I was scanning the news just now and became interested in expected result of the upcoming election.

DAP expects to grab anywhere from 30 to 40 parliamentary seats. DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang further said that PAS and PKR should be able to bring in from another 40 to 50 seats.[1]

Abdul Hadi Awang later said that PAS is targeting to win at least 40 seats.[2]

Does that mean that PKR is targeting to win merely 10 seats? That is kind of a low expectation, do you not think so? If PKR is targeting only 10 seats, I would certainly feel greatly disappointed with PKR.

I know that this kind of synthesized expectation might not be accurate but in absence of announced target from PKR, this is likely the closest expectation based on real information, assuming of course that Mr. Lim and Mr. Abdul Hadi are not feeding false information to the press.

The most disappointing thing is that DAP, PAS and PKR expect to gain a total of 90 seats at most. Do correct me if I am wrong but I think that the curent opposition has no ambition to become a government at all.

But perhaps, they are just being realistic. We all love realists, don’t we?

Mohd Hafiz Noor Shams. Some rights reserved Mohd Hafiz Noor Shams. Some rights reserved Mohd Hafiz Noor Shams. Some rights reserved

[1] — KUALA LUMPUR: DAP should focus on winning 30 to 40 parliamentary seats, and Parti Keadilan Rakyat and Pas another 40 to 50, said opposition leader Lim Kit Siang yesterday. [DAP aiming for 85pc success rate. New Straits Times. February 2 2008][↩]

[2] — MUAR: PAS has set a target to win at least 40 parliamentary seats and try to have representatives in every state in the coming general election, its president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said. [PAS sets winning target. The Star. February 5 2008][↩]

10 Responses to “[1539] Of expected seats”

  1. on 05 Feb 2008 at 22:41 moo_t

    Being realistic or poor in pocket. ;)

    Malaysia has make its election “deposit” one of the most expensive in the world (if using bigmac index).

  2. on 05 Feb 2008 at 23:08 Hafiz Noor Shams

    if that was so, it would affect participation, not expected wins directly. PKR is participating in more than 10 parliamentary seats if I am not mistaken.

  3. on 05 Feb 2008 at 23:58 NoktahHitam

    PKR to win only 10 seats? Very disappointing. I was hoping they’d get at least 20 seats.

  4. on 06 Feb 2008 at 13:40 nat

    the business of politicians is to work, not to speculate.

    i would say keADILan plans to win every single seat it contests.

    and i think there is no opposition party that is as built around forming the next gov’t as keADILan is.

    in fact, with regards to an earlier comment, i think this is a big stickler in the seat negotiations. it’s not just about winnable seats, it’s also about what impression is given to discerning voters like yourself about intentions to govern.

    all that said, realpolitik is of course an issue. overall, i wouldn’t put too much stock in how many seats are publicly declared as ‘targeted.’ i don’t think there’s anywhere sufficient science to make such predictions interesting.

    what matters is how many seats are being contested, and how much effort we are going to put into winning those seats. the results are for time to tell, not us :)

  5. on 06 Feb 2008 at 14:04 sigma

    An increase of seats from 1 to 10 is already quite admirable, no? :P

    But on a more serious note, I think being realistic is not wrong here. The Opposition hasn’t even denied BN 2/3rds majority since 1969, and now you expect them to be able to win government straight away??

    True, entrenched regimes do get swept away, but these instances usually are caused by some epochal change. Examples include the apartheid regime, the fall of the East Europe Communist bloc, etc.

    There are no such epochal event in Malaysia atm. So I for one think that in such a situation, the Opposition managing to win 90 seats (or about half of parliament) would be an achievement that’s epochal in itself. It would demonstrate the Malaysian voters’ democratic maturity.

    Change is coming to many parts of the world now though. First Australia, then the current dramatic US primaries. Now Malaysia?

    I hope the Opposition will get their best election result ever in the next GE.

  6. on 06 Feb 2008 at 20:33 Hafiz Noor Shams

    Dear Nat,

    Expectation setting is an important exercise and it is not mere speculation. It is not about merely prediction. It is about how confident an entity is with its own ability. Expectation is done based on effort done and current sentiments from the ground, among other things. A party that is unable to produce a target is a party that has weak machinery or a party that hasn’t done enough scouting work.

    You said about PKR is the most ready to form the next government among all current opposition but yet, officially, PKR and the rest of the opposition is really into just denying 2/3.

    Dear Sigma,

    Yup. I do hope the current opposition (well, I hope PAS gets a big whack) gets the best result ever. It is not every year do we get a chance to face a weak government.

  7. on 08 Feb 2008 at 10:41 nat

    I understand the point, but I like to take the American primaries as an example. If you were to ask Hillary or Obama what they expect – they would basically say something along the lines of ‘kick ass.’

    From a analyst’s point of view, I would not take what any party’s declarations of ‘expectations’ seriously. I’d view it more as a propaganda exercise.

    Also, I do not believe that there is an ‘official’ expectation that has been set. I’m quite sure that neither 1/3 or 1/2 has been designated an ‘official target’ by anyone at this point.

    In an atmosphere of limited resources, I would rather spend them all trying to persuade voters, not gauge their sentiments.

    For all the mighty machinery that is American polling, at the end of the day, everyone still has to wait to see what the numbers are as they come in. If they can’t do it accurately with such massive resources, how reliable can our research possibly be? Punditry makes for poor, unreliable science I feel.

    This is not to say that I don’t wish we had a better finger on the pulse. Everyone does, not least us. But there is a limit to how much one can ever ‘know’ in politics. Persuade, not gauge.

    The crux of the matter as I have repeated ad nasuem, is that the Opposition is not perfect, and God knows we can do better. I have never been more sure of anything in my life. Still, as we judge their efforts, an appreciation of the bigger picture and circumstantial context may compel us to be kinder in some regards :)

    thanks as always for the insight sir :) and again – how many of the seats we are contesting are we aiming to win? All of them! :P :)

  8. on 14 Feb 2008 at 16:28 Hafiz Noor Shams

    Dear Nat,

    How many seats are PKR contesting in? If it won all seats, would it be enough to form a government?

    I don’t think so.

  9. […] to form the government.” PAS is contesting only about 60 seats and it is only expected to win at least 40 seats. With 111 seats level marks the 50% threshold — if PAS is interested in forming a government; […]

  10. […] to March 8, it was expected that the opposition would gain at most 90 seats and comparatively, the three parties has successfully garnered 82 parliamentary seats now. This is […]

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