9.25pm: Official EC results: With final five ballot boxes to go, Anwar has bagged 29,526 votes, Arif Shah (14,444) and Hanafi (89) . Majority so far: 15,082.
9.12pm: Official EC results: With 11 more boxes to go, Anwar has won the by-election with a 14,551 majority. He garnered 27,977 votes while BN's Arif Shah obtained 13,426 while Akim's Hanafi Hamat got 85.
8pm: Unofficial results: Anwar Ibrahim wins with a majority of 16,210 votes. He garnered 26,646 votes while Arif Shah Omar Shah got 10,436.
Anwar's wife, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, won the seat with a 13,388 majority at the March 8 general elections.
However, PKR unofficial results - Anwar wins with a majority of 17,652, obtaining 31,949 votes. BN's Arif Shah garnered 14,297 while Akim's Hanafi Hamat got 74. Hanafi to lose his RM15,000 deposit. This figure would mean 46,320 voters cast their ballots instead of the EC's 38,144.
7.59pm: Unofficial latest count, Anwar has obtained 16,101 votes as opposed to Arif Shah's 6,071.
7.43pm: The EC starts to announce official results as per the ballot boxes it has counted. As it stands, Anwar is leading by 3,507 votes.
The breakdown is as follows: Akim's Hanafi Hamat (9 votes),Anwar (5,398 votes) and Arif Shah (1,891).
So far 20 ballot boxes of a total of 111 have been opened and counted. Anwar had won in ALL these 20 boxes. In one particular box, he had obtained 441 votes compared to Arif's 14.The EC said that 38,144 ballots were cast today, out of 58,459 eligible voters.
7.25pm: There are signs of significant swing to PKR despite the lower turnout. In the state constituency of Penanti, which PKR won at the March 8 general elections, the party has bagged the sole polling station, Telok Wang, it failed to win five months ago.
March 8 result:
BN - 261 votes,
PKR - 227
Aug 26 result:
BN - 232 votes,
PKR - 260
Anwar is also making gains in the state constitutency of Seberang Jaya, where PKR had lost to BN candidate Arif on March 8.
7.20pm: Unofficial results so far: Anwar 5,855; Arif Shah 1,910
7.13pm: PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim is to hold a press conference at his by-election headquarters at Yayasan Aman at 7.45pm.
Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak will also be holding a press conference at about 9pm.
malaysiakini breaking news
Aug 26, 08 3:56pm
Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's PKR said today its exit polls indicate he has won 61 percent of the votes in a by-election expected to return him to parliament.
"From our exit poll figures and what we are tracking, Anwar is safely leading in the polls and... I think that it is right to say about 61 percent," said Sivarasa Rasiah, PKR vice-president.
Sivarasa said that Anwar's opponent from the Barisan Nasional coalition, Arif Shah Omar Shah, had garnered about 39 percent of the vote.
"We are still not declaring victory as we will wait for the official election results from the Election Commission," he told AFP.
If the turnout is about 80 percent, this will translate into about 28,000 votes for Anwar against Arif's 18,000, with a majority of around 10,000.
This estimates discount the votes for the third candidate, Hanafi Hamat of Akim, who is not expected to pick up many votes.
Polling booths opened at 8am and are due to close at 5pm. Official results are expected to be known by 8pm.
Anwar has been widely tipped to win the vote in Permatang Pauh, an electorate in his home state of Penang which he held until he was sacked as deputy prime minister in 1998 and jailed on sodomy and corruption charges.
'Lower turnout among non-Malays'
But political pundits said they will focus on the size of the winning margin, compared to that attained by Anwar's wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail who held the seat during his political exile.
"We are expecting Anwar's win to be the same as big as when Wan Azizah contested but we think that it will be less in terms of absolute numbers due to it being a working day for many," Sivarasa said.
Wan Azizah won about 64 percent of votes cast in March general elections, with a majority of 13,400. - malaysiakini