56.61%

46

P057

Parit Buntar

Perak

BN-UMNO

PAS

56.91%

66.90%

28.00%

5.10%

47

P008

Pokok Sena

Kedah

BN-UMNO

PAS

57.00%

78.20%

18.70%

3.10%

48

P010

Kuala Kedah

Kedah

BN-UMNO

PAS

58.08%

76.90%

21.20%

1.90%

49

P058

Bagan Serai

Perak

BN-UMNO

PAS

58.25%

72.80%

15.80%

11.40%

50

P090

Bera

Pahang

BN-UMNO

PAS

58.26%

57.60%

35.20%

7.20%

51

P068

Beruas

Perak

BN-Gerakan

DAP

58.40%

32.10%

54.60%

13.30%

52

P050

Jelutong

Penang

BN-Gerakan

DAP

58.79%

19.60%

67.90%

12.50%

53

P181

Tenom

Sabah

BN-UMNO

Ind.

58.80%

54

P034

Setiu

Terengganu

BN-UMNO

PAS

58.88%

99.20%

0.50%

0.30%

55

P168

Kota Marudu

Sabah

BN-PBS

Ind.

59.00%

56

P047

Nibong Tebal

Penang

BN-UMNO

Keadilan

59.49%

43.60%

40.50%

15.90%

57

P033

Besut

Terengganu

BN-UMNO

PAS

59.73%

97.50%

1.90%

0.60%

58

P038

Hulu Terengganu

Terengganu

BN-UMNO

PAS

59.73%

98.90%

0.70%

0.40%

59

P102

Serdang

Selangor

BN-MCA

DAP

59.77%

34.40%

54.40%

11.20%

60

P098

Gombak

Selangor

BN-UMNO

PAS

59.93%

74.30%

14.00%

11.70%

61

P109

Kapar

Selangor

BN-MIC

Keadilan

59.93%

49.30%

37.60%

13.10%

62

P012

Jerai

Kedah

BN-UMNO

PAS

60.43%

77.40%

16.00%

6.60%

63

P018

Kulim-Bandar Baru

Kedah

BN-UMNO

Keadilan

60.77%

66.70%

21.40%

11.90%

64

P069

Parit

Perak

BN-UMNO

PAS

61.22%

91.40%

3.70%

4.90%

65

P048

Bukit Bendera

Penang

BN-Gerakan

DAP

61.69%

13.80%

74.00%

12.20%

66

P059

Bukit Gantang

Perak

BN-Gerakan

PAS

61.79%

62.60%

27.60%

9.80%

67

P092

Sabak Bernam

Selangor

BN-UMNO

Keadilan

61.99%

79.90%

14.40%

5.70%

68

P062

Sungai Siput

Perak

BN-MIC

Keadilan

62.19%

31.40%

41.40%

27.20%

69

P017

Padang Serai

Kedah

BN-MCA

Keadilan

62.22%

52.60%

24.40%

23.00%

70

P081

Jerantut

Pahang

BN-UMNO

PAS

62.35%

80.30%

15.30%

4.40%

71

P056

Larut

Perak

BN-UMNO

PAS

62.46%

86.40%

6.50%

7.10%

72

P115

Batu

FT, KL

BN-Gerakan

Keadilan

62.54%

41.80%

41.10%

17.10%

73

P106

Petaling Jaya Utara

Selangor

BN-MCA

DAP

62.59%

15.20%

76.60%

8.20%

74

P070

Kampar

Perak

BN-MCA

DAP

62.91%

25.50%

63.70%

10.80%

75

P110

Klang

Selangor

BN-MCA

DAP

63.02%

33.10%

47.30%

19.60%

The BN support in these seats ranged from 37.18% in Cheras to 63.03% in Klang. Nineteen of them are already in the Opposition’s hand. (The Opposition’s twentieth seat, held by DAP, is in Sarawak.)

