The myth of the new voters

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…


22 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sunwayopal
    Jul 23, 2012 @ 20:32:14

    Maybe for the first time, it will be seen that Barisan Najis may well win with a majority of parlimanetary seats but if they do not garner an overall majority of votes when counted as a whole, it will b clear to everybody the gerrymandering and delineation of seats is totally unfair. It may well b Pakatan winning say 53% of the popular votes and yet still not have Parliament.


  2. Phua Kai Lit
    Jul 24, 2012 @ 08:33:31

    Regimes that have lost their legitimacy in the eyes of their people can collapse faster than you think.

    For example, the Eastern European Communist police states during 1989-1992
    and the South African apartheid regime. More recently, the Ben Ali regime of Tunisia.


  3. Phua Kai Lit
    Jul 24, 2012 @ 08:39:30

  4. monsterball
    Jul 24, 2012 @ 16:14:33

    If Najib is so sure BN can win, he will not hesitate delaying the 13th GE.
    Over 2 million young voters is his main problem.
    As you can see at BERSIH 2 & 3…young participants from all races united and treat each other as Malaysians.
    This itself will defeat Najib and Mahathir,
    The change is very real.
    And so ..out come DPM’s threat of another May 13th scenario.
    They depend on voters afraid of trouble and thus vote for so call peace and harmony under Najib.
    Finally….the Judge has declared BERSIH 3 was CLEAN and not a threat to security at all.


  5. CYC
    Jul 24, 2012 @ 16:18:41

    Dr Hsu, you may have forgotten to include the larger portion of the newly registered voters – the legalised immigrants. This is the deciding factors if the claim is true.


  6. monsterball
    Jul 24, 2012 @ 16:53:43

    If UMNO b wins 13th GE through frauds and cheating.. Najib with his band of robbers and thieves will suffer the consequences that they never expected nor anticipated will happen.
    Najib….knows it and can feel it….right now.
    Will he dare to risk thousands dead… just to see him protected?
    An election will turn to riots and war-like scenario…all because of dictators want to hold on to power using people to dirty the dirty work.
    We have seen it all.
    Will Najib dare to do it in Malaysia?
    Events after events show UMNO b is afraid to lose 13th GE…not for the love of the country and people…but for preventing themselves being arrested for corruptions and murders.
    This is what 13th GE is all about ….for UMNO b keep thinking they have a so call solid formula ….how to stay in power forever…..until 12th GE shocked them.
    For once ….they can see People Power is real and uncorrupted.
    After 12th GE….it’s People who decides with no fear….and the People wants change….so openly…that Najib needs to play Satan Clause now to win hearts and minds with millions given out lately.
    Let the politicians argue..expose each other.
    Malaysians want change not because they love Anwar as PM and PR more…but because it is logical and sick of reading so much corruptions and murders unsolved.


  7. monsterball
    Jul 24, 2012 @ 17:28:01

    Sorry for typing mistakes.
    I mean Najib playing Santa Clause role and he is using people to do his dirty all dictators were doing in other countries….all thrown People Power.


  8. Taikohtai
    Jul 24, 2012 @ 21:24:12

    In view of the severe Gerrymandering exercise by EC plus other unsavoury pro-BN tactics, I think one way to overcome them is for the top Pakatan leaders to move away from their safe seats to fight in BN controlled seats. Top leaders like DSAI, LKS, LGE, TGNA, etc should let their junior leaders contest in their current seats while they move on to more challenging constituencies. By showing their willingness to sacrifice their own political lives, Pakatan will strike a most resonant note with all voters, unlike Najib who has no shame in dousing himself 25,000 extra postal votes for self preservation. Lose a battle or two but the war must be won with the fallen heroes even hailed as martyrs.


  9. Dr Hsu
    Jul 25, 2012 @ 09:40:46

    you have hit nail right on its head. The main reason why the effects of these new voters are not as great as expected from their percentage is exactly because of gerrymandering.

    Take Kapar in Klang. More than 100,000 votes in one constituency. Given the high density of people there, I suspect there will be at least 20,000 new voters in that seat alone. But these 20,000 will make the seat more secure, with bigger winning margin for PR, but would not have any effect to add a new PR seat to Parliament.

    That is why the role of Bersih is so important. But the undoing of gerrrymandering will be a long and tedious process; it needs PR to win more than 2/3 to be able to redraw boundaries; and that is not quite forseeable in the next GE.


  10. HuaYong
    Jul 25, 2012 @ 11:34:49

    agree with taiko, lks shd challenge csl, and lead dap to conquer johor, but 1982 show clearly he got no ball, i think he like to stay in the cool and comfort ipoh cave more, hope i am wrong this round.


