Election Results 1959 to 2004

It is important to study the historical records of the past elections to have a better feeling of the current election but I was surprised that this data proved to be more difficult to search for in the internet than I had anticipated. So much for the information age! Nevertheless, the following were the results of the previous elections since 1959. 

Year

Total No of Seats

Government

Opposition

No of Seats

% of Seats

No of Seats

% of Seats

1959

104

74

71.2

30

28.8

1964

104

89

85.6

15

14.4

1969

144

95

66.0

49

34.0

1974

154

135

87.7

19

12.3

1978

154

130

84.4

24

15.6

1982

154

132

85.7

22

14.3

1986

177

148

83.6

29

16.4

1990

180

127

70.6

53

29.4

1995

192

162

84.4

30

15.6

1999

193

148

76.7

45

23.3

2004

219

199

90.9

20

9.1

From the first glance, it would appear that the Malaysian public is strong behind Barisan Nasional, the government. After all, they won have been winning more than 2/3 of the seats since independance except for 1969 when they had exactly 2/3. During the last election, the government had a record 199 seats out of 219 or a record of 90.6% of the total seats.  

However if we were to scrutinise the votes more closely, we would come out with surprising results.

Year

Total No of Seats

Government

Opposition

% of Seats

% of Votes

% of Seats

% of Votes

1959

104

71.2

51.7

28.8

48.3

1964

104

85.6

58.5

14.4

41.5

1969

144

66.0

49.3

34.0

50.7

1974

154

87.7

60.7

12.3

39.3

1978

154

84.4

57.2

15.6

42.8

1982

154

85.7

60.5

14.3

39.5

1986

177

83.6

55.8

16.4

44.2

1990

180

70.6

53.4

29.4

46.6

1995

192

84.4

65.2

15.6

34.8

1999

193

76.7

56.5

23.3

43.5

2004

219

90.9

63.9

9.1

36.1

Despite commanding more than 2/3 of the parliamentary seats throughout the Malaysian election history, the government has never been able to win more than 2/3 of the votes.

The closest they had got to 2/3 was in 1995 when the government won 65.2% of the votes. Yet in that year, they commanded 84.% of the seats.

In the last election in 2004, the government failed to better their 1995 record when they won on 63.9% of the votes but yet they commanded a record 199 seats or 90.9%.

Unless you believe in fool’s luck in favour of the government for the past 50 years, it would be impossible for the government to continuously win less than 2/3 of the votes but yet command up more than 2/3 and up to 90% of the seats without gerrymandering the seats.

The parliamentary representation since 1957 had not reflected the actual wishes of the people where more than 1/3 of the voters has voted for their voices to be heard, for a stronger oppostion (check and balance) and for a more responsible governance. 

But all these voices are drowned and the public is led to believe that the government has the mandate of the people, a 2/3 majority mandate when in fact, they have never been able to get the votes of the people required to fulfill the 2/3 mandate.

This entry was posted in All Malaysian, Garbage Lot, Politics and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Election Results 1959 to 2004

  1. shorthorse says:

    ….sigh, these stats are just evidence of the sad state of affairs in Malaysia…I wish to applaud the Opposition for continuing their struggle despite their meagre numbers. The fact that they plod on to give their tiny voice of ‘dissent’ is admirable indeed.

  2. asme says:

    Well the opposition is fighting along the racial divide and hence playing right into the govenrment’s game. As long as we have DAP, PAS and Keadilan, BN will continue to dominate.

  3. Alex Detto says:

    Gerrymandering is unnecessary. In the “first past the post” system we have, if the people are evenly distributed throughout the country, it’s possible for the BN to win 100% of the seats with just 50.001% of the votes. It’s a weakness of the system, not evidence of gerrymandering.

    This, erm … “optimal” result is not reached because the people are not evenly distributed. There is “clumping”, votes for certain parties are concentrated in certain area. This is the only way the less popular party can win ANY seat at all in our “first past the post” system.

    In the 2004 election, the opposition got 36% of the votes but only 9% of the seats. For the opposition to win 36% of the seats, the electorate must be TOTALLY polarized. 36% of the country (lets say the north) votes for the opposition, and 64% of the country (say the south) votes for the ruling party.

    The fact that the opposition did not get the same percentage of seats as the percentage of votes is a good thing. Trust me, it *IS* a good thing. It shows that the country is not throughly polarized. You don’t want to live in a country like that.

    The only other way the opposition’s seat percentage will match their vote percentage is in a proportianal representation system, like they have in Italy. Considering the number of government changes they have had, the system have it’s own weakness. Minority governments are common, and the government is usually weak and unstable. But the opposition do get their fair share of seats.

    I am not entirely sure I prefer that system. I’m undecided, but in any case, it is moot point as we will never have it here. That system favour the smaller parties over the larger ones. And it’s the larger parties that will have to pass the constitutional amendment (with 2/3rd majority), which they have no incentive to do so.

  4. asme says:

    Thanks for your comments, Alex. It is nice and refreshing.

    Undoubtedly the stats can’t prove gerrymandering but when voters are relocated to a new constituency in an Election Commission exercise, voters can’t help but to believe it is gerrymandering especially when a people living is a common neighbourhood are divided into two different constituencies.

    Secondly to allow voters to register their place to vote which may be different from their official address as per their NRIC also give a large gray area which implies gerrymandering.

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