Pakatan can keep Sungai Limau but support falling, says online pollster
Months after Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lost Kedah to Barisan Nasional (BN) in the 13th general election, an online pollster has predicted the opposition pact will retain the Sungai Limau state seat on November 4, but with a reduced majority.
In its poll released yesterday, PoliTweet.org said since the national polls in May, support for PR has dropped, especially among voters aged between 25 and 50.
"We find that the support for PR has dropped to 57% from 63%. However, PR will most probably retain the seat in the by-election," PoliTweet said in its report.
The online pollster also revealed that "fence-sitters" and those "leaning towards BN" are on the rise, when compared to PR during GE13.
"While the support for PR is still above 50%, the number of fence-sitters and those leaning towards BN have surged.”
The method used by PoliTweet in its recent research was similar to that adopted during GE13 where it paired results from polling streams from voting centres in the 12th general election.
For the Sungai Limau research, the online pollster made a count comparison by using results from polling streams of voting centres during GE13 to obtain an estimated prediction.
The Sungai Limau by-election is being held following the death of the former state assemblyman Tan Sri Azizan Razak who was also a former menteri besar of Kedah.
In GE13, PR, through component party PAS, lost its grip on Kedah when it only secured 16 state seats. BN won 20.
Azizan obtained 13,294 votes in a four-cornered fight, taking down BN's Mohd Fazillah Mohd Ali who garnered 10,520 votes. The two other candidates, independents Abdullah Hashim and Sobri Ahmad, lost their deposits.
The Election Commission (EC) announced that the by-election would be held on November 4, with the naming of candidates slated for October 23.
EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said there would not be any early voting and that there were 27, 222 voters in the state seat.
Sungai Limau is within the rural parliamentary seat of Jerai in Kedah.
PoliTweet said that based on its GE13 database on the area, there were 27,287 voters, 93.03% of them being ethnic Malays and the remaining 6.75%, Chinese.
PoliTweet became popular after casting doubts over the 3,611,323 patriotic tweets sent to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak during the Merdeka Day celebration in August last year.
The pollster said that about 38% of the tweets with the hashtag label #Merdeka55 in Twitter were possibly generated by bot – a software which controls several different Twitter accounts.
The conclusion was made after it based its checks on samples taken from 107,000 tweets collected from 19,000 Twitter users.
PoliTweet said it found that about 38% of the tweets were created by 14% of the users, all of whom utilised the TweetDeck software.
TweetDeck is a software support for Twitter users which enables one to administer a few accounts at a given point in time.