Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Analyst: Abnormally high percentage of silent voters

With three more days to polling on Saturday, there is an abnormally high percentage of silent voters, estimated at between 35 and 40 per cent of the electorate, in most parts of the country in this general election.

Political analyst Assoc Prof Dr Mohammad Agus Yusoff said the figure was almost double the average of about 20 per cent of silent voters in any general election.

“Ground assessment showed that they have not made up their minds for reasons best known to them.

“They are still assessing the government’s performance, the country’s leadership, efforts to combat corruption, integrity of the judiciary apart from the bread-and-butter issues such the rising cost of living and crime index as well as the opposition’s side of the story, he said.

He noted that the increase in the number of silent was obvious in all states except for the Malay belt of Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah where most of the voters have made up their minds on where to cross their the ballot papers, leaving only a small percentage of fence-sitters.

“You can see the mood on the ground. As many as 35 to 40 per cent of the voters are still indecisive on who to cast their votes for. They did not show which side they are on,” he said.

Dr Mohammad Agus said that although Barisan Nasional (BN) could easily win and form the federal government after March 8 and even control a two-third majority, the silent voters were crucial in determining the number of remaining seats to be won and the overall majority.

“Silent voters could make or break some election results,” he said.Contesting political parties and candidates had a tough time in the next three days in swaying the votes to their respective camps, he said. MORE HERE

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