  11. monsterball
    Jul 25, 2012 @ 16:43:26

    I am quite sure top guns from PR like LKS …Anwar and Lim Guan Eng will do exactly what Taikohtai said.
    LKS Vs CSL …Anwar Vs Najib.
    But you cannot announce and let the cat out of the bag.
    Furthermore….They must let the BN candidates announce where they are standing for elections first.
    You can be sure LKS will go after CSL.
    He did that many times in the past.


  12. Phua Kai Lit
    Jul 26, 2012 @ 13:56:31

    Western governments take action against Third World kleptocrats:


  13. aiz
    Jul 26, 2012 @ 18:44:56

    I have thought about this myself and you could not have explained it better Dr Hsu.

    By the way HY the vast majority of Johorians are fairly BN. You can’t fight demographics, so what’s wrong with a safe seat for LKS, etc… Most world politicians did that! I think Margaret Tatcher did.

    In the meantime keep on educating and winning debates and arguments to change the mindset.


  14. HuaYong
    Jul 26, 2012 @ 19:57:37

    aiz, i think pr must up the ante, less risk mean less reward. sorry i would explore this through the racial lens, the many chinese that dont vote pr the last round were mostly johorian, i guess dap know the number well and that is why many talk, dinner and seminar were being held in dozens township in johor and the response is as expected, very well received by looking at the number of attedence and donation amount. local gerakan and mca leader monsterball already shrink to tinyball. it is up to dap what sort of strategy they prefer to adopt, play safe? but i dont deny malay votes were most probably remain with bn. pr need seats from johor, sabah and sarawak to go to putrajaya. who else if not lks take the lead?


  15. monsterball
    Jul 26, 2012 @ 20:46:01

    Doc there is a post at “KTEMOC KONSIDERS” about you and with your photo.
    Read the comments talking about you.


  16. aiz
    Jul 27, 2012 @ 04:56:19

    Fuyoh! You certainly talk about a lot of balls here.. no ball, tinyball, monsterball. Whatever you mean lah HY (lol), please don’t forget that like football it always give the home team the home ground advantage when playing at home. And what about if you can’t win them… buy them?


  17. HuaYong
    Jul 27, 2012 @ 08:58:32

    bro, my crystal ball told me balls would be the favorite subject of this blog from now onwards, i just want to make sure i am not left out before the comments go to hundreds again. lol 🙂

    i travel quite often to jb and this is what i hear, hmmm….lks stay in pj state if i am not wrong, i dun know where his home ground exactly, melaka, batu pahat, ipoh or penang?


  18. monsterball
    Jul 27, 2012 @ 10:06:29

    Batu Pahat.and so is Chua Soi Lek.
    Use your imaginations who…. Lim Kit Siang will clobber at 13th GE.
    You can have a winning football team…sell it… dumb dumb.


  19. aiz
    Jul 27, 2012 @ 11:16:49

    Yes LKS and CSL are both from Batu Pahat. And don’t forget Batu Pahat was the birth place of UMNO… thus it would be UMNO home field. LKS will be defeated if he fight CSL in Batu Pahat. Believe me you. CSL is very well accepted and regarded in Batu Pahat. Let LKS “stay in the cool and comfort ipoh cave”.


  20. BP Lang
    Jul 27, 2012 @ 12:32:37

    I am from Batu Pahat. I do not agree with “aiz” that CSL is very well accepted. After 308 Chinese sentiment has change. You can see most of the Pakatan dinners was well attented. The best indication is the donation collected during the dinner kept increasing dinner after dinner. After the CSL porn CD exposed more and more people has lost confidence on him. Can people accept a leader without moral to be the leader?


  21. aiz
    Jul 27, 2012 @ 16:42:57

    PKR leaders also got moral issues but yet people can accept them. So what if CSL got a “gundik” or a mistress. After all he is not a Muslim. The voters in Batu Pahat still swing in CSL’s favour as at today. My in laws are from Batu Pahat. We still go back to Batu Pahat once a month.


  22. WildCard
    Jul 31, 2012 @ 06:11:07

    30 years ago, I was also a new voter. Sinc then, there was only one time my vote was change to one side to the other.
    It should be interesting to investigate what percentage of voters do not change their voting since their first time voting.
    The cumulative effects can be hard to counter.
    The zoning makes the difference, but Malaysia is just a copy cat. For USA, the zoning maps has very strange shapes and sizes,some look like snakes, some look like octopus, these are all to ensure the incumbent stays in power! whichever party in power tends to rezone if there is a threat or need.


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