RANTAU POLLS | Think tank Ilham Centre believes that BN is en route towards winning the Rantau by-election this Saturday, following a survey of 396 local voters.
In a statement today, Ilham Centre executive director Azlan Zainal said the survey indicated a 24.5 percent voter swing towards BN, compared to the 14th general election results for the Rembau constituency.
Azlan said 81.6 percent of respondents found BN candidate Mohamad Hasan to be credible.
"Mohamad was accepted by all segment of voters, including Indians and Chinese.
"His track record as menteri besar, three-term Rantau assemblyperson and him being a local boy gives him a big advantage," said Azlan.
In contrast, only 17.7 percent of respondents believed Pakatan Harapan's Dr S Streram - Mohamad's main opponent - was credible.
Respondents appear to have generally negative opinions of Harapan, primarily over cost-of-living issues, failure to fulfil election promises, poor performance of the Harapan-led state government, and the perception that Malay-Muslim rights were not protected, said Azlan.
Indian community divided
The survey also indicated that ethnic Indians are split down the middle.
"Among contributing factors are Mohamad's popularity and the fact that Streram was not local nor well-known.
"Indian voters seem more familiar with R Tanggam, the Rembau PKR division leader," said Azlan.
He said there appears to be a sense of disappointment among Indian voters over the state government's performance.
Meanwhile, Azlan said Harapan's four component parties do not appear to be engaging in a co-ordinated campaign, unlike BN.
"Harapan's campaign appears to be over-reliant on Anwar Ibrahim in mobilising voters. Campaigns by other Harapan leaders do not appear effective,” he said.
"Moreover, most of Harapan's vote canvassers are not local, while Mohamad was able to count on locals as campaign workers. […]
"Harapan seems to be focused on issues prior to the 14th general election and is not perceived to be a ruling party," he added.
In this Saturday's polls, Mohamad will face off against Streram and two independent candidates, R Malar and Mohd Nor Yassin.
The by-election was called after the BN leader failed to challenge the Election Court declaring his walkover in last year's general election null and void.