There are 3 millions new voters in the next general election. Both sides are trying very hard to get these votes. Many of the measures adopted by both sides are aimed at getting most of these votes.
Generally speaking, young voters are more of the anti-establishment type and so on the surface, it would be a boom to the opposition with some many young voters voting for the first time.
However, things are often not quite they are if we look deeper. The key question is how many of these young voters are in marginal seats?
If most of these young voters are in urban or semiurban areas which are already won by quite a comfortable margin by the opposition, then there would not be much impact on the number of seats won by the opposition,
For example, in the area where I reside, PJ Utara, Tony Pua won by a majority of more than 19000 votes in a constituency with 56000 voters. Let us say that there is now an additional 10,000 new voters in this constituency for the next GE, and most of these new voters are for the opposition. Their votes would not make much of a difference in Parliament representation, except to ensure that Pua will win by a bigger margin.
I suspect most of the 3 millions new voters are in urban and semi urban areas since young people tend to drift to the cities to find jobs and settle down. I do not have the figure, but if that is the case, it would only secure what is already quite secure fortresses of the opposition, and impact wise, it would not make as much of a difference as to be expected from the percentage of new voters versus total votes.
It would be therefore be interesting if anyone who has access to the number of new voters in all the constituencies to analyse how many of the marginal seats have more than 30% of new voters.
In a constituency of 10,000 voters won by BN where the winning margin is slightly less than a thousand (let us say 900 votes), the opposition needs a 45% increase in new votes if more than 60% of these new voters voting the opposition (the mathematics is as followed: 60% of the new 4500 votes go to the opposition which is 2700, versus 40% of the 4500 new votes which is 1800, an increase of 900 votes won). This is on the assumption that the old voters are voting along the same line as before.
If more than 70% of new voters vote for opposition versus 30% for BN in such a BN constituency, then the opposition needs an increase of 30% of new voters to have any chance of winning that seat.
We know that although most young voters are anti establishment, we must not forget that in any cohort, at least 30% would likely vote against general trend. So in general, if a BN seat has a winning margin of more than 900 votes, then we need to have more than 30% of new voters to have a different outcome, assuming again that old votes voting along the same line as before.
I suspect not many of the BN seats will have such a big proportion of young voters. Most of the young voters will be in urban and semi urban constituencies already held by PR.
Therefore, in my view, the new votes would not make as much of a difference as to be expected from the percentage of new voters versus total votes.
The impact of course would be bigger if the margin of winning in such BN seats is less than 900 votes.
Nevertheless, the new votes would, as I have mentioned above, make PR seats more secure , and that would make it unlikely for BN to win more than 2/3 of seats, nor win back the states of Penang and Selangor. Thus, even in the event of a BN win in the GE, these new votes would ensure that BN’s win would not be any better than the last GE…