Updated: Fri, 26 Apr 2013 08:19:46 GMT | By Agence France-Presse

Malaysian opposition leads in public support: poll

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim holds a slight edge over Malaysian premier Najib Razak ahead of a hotly anticipated election showdown on May 5, according to the latest opinion poll.

Anwar was considered the more qualified prime minister choice by 43 percent of voters, compared to 39 percent for Najib, who is battling to stave off the biggest electoral threat to the ruling coalition in its 56 years in power.

The survey released late Thursday by the University of Malaya's Centre for Democracy and Elections also found that 42 percent of respondents preferred the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (People's Pact) policy manifesto.

Thirty-six percent preferred that of the ruling Barisan Nasional (National Front) coalition, while 22 percent were undecided, it said.

"It's neck-to-neck. That's very clear," said Redzuan Othman, director of the centre, adding that the opposition was "gaining ground" in public support.

However, large blocks of voters remained undecided on key points in the survey, conducted earlier in April on more than 1,400 respondents.

Redzuan said the margin of error was 3.5 percentage points.

"The next seven days will be very, very crucial. Those will indicate whether Barisan Nasional can make up for the lost ground," Redzuan said.

Malaysia is bracing for what is widely expected to be its closest election ever, with the opposition looking to capitalise on voter disaffection over corruption, rising living costs and crime, and authoritarianism under Barisan.

It handed the coalition -- which is controlled by Najib's ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) -- the worst setback in its history in 2008 elections.

A Malaysian government spokesman said it was "difficult to draw any meaningful conclusions" from the poll.

"The prime minister is cautiously optimistic of gaining a good working majority in the election," he told AFP in an email.

The charismatic Anwar was once heir-apparent to UMNO but was ousted in 1998 and jailed for six years after a power struggle.

He joined the long-hapless opposition after his release in 2004, dramatically reversing its fortunes by uniting its divided main camps.

Amid pressure for reform, Najib has made limited liberalisation gestures and is campaigning on a promise of stability and continued economic growth.

The opposition, meanwhile, pledges to attack rampant corruption, create a more open democracy and raise incomes.

Despite the survey findings, observers say Pakatan faces an uphill climb overcoming pro-incumbent structural biases built into the electoral system by Barisan over the decades.

Pakatan won 47 percent of the nationwide vote in 2008, but just over a third of parliament.

Apr 27, 2013 8:58AM
Malaysia is going to see Anwar as the leader. He is going to win over BN
with a huge majority. I am sure that the 22% undecided voters yet now, will turn towards the charismatic Anwar, in this polls. 
Apr 27, 2013 3:00AM
Anwar rocks - BN sucks. Anwar will win this elections. He will for sure bring down the living costs.
Apr 26, 2013 12:52AM
Based on the above statistics, it looks like my earlier intelligent news that PR is ahead of BN by 60% is quite accurate.  The source was from an exclusive M intelligence, very close to the BN government.  However this is perhaps true in the Peninsula only.  Sabah & Sarawak may not be in the calculation.  There are thousands of UMNO cyber-troopers now whose job is to claim RM10 for every bullet they shoot at any comment supporting PR policies.  But these cyber-troopers are creating backfires for UMNO - something that further minus UMNO's credibility.  They look like uneducated & unethical people.  So UMNO is really killing itself at the last moment !!! 
Apr 26, 2013 5:49AM

This is to be expected just look at the quality of the cheramah of the opposition parties and compare it to that of Barisan. All that the oppositions have pointed out are facts but that of Barisan most of the time  you have their candidates talking about religious and racial politics and all rubbish, The worst are those from MCA total nonsense and singing,please wake up this a general election not a singing contest what the public needs are not some bull**** on religion and race but what action are you going to take to benefit the public. Stop thinking that you can use the old tactics whi**** seriously outdated and an insult to the public. i guess apart from these you would have nothing to say as you cannot refute the truth of the opposition party.

Apr 26, 2013 6:29PM
good news all along...just ensure you finish the job.....hope peace and tranquality will prevail.....race game, using may 13 as fear factor will not work nowadays....other countries are getting competitve, the world is becoming a more challenging place to survive hence we need leaders who are competent, capable, willing to work and more importantly able to lead the nation...we do not need leaders who are filling up their pocket with cash, go on vacation with the rakyats money, buy condos when you are delegated to reduce the dependencyofmportantion of beefs, minister who are yet to clarify on how a person's entry into the nation can be deleted in the immigration system, a leader who elect his son in law to act like a little napoleon, leader who can blatanly carry on raping the forest of the nation and have the guts to scold the MACC and many many more...enough of this!let us all have a second 'merdeka'!
Apr 27, 2013 6:09AM
What neck-to-neck BN is going to lose
with a huge margin in this elections.
Apr 27, 2013 6:20AM
Anwar will serve the nation and rule the country.
Apr 27, 2013 6:19AM
Anwar would definitely bring in many anti corruption reforms - which helps the growth of malaysia. My preference is to vote Anwar.
Apr 27, 2013 4:37AM
Anwar is perfect leader to lead Malayasia.
Apr 26, 2013 10:57AM
the first time I am going to vote and it better be right!  Hail the  opposition!
Apr 27, 2013 5:31AM
Crime has gone high, in current govt. BN will pay for their ignorance  in providing security to the people. BN will sit down in graves - for sure in this polls. My vote for Anwar.
Apr 27, 2013 5:32AM
Hope Anwar will win this polls and do good for malaysia - in getting rid of corruption. Let us kick the BN bonkers and corrupters to lose this polls.  
Apr 27, 2013 5:51AM
After this GE13 Najib will have to say goodbye to Malaysian politics
Apr 27, 2013 5:47AM
How long we will fall under this BN chaos. It is pretty clear that BN is Corrupted and this evident by there election manifesto.
Apr 27, 2013 5:33AM
This time I am going to vote for Anwar and make him win.
Apr 27, 2013 6:30AM
My first preferance to win this elections is Anwar Ibrahim.
Apr 27, 2013 6:08AM
Pakatan and Anwar will climb over BN in this elections. Positive breezes are flying towards Anwar.

Apr 27, 2013 6:06AM
 Anwar will change many things this time by proving his victory. .
Apr 27, 2013 3:39AM
Malaysia is going to see Anwar as the leader. He is going to win over BN with a huge majority. I am sure that the 22% undecided voters yet now, will turn towards the charismatic Anwar, in this polls. 
Apr 27, 2013 1:11AM

Before we comment, I suggest it will be useful if we can take the trouble to really really analyse the UMCEDEL survey results available on their website. Just google UMCEDEL and you will get there.


We can be surprised how reports about the survey results written by MSN or Yahoo etc. could be written in ways to apparently favour one party over another.


By the way, the first summary slide shows that 42% says BN will win GE13 against 37% in favour of PR, with 21% undecided/unsure. 

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