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KUALA LUMPUR, April 20 — A recent survey by analytics firm Invoke found Perikatan Nasional (PN) information chief Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali’s position in his constituency in Gombak as relatively stable.
With a 50 per cent recognition rate among his constituents, Azmin is seen as well known within the community due to his former post as Selangor mentri besar and now a senior minister in addition to being the minister of international trade and industry.
The survey also found that 55 per cent of the respondents or voters in Gombak felt that the candidate matters more than the party when voting for an MP, while 24 per cent said they were and 21 per cent said they voted according to the party.
It also said that should Azmin choose to contest again in Gombak, his fame will definitely be a factor. “Whether this impact would be positive or negative to his chances is up for debate,’’ said the survey.
The Invoke survey, titled “Uncharted Territory”, polled 500 voters respectively in six different constituencies: Gombak (Azmin — Bersatu), Hang Tuah Jaya (Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin — PKR), Johor Baru (Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir — PKR), Seremban (Anthony Loke — DAP), Tanjong Malim (Chang Lih Kang — PKR), and Wangsa Maju (Datin Paduka Dr Tan Yee Kew — PKR).
The overall objective of the survey was to gauge voter sentiments six months after the formation of the supposed “backdoor” PN government and resentment towards the “subversion of the people’s mandate.’’
The survey was carried out between August 26 and October 2, 2020.
It found that voter sentiment towards the PN administration remains stable nationwide. This is especially so in Gombak where in September, 77 per cent of the respondents said they were satisfied with PN’s performance in the federal government.
Azmin was formerly PKR deputy president, before leading a group of MPs from the party to defect and back the PN government led by Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
Compared to Azmin, Seremban MP and former transport minister Loke has only a 29 per cent recognition rate among his constituents while only 13 per cent of voters in Johor Baru recognise Akmal Nasir as their elected representative.
In addition, some 42 per cent of the respondents in Gombak said they had never read any news reports about Azmin while 29 per cent stated they had either watched, read or heard news reports about their MP.
The survey also showed that some 47 per cent of Gombak voters were satisfied with the current economic situation in September compared to 41 per cent in July, possibly due to the implementation of the recovery movement control order (RMCO) in June.
“When contextualised against the 50 per cent economic satisfaction benchmark prior to GE14, these numbers are significant.
“Put simply, if satisfaction levels with the economy were to not improve drastically, then Gombak — currently held by PN’s Azmin Ali — could be at risk of falling to the Opposition in the event of a general election,’’ said the survey.
It is worthy to note that 46 per cent of Gombak voters want incumbent Muhyiddin to stay on as prime minister. While this was the biggest proportion, Muhyiddin’s supporters did not even make half of the total respondents there.
In comparison, PKR president and Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim was backed by merely 8 per cent of respondents there, followed by convicted former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak from Umno (3 per cent), and two-time prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (2 per cent).
Nobody polled there wanted PAS president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang nor his Parti Warisan Sabah counterpart Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal as a prime minister candidate.
In addition, 7 per cent of them said they preferred a younger candidate for the position, while another 33 per cent of voters stated they were unsure or refused to provide an answer.