Ninety two percent of these seats are found in eight states: Perak, Kelantan, Kedah, Penang, Selangor, Terengganu, Sabah and FTKL. Nearly half of them were contested by PAS, three tenth by DAP, and one sixth by Keadilan in 2004 (Table 2)

Table 2 The 75 Most Winnable Seats for the Opposition Outside Sarawak

Based on 2004 Outcome, by State and Party Strength

State/FT

PAS (won)

Keadilan (won)

DAP (won)

Ind. (won)

Total (won)

Total Seats in the State

Perlis

1

 

 

 

1

3

Kedah

8 (1)

2

 

 

10 (1)

15

Kelantan

9 (5)

3

 

 

12 (5)

14

Terengganu

7

 

 

 

7

8

Penang

 

3 (1)

6 (4)

 

9 (5)

13

Perak

5

1*

7 (3)

 

13 (3)

24

Pahang

2

 

 

 

2

14

Selangor

3

2

3

 

8

22

FTKL

 

1

4 (4)

 

5 (4)

11

FT Putra Jaya

 

 

 

 

 

1

Negeri Sembilan

 

 

1

 

1

8

Melaka

 

 

1

 

1

6

Johor

 

 

 

 

 

26

FT Labuan

 

 

 

 

 

1

Sabah

 

 

 

6 (1)

6 (1)

25

Total

35 (6)

12 (1)

22 (11)

6 (1)

75 (19)

191

*The seat, Sungai Siput was run by PSM candidate, only under Keadilan ticket.

To deny BN’s two-third, the Opposition will need to upset BN in 55 seats while keeping the original 19.

It’s an uphill task indeed but not completely impossible. Putting it simplistically, overturning victory in a seat where BN has got 63% support, like Klang at the bottom of this list, needs a net conversion of about 6.5% BN supporters for them to vote for the Opposition. That target means only one out of every ten BN voters in 2004.

To put it alternatively, if only one out of every six Opposition voters in 2004 can “turnover” one BN supporter on his/her own effort, this will be done. (Yes, no typographical error. It is only one out of six Opposition voters, because 6.5% is about one sixth of the Opposition’s 37%.)

If BN supporters are converted to only stay away from the polls, then one out of every five BN voters will need to be converted. If you are targeting non-voters or new voters, then you will need to recruit one new Opposition supporters for every five BN supporters you now.

Political activism is more difficult than just going on your guts feeling, but it is also easier than what most cynics think. The problem lies with too few people having the political will to do their parts.

Are you registered in or living near any of these seats? If you are, do you want to do something for the coming elections? You may get some ideas from People’s Parliament and Citizen Think Tank on improving parliamentary representation. I will blog further on prevention of electoral frauds.

Like what the Transport Ministy says in traffic safety advertisements, you, can make a difference. Do you want it?

***

This is my surrogate yellow banana for this week’s yellow Saturday (tomorrow) as I am into my personal retreat. May not have internet access where I will be. Happy Dong Zhi (Winter Solstice) !

***

User guide:

Sorry that I cannot find any way to present the tables and charts nicely. One simple solution on your end is to select all, copy and paste it to a word document. You should get the full list without any problem. Thanks.

Facts and Views on Malaysian Elections by Wong Chin Huat

 

On Elections: Same Votes, Different Values

https://chinhuatw.wordpress.com/2007/12/26/82/

 

On Elections: A Dummy’s Guide on Poll Rigging

https://chinhuatw.wordpress.com/2007/12/25/on-elections-a-dummys-guide-on-poll-rigging/

 

On Elections: Where’s Malaysia’s Magnificent One-Third? (II)

https://chinhuatw.wordpress.com/2007/12/21/on-elections-where%e2%80%99s-malaysia%e2%80%99s-magnificent-one-third-ii/

 

On Elections: Where’s Malaysia’s Magnificent One-Third? (I)

https://chinhuatw.wordpress.com/2007/12/21/on-elections-where%e2%80%99s-malaysia%e2%80%99s-magnificent-one-third-i/

 

On Elections: Did MIC need Indians?

https://chinhuatw.wordpress.com/2007/12/08/on-elections-did-mic-need-indians/

 

