SERI SETIA POLLS | How does the voter decide: based on the candidate or the party?
This question arises during every election. A survey within the Seri Setia constituency shows that a decisive factor for this Saturday’s state by-election could be the party.
Those polled said a strong party is seen as necessary for representing the voice of the people at the state assembly and taking care of their needs.
Among the many who said they would vote based on the party was housewife Che Lat Aring, 57. She said she felt that the overall strength of the party was more important than the candidate.
A housewife, R. Maggeswery, 47, said she would consider both the candidate and the candidate’s political party.
“If we are looking for a real change, only a strong party would be able (to bring about change) for the people. The candidate only represents a small part of the party,” she pointed out.
Although the party is a primary deciding factor among Seri Setia voters, others said the candidate’s ability plays a part in decision making.
Self-employed Hanif Wardi, 28, said he preferred to examine the credibility of the candidate to determine his or her ability to improve the community’s future and deliver better reforms in government.
“Since Malaysia is being revamped, it is necessary for us (as the voters) to think about the future of our local community.
“Hence, we need to choose a candidate who is able to provide input to the people and output to the government,” he said.
Registered voter Shafika Mihat, 28, from Taman Dato Hormat, said she would be evaluating the candidate’s leadership skills as well as his or her ability to “walk the talk”.
“For me, credibility is an important factor and the candidate should be able to walk the talk. The candidate has to be committed to resolving issues related to this area,” she added.
Universiti Malaya political analyst Awang Azman Awang Pawi concurred that the party factor could up the ante for the Pakatan Harapan candidate to win the by-election, although the PAS candidate seems more popular.
“In this by-election, the voters on average, would consider the stability of the party and certainly favour the Harapan logo because it is the current government of the day. Also, the Seri Setia constituency is the stronghold of the party,” he said when contacted.
According to the him, the two candidates would likely try to woo the voters from the B40 segment because most of them had not decided on who they would choose.
“Most of those from the middle-class group have already decided who they will vote for this Saturday,” he said.
However, he predicted that the voter turnout would be reduced, and lower than that of the last 14th general election.
“Voters are still tired from the last election and they also expect the Harapan candidate to win,” he said.
Harapan candidate Halimey Abu Bakar is contesting PAS candidate Dr Halimah Ali in the Seri Setia by-election following the death of its incumbent Shaharuddin Badaruddin from colon cancer on Aug 2.