Pakistan is all set to witness the second consecutive democratic transition of power in General Elections 2018 to be held on July 25.
While all the major political parties lay claim to power, surveys and polls conducted by non-government organizations an insight into how people are going to exercise their right to franchise and which political party is more popular than others.
Here are some surveys and polls published in this newspaper:
Which party is leading in Punjab?
Conducted by Institute of Public Opinion Research (IPOR), a constituency-wise survey of entire Punjab has found the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz maintaining popularity.
The opinion poll was carried out between April 15 and June 2 this year with a response rate of over 72 percent.
All National Assembly constituencies of Punjab (141) were surveyed with average sample size of 1,420 respondents from each constituency. This is in contrast with most country-wide surveys, where the total respondents generally range between 3,000 and 4,000.
Although, the PML-N is ahead with 51 percent vote bank, it has largely preserved its vote with only a 2 percent increase in comparison with 2013. This is in contrast with the significant increase in PTI’s vote — from 19 percent in 2013 to 30 percent in 2018.
How will Pakistan vote
Gallup Pakistan (national), Pulse Consultant (national) and IPOR (provincial) polls show that PML-N remains the preferred party among voters in the largest province, but PTI has gained ground and narrowed the gap significantly.
PTI remains the dominant party for voters in KPK, while PPP is ahead in Sindh. Balochistan, there is a three party mix. Nationally polled respondent in the Gallup poll shows PML-N ahead, while the PTI has taken the lead in the Pulse survey. Undecided voters to play decisive role in polls.
Female and Youth voters
Women polled by Gallup are more inclined to vote for the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz over other parties with a 26 per cent preference, whereas with 24 per cent the PTI ranks a close second. A far third is the PPP, with 18 per cent of the female voter pie.
While the ranking remains unchanged, Pulse figures show the PML-N taking a bigger lead with 32 per cent of the female vote bank compared to PTI with 24 per cent and PPP with 17 per cent.
Tapping into first-time voters is another point of focus for political parties. Data from Gallup shows the PTI attracting 27 per cent of the new voter with the PML-N slightly behind with 22 per cent and PPP at 12 per cent. Those who remain undecided were the third highest in this group with 16 per cent. The Pulse survey also finds the PTI as the preferred party for this age group with 37 per cent, followed by the PML-N with 20 per cent and PPP with 15 per cent of respondents.
The undecided voters will decide Pakistan’s future
In the upcoming general elections, undecided voters or those reluctant to vote have emerged as a key battleground for political parties, surveys conducted by Gallup Pakistan and Pulse Consultant have revealed.
This group is at 20% in the latest poll conducted by Gallup compared with 26% for PML-N and 25% for PTI at the national level. Six months ago, this third block of voters was only 10%. While PML-N is the largest loser during this period, the undecided block is the largest gainer.
In the latest poll by the Pulse Consultants, this group combined with those who do not intend to vote stands at 14% which makes them the fourth largest block after PTI at 30%, PML-N at 27% and PPP at 17%
Fresh survey predicts hung parliament
A new survey on the upcoming elections shows PML-N and PTI in neck and neck fight without any clear winner thus portraying a scenario of a hung parliament, as the majority of the population believes Pakistan is heading in the wrong direction. However, the number of respondents who expressed the intention to vote this time has increased from 76% in 2013 to 82% in 2018.
If the elections are held today, 32% population has shown the intention to vote for the PML-N, 29% for PTI and 13% for PPP, according to a countrywide survey conducted by the Institute of Public Opinion Research (IPOR) in collaboration with an American firm, Global Strategic Partners. The survey was carried out between June 13-July 04 of 3,735 respondents from all across Pakistan. Around 72% responded.
There is a consensus among the pollsters in Pakistan that 35% vote is a minimum threshold to determine which party takes a lead in countrywide elections and right now there is none. However, the PTI has gained popularity from 27% in November 2017 to 29% in July 2018 whereas the PML-N has lost from 37% to 32% in the corresponding period and the PPP’s position has remained the same (13%).