Large Army and Police "Movements" Just Before GE2008

A large percentage of army or police postal voters were moved in the quarter before GE2008

The 12th General Election, which took place on 2008 Mar 8, was based on electoral roll gazetted on 2008 Feb 5. In this electoral roll, voter data were updated to 2007 Dec 31 for most parliamentary constituencies, but in some disputed parliamentary constituencies, up to 2007 Sep 30.

We want to see changes to army voters that took place before and during/after GE2008. To do so, we compare the quarterly supplementary rolls (senarai tambahan) for voter changes of 2007q4 and 2008q1 that SPR issues in PDF format.

The table below show a large movement of postal voters (mostly army and police, with locality codes that end in 400s, 500s, 600s, and 700s ).

spr2008q1 spr2007q4
Start of period 2008 Jan 1 2007 Oct 1
End of period 2008 Mar 31 2007 Dec 31
Total listing of voters 131,232 289,103
Army/police voters, locality codes >=400 2,294 39,572
Percentage army+poilce / total voters 1.7% 13.7%

NamaParlimen involved in change - count 222 222 222
NamaDUN involved in change - count 572 572 572
NamaDM (Daerah Mengundi) - count 6,578 6,578 6,733
NamaLokaliti (Locality) - count 95,865 95,657 94,801

Large postal/police/army voter movements in the quarter before GE2008:
  • There were large changes in voters before GE2008 (2007q4) totaling 289,103, more than double the 131,232 voter changes of the quarter (2008q1) on which the GE falls. We'll examine the reasons in the next blog, but it was mainly because
    1. potential voters were more excited about the upcoming GE, and many registered as voters for the first time,
    2. many changed their addresses, and
    3. a boost by postal voter movements.
    (Remember, where there is a change of address, the voter is counted twice in quarterly list, as a voter moving out of one place, and as a voter moving in to another place.)

  • Changes registered for army/police voters total 39,752 in the quarter before GE2008, nearly as big as an urban parliamentary constituency, accounting for a whopping 13.7% of the already-large changes of 289,103.

  • Had it been a more "regular" quarter, such as 2008q1, and considering double-counting, the 39,752 could have accounted for over 25% voter changes.

  • In comparison, the equivalent category was only 2,294 during the GE quarter, or 1.7% of total changes for that quarter.
Background statistics about parliament, DUNs, DM, localities:
  • There were 222 parliamentary constituencies -- no change because there will be no re-delineation until 2010-1011.

  • There were 572 DUNs for both quarters, excluding federal territories, which sadly have no state representation.

  • There 6,578 Daerah Mengundi (voting districts) for both quaters, but strangely only 6,733 DMs for the voters roll gazetted on Feb 5, 2008. Either my data has problems, or it is due to disputed/ungazetted parliamentary rolls. It is a fact that some constituencies, such as P049 (Tanjong, PP) used older 2007q3 voter list in the gazetted roll, because the 2007q4 list was disputed. It is possible that SPR had drawn up new DMs for 2007q4 (Coincidence? Or why so late?) that had to be put aside until these seats are gazetted. Such practice plus SPR errors could also have contributed to some of the past complaints about political parties receiving different voters rolls, voters getting assigned to new DMs not being able to find their familiar DMs, etc.

  • There were 95,657 localities (streets, government hostels, army camp) in 2007q4, increasing to 95,865 in 2008q1, but only 94,801 for gazette date 2008 Feb 5. The reason is likely again to be disputed constituencies, such that some constituencies such as P049 included only 2007q3 list of a smaller number of localities.

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