BUKIT BERUNTONG, April 19 — Pasir Mas independent MP Datuk Ibrahim Ali expects Barisan Nasional (BN) to win the Hulu Selangor by-election by a majority of up to 3,000 votes, in an assessment which dovetails with ground reports on voter sentiment.
Initial reports also show that Hulu Selangor voters are likely to back BN because of support for the reform policies of Datuk Seri Najib Razak and as a reaction to problems being faced by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) party PKR.
Ibrahim, who is campaigning for BN in Hulu Selangor, is certain of candidate P.Kamalanathan’s victory.
Hulu Selangor has since the first general election in 1959 been a BN stronghold, except for the blip in 2008 when it ceded the seat to PKR’s Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad.
“What do you think? I say, the Barisan Nasional will win by approximately 3,000 votes,” Ibrahim said.
The Perkasa president, who was speaking in a ceramah in Batang Kali yesterday, said his prognosis stems from the change in sentiment among Hulu Selangor voters with regards to Najib’s leadership.
“Besides the introduction of the New Economic Model, the economy has started to recover, plus PKR is facing internal strife. I am confident that the BN candidate’s vote count will increase to around a 3,000 majority,” said Ibrahim.
He was also sure about the BN keeping the votes it earned in 2008.
“About 95 per cent of the votes gained by Datuk G.Palanivel who contested for the fifth time two years ago will stay with the BN.
“The BN will move from that point and gain even more votes,” he said.
He estimated that BN can achieve his projected majority if the candidate gets 65 per cent of the Indian votes, 55 per cent of the Malay votes and 45 per cent of the Chinese votes.
He felt the likely votes for PR’s Datuk Zaid Ibrahim will drop, more so since PAS has been lukewarm in their campaigning.
Zaid has been the characterised as a “social person” by his opponents which is becoming a concern in winning over the Malay vote. The Malaysian Insider understands that there will be a low voter-turnout due to the prevailing perception about the BN and PR candidates.
However Ibrahim believes the turnout will be higher than the 72 per cent in 2008.
“If people don’t come out to vote as much, this will benefit BN,” he said.
About 15,000 voters here live outside the constituency.
Also contesting are MIC Hulu Selangor’s deputy chairman V.S. Chandran, 56, and businessman Johan Mohd. Diah, 31.
The by-election was called after the unfortunate death of Zainal Abidin last month, who beat Palanivel by 198 votes in 2008.
There are 64,500 registered voters.
BN confident of 3,000 majority win in Hulu Selangor