On Elections: Splits in UMNO and Opposition Unity (TheSun)

https://chinhuatw.wordpress.com/2007/12/08/on-elections-splits-in-umno-and-opposition-unity/

 

On Elections: Splits Watershed Elections of 1969 (TheSun)

https://chinhuatw.wordpress.com/2007/12/08/on-elections-watershed-elections-of-1969/

 

On Elections: Weakened Federalism in the New Federation (TheSun)

https://chinhuatw.wordpress.com/2007/12/08/on-elections-weakened-federalism-in-the-new-federation/

 

On Elections: Electing the Government  (TheSun)

https://chinhuatw.wordpress.com/2007/12/08/on-elections-electing-the-government/

 

 

8 responses to “On Elections: Where’s Malaysia’s Magnificent One Third? (II)

  1. Pingback: No 2/3 for BN. What’s the plan? « The People’s Parliament

  2. Your list of winnable seats does not include Petaling Jaya Selatan!!…So Haris Ibrahim and Co; please take note!!…why not spend your time and energy in some other constituency?
    Sure I would like to see an Upset win in PJ Selatan,…but it might be a Herculean task..
    All the Very best Folks!

    ***

    The list was just based on one simple criterion: BN/opposition vote share in 2004. The 2008 scenario can be much different if there are new candidates, new issues or new initiatives. What the analysis suggests here is that do not expect such differences to happen in all or most constituencies. So, PJ Selatan is not necessarily a gone case. So would be Semberong where Hishamuddin Hussein Onn won over 80% of votes. Should the non-Malay voters which make up 50.1% of electorate decide to punish him for his keris-waving, that may well be a replay of Najib’s Pekan in 1999.

    Chin Huat

  3. Pingback: Malaysian Politics » Denying BN Two-third, what’s the plan?

  4. great piece of work.

    ***

    Thanks. Will do more as I really believe “knowledge is power” in this battle against electoral frauds.

  5. Pingback: On Elections: A Dummy’s Guide on Poll Rigging « People are the boss

  6. Wow… impressive. Do you have a dummy’s guide for making your vote count? I know you have to check your info on the electoral roll and that there’s some sort of registration process, but that’s about it.

    Also, if I’m in one of those “no-hope” blue bar places, what to do?

  7. Hi. Your research effort here is most applaudable.

    To solve your table presentation problem above, you may consider using PDF format. If you don’t have Acrobat or relevant utility to produce PDF, you can consider CutePDF, which is free.

    May I suggest that your analysis should not stop at exactly 75 most winnable seats, but perhaps 100? We may not be able to guarantee 100% success rate on these focused seats. Having some buffer seats serve the following purposes:

    (1) to address the almost-improbable 100% success rate mentioned above;
    (2) to address any potential variances or new factors that may void the winnability analysis of any of the 75 seats;
    (3) to maximise the scope of constituencies in which passionate and like-minded Malaysians can participate and contribute to this goal of denying 2/3 BN majority – and many people may not fall in those winnable constituencies but can help to convert BN voters in nearby constituencies.

    ***

    Many thanks for your suggestion, Pratamad. Not sure if PDF files can be uploaded to wordpress but I shall test it out next time.

    You are right that the opposition cannot hope to win all 75 seats. In fact, I think any victory close to that would be a political tsunami that may sweeps Abdullah away. I list the top 75 seats here so that we may focus our effort for this round. I plan to list out the top one-third winnable state seats in the key states, some of which may fall outside the top 75 parliamentary seats. In fact, we should look at state seats more because denying one-third at the state level may block further gerrymandering and malapportionment “scheduled” on 2012 or after.

    After finishing the key states’ one third, I shall further propose the next 25 parliamentary seats or next 37 seats (which will make the oppositions’ target to 112, just more than half of the 222).

    I am just not sure if time is on our side. The turmoil in Pakistan is likely to expedite oil price hike, which may force BN to call for elections on March before things get worse or further delay it to buy time to absorb the shock.

  8. Pingback: Malaysian Politics » General Election heats up

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