Managing grassroots support key to success in state polls for unity govt, says think tank

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PETALING JAYA: Management of grassroots support between unity government parties will play a key factor in the upcoming state elections, says a think tank.


The Institute of Strategic Analysis and Policy Research (Insap) said that both Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional faced an uphill battle in convincing their supporters to vote for their once bitter rivals-turned-allies.

“Vote transferability between Pakatan and Barisan supporters remains a key challenge to both coalitions – that is getting their core supporters to support the other partner coalition.

“It is no secret that supporters of both Pakatan and Barisan have reservations about the working partners with many still uncomfortable with the marriage between the long-standing enemies.

“Our ground intelligence proved that emotions towards the cooperation between two groups of sworn enemies are still unsettling, particularly among more conservative Malays.

“Especially as Malaysians are showing signs of fatigue towards political messaging and promises, especially those unmet expectations created by political parties now in power,” the think tank said in a statement on Monday (July 24).

The think tank noted that only 34% of voters in Selangor and Negri Sembilan were happy with Pakatan working with Barisan while 31% of voters were not opposed to the political rivals’ partnership, in a recent survey of voters in both states.

“Both coalitions’ ability to sell their brand to their respective supporters will also be a challenge, bearing in mind that Pakatan and Barisan were fighting tooth-and-nail as recently in November 2022.


“Should they (Pakatan and Barisan) fail, voters may vote for Perikatan or Muda as a form of protest,” the statement, co-authored by the think tank’s director Dr Sia Bik Kai and deputy director Kat W. Wong said.

Despite the low approval rate, the think tank said Perikatan Nasional’s chances of flipping the two Pakatan strongholds remained very unlikely.

“It would be hard for Perikatan to cross a simple majority in Selangor and Negri Sembilan due to Pakatan still having a very strong core base in both states while Barisan remains a highly recognisable coalition in Negeri Sembilan.

“Perikatan would have to swing at least 50% to 55% of Barisan supporters to their side in order to win enough seats for a simple majority in both states,” the think tank said.

Insap, an independent think tank and research outfit, was established in 1986 and focuses on political-economic research.

– The Star

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