My earlier research found that socio-economic class differences were pivotal in 2018, as an erosion of support among those of lower incomes for Umno decisively contributed to the change of government and defeat of Najib Razak.
Then, higher cost of living, poor implementation of the GST (which increased inflation) and limited expansion of the social safety net undercut support levels. In GE14, the base of lower-income voters that Umno relied on collapsed.
The findings for GE15 show that class differences/backgrounds were the second most important social determinant of voting after ethnicity and ahead of generation, gender, and urbanisation differences.
Income levels were tied to voting in GE15, with Pakatan Harapan decisively winning wealthier voters and only a small share of the lowest-income voters.
It is thus no wonder that the Anwar Ibrahim government’s approach has been to...