Observing Malaysian Social Media

Archive for May 2013

Urban Development Categorisation of Parliament Seats in Malaysia

The list of Parliament seats in Malaysia by urban development category can be found here.

For further reading on the methodology please read this blog post.

The categories are:

  • Rural = villages (kampungs) / small towns / farmland distributed within the seat. Rural seats tend to be physically large with a low population.
  • Semi-urban = larger towns and/or numerous small towns, may include villages as well
  • Urban = cities where a majority of the seat is covered by some form of urban development

This classification was done by us based on Google Maps satellite imagery and SPR maps. This is not the same as SPR’s own internal classification of seats. You can find our reference maps here (link).

We have obtained a gridded map of Malaysia that defines persons per square kilometre, based on a grid cell size of 19 square kilometres. This population estimate is based on an extrapolation of the 2000 National Census. This map will enable us to :

  • Estimate the size of the constituency
  • Estimate the min, max and average population density
  • Define a range of rural, semi-urban and urban categories, instead of just three
  • Perform seat classification at the State Assembly Seat (DUN) level

However this is time consuming and will likely take months to prepare. A sample of the Peninsular Malaysia map is shown below, rendered as a heatmap ranging from Green (low population density) -> Yellow -> Orange -> Red -> Purple (highest population density). The SPR maps are overlaid over it, and by toggling visibility we can identify which cells belong to which constituency. For area calculation we can subdivide the 19 square kilometre grid into 4.75 or 1.1875 square kilometre grids, depending on how small the related constituency is.


Written by politweet

May 30, 2013 at 1:57 pm

The Rural-Urban Divide in Malaysia’s General Election

108 out of 133 seats won by Barisan Nasional (BN) came from rural seats. 72 out of 89 seats won by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) came from urban and semi-urban seats.

While it is true that PR won every Chinese-majority seat, there are only 30 Chinese-majority seats in the country. That leaves at least 59 seats won with the support of other races.

When comparing Malay-majority seats, PR won more seats than BN in both semi-urban and urban categories. A Malay-majority seat cannot be seen as a guaranteed victory for BN.

In terms of the popular vote, BN obtained 57% of the popular vote in rural seats, 47% of the popular vote in semi-urban seats, and 36% of the popular vote in urban seats. Looking at the winning majorities of individual seats, the probability of BN regaining urban seats is low. This gap in the popular vote is illustrated in the infographics at the end of this post.

That is the picture of the political urban-rural divide. BN represents the rural majority and can retain power with rural and semi-urban seats alone. This election highlighted PR’s weak areas which are rural seats, Bumiputra Sabah majority and Bumiputra Sarawak majority seats.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by politweet

May 21, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Predictions for Malaysia’s General Election #GE13 #PRU13

The following is a set of election result predictions based on 5 scenarios. These results were obtained by running simulations of registered voters in the 2012 Q4 electoral roll casting their vote.

The calculations that drive the simulation are based on each voter’s voting preference in the previous General Election (2008). The detailed methodology for this analysis will be explained in a future blog post.

In 2008, the election results were unexpected and resulted in a big victory for Pakatan Rakyat component parties. This voting pattern will be referred to as the ‘tsunami effect’. Our simulations are based on the following rules:

  • voting preferences and turnout probability for each voter remain the same as they did in 2008. This was calculated as a probability based on lane (saluran) results from the last election
  • voting preferences for new voters are based on their peers – individuals with similar characteristics (age, race, location) in the electoral roll
  • a change in preference (swing) applied to each individual depending on the conditions of the scenario
  • there are only 2 choices – Pakatan Rakyat (PR) or Barisan Nasional (BN).
  • PR can be interpreted as ‘any party that is not part of the BN coalition’. This is especially true for Sabah and Sarawak.
  • the independent candidates do not receive any votes – due to time constraint this factor from the last election could not be included in the simulations

For each scenario we ran 200-500 simulations for each of the 13.29 million voters. Essentially the vote is simulated by answering 2 questions based on probabilities and swing:

  1. Will I vote?
  2. Who will I vote for?

Out of 5 scenarios, PR wins at most 106 seats.

Apart from swing factors stated in each scenario, other factors that affect PR’s victory / loss in these simulations are:

  • New voters being registered
  • Old voters from 2008 being removed from the roll
  • Voters transferring between constituencies

The list of seats won by PR for each scenario are listed below, along with the minimum and maximum winning majorities.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by politweet

May 5, 2013 at 4:53 pm