The incumbents, DS Hishammuddin Hussein, DS Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and DS Shafie Apdal had clearly shown their card on nomination day.
They are going into the fight as a trio tag team to defend the status quo.
I believe their objective is none other than to squish Mukhriz by utilizing their combined "resources".
They know, the other challengers, former vice-presidents DS Mohd Ali Rustam and Tan Sri Isa Samad are no real threat to them.
I believe the duo can easily be "kow tim"ed at a later stage or probably it's done deals already.
Now, why do the incumbents need to collectively agree to help each other?
Zahid, by right, do not need such an arrangement as he is in the strongest position among the trio.
But he is the oldest at 60.
His chance to move further up the hierarchy once deputy president TS Muhyiddin Yassin retires at the end of this term will be seriously affected by the presence of Mukhriz as a fellow vice-president.
Hishammuddin needs the alliance more than Zahid and Shafie. Despite having a strong machinery built up since he was the Youth chief, Hishammuddin knows that he is the weakest among the incumbents due to several blunders that he made in the past which had caused his popular ratings to plummet quite badly.
Hishammuddin needs Zahid and Shafie to back him up as even being supported by incumbent Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin will not be good enough for him to stand on his own. For those uninitiated, Hishammuddin was the one who pushed everyone aside to make way for Khairy to be his deputy when he was the Youth chief as a gesture to win favor with the young man's father-in-law who was then the party president and Prime Minister.
Now, if the tag team strategy works, Hishammuddin will stand a chance to accompany Zahid to move further up in later years.
Shafie is the Sabah man. He needs to be in the incumbents tag team to solidify his position, especially in winning votes from the divisions in the Peninsular.
Shafie is still at risk with Mukhriz in the race.
This was even so despite the delegates being likely to want a representative from Sabah as a vice-president. Sabah is a key safe deposit of Umno and Barisan Nasional.
As for Isa and Mohd Ali, if they are to proceed with their challenge, I believe they may likely design their strategy in such a way so that it may break up the votes which will go against the three incumbents. I believe a deal could be made on this one.
Realistically, Mukhriz doesn't stand a chance.
I know, it's frustrating, especially for all those Ansara guys. But that's the reality of this vice-presidents' race.
The odds are really stacked up against Mukhriz now.
Yes, I have seen others beating an even worse odds such as Ip Man here,
One against ten and he won. But that is in a movie.
Well, unless some miracles happened.
Maybe Mukhriz can do something like Ip Man.
Who knows, that sorts of things do happened from time to time.
Semuanya atas kehendak Allah.