KUALA LUMPUR: The Adenan effect will see a rebound in the popular vote from all races for Barisan Nasional in Saturday’s state election, say analysts.
More voters will back popular Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem who is leading BN in a state election for the first time after taking office two years ago.
“Certainly, I don’t expect any further drop because of the Adenan fever and aura. He has shown he is a very down-to-earth man and implemented reforms which the people are happy with,” said political commentator Dr Jeniri Amir.
“Support for BN will go up across the board from the four ethnic groups, even from the Chinese community. I expect a minimum rise of six per cent. If Adenan can increase the popular vote, especially among the Chinese, that is a great achievement.”
In 2011, the coalition’s popular vote declined to 55.4 per cent from 61.8 per cent in the 2006 state election. PBB was the only BN party to see a rise in popular vote.
BN will continue to get good support from the Malay/Melanau communities while the Dayak popular vote will also increase despite problems over local issues and candidates, Dr Jeniri said.
While the Election Commission hopes Saturday’s polls will attract a turnout of 75 to 80 per cent, the analyst predicts it will be between 70 and 73 per cent.
“Unlike the political landscape in 2011, not many people will return to vote because there is nothing extraordinary against BN. Some people may not come out to vote in the rural areas because of the geography,” he added.
Another observer said BN can look forward to more votes from the Chinese community although it remains to be seen if it can trigger a swing of some seats back to BN.
“Definitely, there will be an increase of votes for BN because of the popularity of Adenan. Based on the turnout at SUPP events compared to the last time, I forecast the Chinese popular vote will be higher this time,” said Dr Lee Kuok Tiung.
He expects a voter turnout of between 70 and 75 per cent.