Despite trenchant criticism from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) is currently the most popular party in the country, a survey has shown.
The survey carried out by the International Republican Institute (IRI) posed the question that if the elections for the National Assembly were to be held next week, who were the respondents most likely to vote for. The results revealed a 3.7 per cent increment in PML-N’s popularity and a shocking 22.6% decline in PTI’s vote bank.
Conducted between July and August 2012 from a pool of 6,001 respondents, the survey compared results from an earlier survey carried out in February 2012.
According to the IRI survey, 28 per cent of the respondents agreed to vote for PML-N, closely followed by PTI at 24 per cent. The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) took the third spot with 14 per cent votes whereas Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) polled 3 per cent.
When asked about electing representatives in the provincial assemblies and the National Assembly, 43 per cent respondents from Punjab agreed to vote for PML-N. In spite of facing severe criticism with respect to its governance from rival parties such as PPP and PTI, the political party maintained its top position.
Furthermore, according to the survey, PTI lost 18.2 per cent of its vote bank, with 27 per cent of the respondents agreeing to vote for the party in July-August compared to an earlier 33 per cent.
A 22.2 per cent slash in PPP’s popularity was witnessed in the province, and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) was chosen by two per cent of the respondents.
In Sindh, the PPP took the top spot, however, according to the survey, the party has lost its popularity in the province by 7.1 per cent.
The survey demonstrated an upsurge in MQM’s popularity, with a 22.s per cent increase in the party’s vote bank.
PTI took second place but witnessed a sharp decline of 13.3 per cent in its vote bank. No change was seen in PML-N and PML-Q’s popularity in Sindh.
A downward trend in political parties’ popularity was witnessed in K-P. Even though PTI remained the most preferred party with 30 per cent of the respondents agreeing to vote for it, it lost its vote bank by 38.8 per cent.
Similarly, according to the survey, the Awami National Party (ANP) lost 92.3 per cent of its vote bank with only one per cent of the respondents agreeing to vote for them in the current survey as compared to 13 per cent in Febuary 2012.
The PPP’s popularity also showed a sharp decline by 75 per cent as only two per cent of the respondents agreed to vote for the party.
There was no change in respondents’ preference for PML-N and nine per cent of the respondents agreed to vote for the party.
There was a downward trend witnessed in Balochistan as well. PTI took the top slot with 26 per cent of the respondents agreeing to vote for it. However, the party lost 38.8 per cent of its vote bank with an earlier figure of 35 per cent of the respondents favouring the party.
The PML-N was preferred by only eight per cent of the respondents.
According to the survey 91 per cent of the people believed that Pakistan was heading in the wrong direction. Respondents termed electricity and inflation to be the two most important issues being faced by Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 29th, 2012.