KUALA LUMPUR: It will be a neck-and-neck contest for Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional, through its Umno-Pas pact Muafakat Nasional, if the 15th general election were to be called now, according to findings by EMIR Research Inaugural Poll.
The independent think-tank found PH holds sway with 41 per cent of the votes versus 38 per cent for BN, based on an estimated margin of error of plus or minus three per cent.
The survey also showed that middle- and high-income groups, as well as urbanites, supported PH, while the lower-income and rural folk preferred BN.
A total of 51 per cent from the middle-income group (those in the RM3,001 to RM5,000 income bracket) and 52 per cent from the high-income group (earning more than RM5,000) supported PH, whereas 45 per cent of those earning below RM3,000 supported BN.
“In other words, with the right design and implementation of public policies, particularly on perut (bread-and-butter) economy, PH can outdo its rival, Muafakat Nasional in securing a solid majority of the votes,” the research report stated.
The poll also showed that 17 per cent of respondents would support independents who could play the role of “kingmakers”.
In terms of ethnicity, the divide is glaring with Malays and Bumiputeras preferring BN by a margin of 20 per cent at 53 per cent, compared to 33 per cent for PH.
Chinese and Indians appear to pick PH as their first choice.
“This means that PH has much work to do to close the gap with (challenges posed by political cooperation through) Muafakat Nasional concerning Malay and Bumiputera support.”
The result showed that Chinese and Indians least preferred cooperation with a percentage below the independents.
The consistency applies across all the age groups except those aged less than 31, who preferred BN over PH.
A total of 1,992 respondents from 222 parliamentary constituencies took part in the survey conducted between Sept 5 and Oct 10.
Meanwhile, the same poll also revealed that Malaysians are on average satisfied with the performance of the ruling party.
EMIR Research said the Government Satisfaction Index of Malaysians stood at 0.53 based on the performances of the cabinet members and manifesto fulfilment in economic, health and transport, agriculture policy and affordable home dimensions.
In the questionnaires, respondents were asked to rate the performances of the prime minister, deputy prime minister, home minister, finance minister, economic affairs minister, education minister and other cabinet ministers.
In terms of manifesto fulfilment, urbanites are more satisfied than rural folk in all dimensions. The Chinese are the most satisfied while the Malays are the least satisfied.
The report said fulfilment of PH’s manifesto promises was an important element that would affect who the rakyat will vote for in the next general election.