Selangor voting behaviour hard to predict, say analysts

Mohd Farhan Darwis

Ilham Center executive director Hisomuddin Bakar says close fights are expected and final outcomes could change due to factors like well-received campaigns and candidate popularity in the Selangor state election. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, July 18, 2023.

OBSERVERS are finding it hard to determine how people will vote in the Selangor polls following the major political changes that have taken place since the 2018 general election.

They said close fights are expected and final outcomes depend on the success of campaigns and popularity of candidates.

“One party looks certain of winning a seat but then comes a popular candidate from the other side; this then makes it unclear who is going to win,” said Ilham Center executive director Hisomuddin Bakar.

“Where the shift will move is important; a simple reading can become difficult because of this as well as other factors.”

Hisomuddin used the Sabak state seat as an example. It was won by Ahmad Mustain Othman from Amanah/Pakatan Harapan (PH) with a majority of 130 votes in the 2018 general election by defeating the then Umno/BN candidate Sallehuddin Mohd Iskan.

“Perikatan Nasional (PN) looks like it has the upper hand in Sabak now, but things will change if Umno, instead of Amanah, places its candidate there. Then it will be tough,” he said.

The Selat Kelang seat may also present a problem for PH, as it was won when Bersatu was still part of the coalition in 2018.

In the recent general election (GE15), Malay voters in Selangor swung towards PN, enabling the coalition to win six parliamentary seats in the state. Umno was the biggest loser as it failed to win any and PH the biggest winner with 16 federal seats.

After GE15, PH and BN formed an alliance that resulted in the unity government while PN became the main opposition. 

These changes make it difficult for analysts to come up with a clear picture of how it will go in the August 12 state polls.

Hot seats in Selangor

GE15 data show that a lot of seats could easily be won by PN.

In Morib (Kuala Langat federal constituency), PN managed to win more than 51% of the vote compared to PH’s 29% and BN’s 18%. 

Data on Sijangkang showed that 56% of voters chose PN compared to PH and BN.  

PN obtained between 33% and 56% of the votes in Malay-majority areas. 

The coalition eventually won the Kapar, Kuala Langat, Sungai Besar, Sabak Bernam, Tanjong Karang, and Hulu Selangor federal seats.

The above reflects PN’s popularity in areas such as Sungai Kandis, Sungai Ramal, Batang Kali, Hulu Bernam, Sementa, Kuang, Jeram, Morib, Sabak, Selat Klang, Sijangkang, Sungai Panjang, Sungai Air Tawar, and Sungai Burong: all represent seats the Malay-based parties are fighting for. 

There may be a great battle for Sungai Burong and Permatang in the Tanjong Karang parliamentary constituency.

Sungai Burong was won by BN while Permatang was won by PH in 2018.

PN has announced that PAS’s Tanjong Karang leader Mohd Zamri Mohd Zainuldin will contest in Sungai Burong while former Tanjung Karang MP Noh Omar’s daughter, Nurul Syazwani Noh, will contest in Permatang. – July 18, 2023.  

Perikatan Nasional will field PAS’s Tanjong Karang leader Mohd Zamri Mohd Zainuldin in Sungai Burong in the Selangor state election. – July 18, 2023.

Sign up or sign in here to comment.


  • Pro PN analyst trying influence Selangor voters. Too many arm chair analysts.

    Posted 10 months ago by Visvanathan Somasundaram · Reply