An estimated 18 per cent of Malaysians will vote for independent candidates as opposed to 17 per cent in the baseline poll, signifying that the wish for the Third Force to govern Malaysia is still relevant.

EMIR Research in its study from January 15 to February 24 involving 2,002 respondents found that the vote for Pakatan Harapan (PH) had also dropped.

“The votes going to PH as a ruling coalition has dipped to 30 per cent – a significant 11 per cent drop from the 41 per cent they garnered in the previous poll.

“Meanwhile, Muafakat Nasional comprising UMNO and PAS regained a 14 per cent increase in votes to 52 per cent in the current poll as opposed to 38 per cent in the baseline poll,” it said in a report released by EMIR Research on Friday.

The report also questioned did the emergence of Perikatan Nasional (PN) out of nowhere to be the current governing coalition be attributed to a sign that the rise of the third force has materialised?

“From one angle, it could be yes because prior to the emergence of PN, there were only two coalitions – the governing PH and the opposition BN-Muafakat Nasional.

“But this is an apple-to-pear comparison because the emergence of PN is due to solving a political impasse, while both the baseline poll and the current poll are about regime change through a general election,” the report added.