Exit poll data – known as the ‘quick count’, indicate that Susilo Bangbang Yudhuyono's Democrats are well in place to take the largest portion of Parliament.
The Democrats are estimated to have slightly more than 20 percent of the vote, according to projections by the Indonesian Survey Institute based on a sample of results from polling stations, a 12 percent jump over the Democrat’s results in 2004.
Yudhoyono's main rival, former President Megawati Sukarnoputri of the Indonesian Democratic Party — Struggle (PDI-P), was locked in a close race for second with the Golkar Party of former dictator President Suharto. Both were polling around 14 percent, with PDI-P’s 14.3 percent with a slight lead over Golkar’s 13.9 percent. Golkar is the Democrat’s main coalition partner.
The pollsters also accurately forecast the decline of the Muslim-based parties, with the two main Islamic parties gaining around 7 per cent each..
While it holds fourth place, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) made little headway, and the United Development and the National Awakening parties had their worst-ever results, falling behind even the National Mandate Party.
PKS’ failure to build significantly on the 7.3 per cent it won in 2004 can be put down to a number of missteps, including its support for the anti-pornography legislation and for an ageing Muslim cleric who married a 12-year-old girl.
The real counting is hugely complicated, with 520,000 polling booths across Indonesia's 6,000 inhabited islands and hundreds of names on the ballots. It's expected to take ten days before official results can be declared.
This election marks the kick-off for a desperate round of negotiating and coalition building ahead of the presidential poll in July - a poll into which SBY now goes as the unambiguous frontrunner.
If confirmed by the official count, the Democratic Party's lead would put Yudhoyono across the threshold of 20 percent needed for a candidate to run in July's presidential election.
The Malaysian Insider, Yudhoyono gains the high ground, 12 April 2009, http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/world/22968-yudhoyono-gains...
Australian Broadcasting Cooperation, Democrats take early lead in Indonesia election, 10 April 2009,http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/connectasia/stories/200904/s2540629.htm
Boston Globe, Democratic Party leads in Indonesia, 11 April 2009, http://www.boston.com/news/world/asia/articles/2009/04/11/democratic_par...
The Malaysian Insider, Indonesia votes in elections to set pace of reform, 9 April 2009, http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/world/22796-indonesia-votes...