When it was announced that he won the Permatang Pauh seat with a 15,671-majority, supporters shouted, cheered and jostled. There was no doubt about it, here was a prime minister in the making. Anwar had arrived, and the next step would be the "White House".

"Now Anwar must deliver his promise. He must prove to his supporters that he will become prime minister by Sept 16. He has no excuse now, he has won the seat, he has received overwhelming support from the constitutents and Pakatan Rakyat component parties to help him win the seat," said a Perak UMNO division chief.

He said the people's expectations were higher now, despite Barisan leaders' persistent assurance that the Sept 16 cross over would not materialise. They even have the facts and figures to discount such a possibility.

"Anwar has to beat the odds, whatever the cost," said a former senior journalist who now writes his own blog.

"Barisan Nasional cannot take this sitting down. They must not deny that there will be repercussions following Anwar's comeback to parliament," he added.

As it is, the former deputy prime minister has defied all odds. Everything seems to be working in his favour. This, despite the sodomy charge and the allegations hurled at him by Barisan leaders and several of his former aides.

But Anwar, the experienced politician that he is, had manipulated the issues and now the gun is pointed the other way.

"He has promised us that he will be the next prime minister," said a young PKR volunteer who had spent the last 10 days touring the Permatang Pauh constituency while carrying the party's flag on his motorcycle.

"We believe him. It is not impossible. Next month he WILL be prime minister."

Such unabashed support for someone who has fallen from Barisan's grace seems almost shameful and pitying, but not to those who have put their future in his hands. They have made their choice, and their choice is Anwar.

Now the pressure is on Anwar to deliver. He must prove his ability to form the "back-door" government. He needs 30 MPs to cross over so that he can sit in the prime minister's chair. Can he do it?

Perhaps. If he fails, his credibility will diminish, and so will his supporters. But then, only time can tell.