Political observers at a cross about who may come on top in the Pelangai by-election
SHAH ALAM - Political observers are at a cross about who may come on top in the Pelangai by-election.
International Islamic University Malaysia Political Science Associate Professor Dr Syaza Shukri said there was a significant likelihood of the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate securing victory in this election.
This, she said was because of the sense of optimism primarily arose from the constituency's location within Bentong, which has a historical track record of a strong BN support.
"Additionally, Pahang as a whole is widely regarded as a stronghold for the BN coalition," she told Sinar Daily.
However, while there has been an observable increase in support for the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition across the state, especially in Pelangai, she said it was important to acknowledge the presence of Pakatan Harapan (PH) voters, which can act as a stabilising factor for BN.
She added that with the support of PH voters, the BN candidate would enjoy a relatively secure position in the electoral contest.
Meanwhile, Institut Kajian Etnik (KITA) political sociology Professor Datuk Dr Shamsul Amri Baharuddin said in the Pelangai by-election, PN was poised to have a significantly stronger footing compared to their performance in the 15th General Election (GE15), last year.
"The key factor behind this enhanced position is PN's improved starting point, having secured 40.39 per cent of the vote share in Pelangai during the 2022 Pahang state election.
"Drawing on insights gleaned from recent by-elections in Johor, specifically in the constituencies of Pulai and Simpang Jeram, it's noteworthy that Pelangai constitutes 72 per cent of Malay-majority electorate," he said.
Furthermore, he said such constituencies have historically presented formidable challenges for both PH and BN during the state elections on Aug 12.
Shamsul said if the voting patterns observed in Pulai and Simpang Jeram were any indication, it suggested that BN and PH may encounter difficulties in retaining a significant portion of their respective voter bases to secure victory in Pelangai.
"The dynamics of this by-election will undoubtedly be influenced by these factors, making it a closely watched contest with high stakes for all parties involved,” he said.