Johor looks set to be the swing state in GE14: AnalysisFebruary 13, 2018
In a complex analysis of a survey carried out on the political noises in Singapore’s neighbour state of Johor on Social Media, it is possible to deduct the state could earn the ‘swing state’ status in the 14th General Elections in Malaysia.
The report concluded with indications that former PM Mahathir Mohamad has built strong influence, mainly among the males in the state, though PM Najib Razak still enjoys the larger share of interest among Johor voters.
But the now united Pakatan Harapan (Coalition of Hope) or PH will need a 10 point swing in its favor to win the state with a comfortable margin (see graph below).
It said that in a straight fight against the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN), the now united Pakatan Harapan can form the state government with a 10-point swing of support leading to a win of 36 seats.
But in 3-corner fights between PH, PAS and BN would most likely benefit BN.
The only way for PH to overcome this is for their parties to win over pro-BN supporters.
For example in a seat contested by the Islamists PAS, Bersatu and BN, if 10% of the anti-BN vote went to PAS, Bersatu would need to counter that by getting >10% of the pro-BN vote.
If the PH is able to do this in 3-corner fights then the results of Scenario 4 (a 10-point swing to PH) can be achieved.
Getting Malay voters to switch from BN to PH will be challenging though since the opposition seems to have difficulties in getting the support of young Malays.
“From our observations on Twitter since 2015, young Malays (aged 21-30 years) in Johor are more likely to express support for UMNO compared to young Malays in other states.
“Our estimates on the number of seats won are ‘best-case’ scenarios based on a simple formula instead of election simulations. Simulations would be more accurate and reliable,” said the analysis.
To summarise, it said Mahathir’s party the Bersatu and PKR are contesting the most difficult seats to win a straight fight.
The impact of PAS contesting against PH in 3-corner fights needs to be overcome by PH by winning votes from pro-BN voters, and surely from PAS supporters.
PH likely needs to target more than a 10-point swing to win Johor in addition to neutralising the effect of PAS by winning over pro-BN voters
UMNO has a large share of exclusive interest on Facebook, making it more difficult for PH and Tun Mahathir to spread their message.
UMNO and PM Najib draw more interest from women compared to the Opposition parties and Tun Mahathir.