KARACHI: The 2018 general elections completely upended the electoral makeup of Karachi. That the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was gaining popularity among the city’s residents was evident in the 2013 general elections when it had received almost 800,000 votes, albeit managing to win only one National Assembly and three provincial assembly seats.
Fast forward to 2018 and the party’s fortunes seem to have completely turned. The party secured victory on 14 NA seats and 21 provincial assembly seats, obtaining 1,057,002 votes from across the city, according to the Election Commission of Pakistan’s data. This makes it the most popular party in the city.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), meanwhile, fared its worst in three decades, only managing to get 620,103 votes.
The surprise package from the city was the newly-formed Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), which was contesting the elections for the first time across the country. The party stood third from Karachi in terms of number of votes cast in its favour. Though it failed to secure any seat in the NA and won one PS seat from Lyari, as many as 378,375 Karachiites voted in its favour.
The TLP fared even better than the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), which has ruled the province for the last decade. The PPP, for its part, secured 370, 820 votes from the city, making it the fourth-largest party in terms of popularity.
Meanwhile, the coalition of religious parties, the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, failed to make a significant dent in the makeup of the National Assembly seats from Karachi, while only managing to bag 310,089 votes. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz too failed to secure any seat, with only a select few candidates contesting in the city. Despite the low number, however, the party managed to bag 261,175 votes.
The Pak Sarzameen Party, which had claimed it would sweep the elections in Karachi, was seemingly rejected by Karachiites. The party failed to secure a single seat and only managed to get 99,746 votes from across the city, making it the second least popular party, ahead of the Awami National Party that received 21,831 votes.