Welcoming our next prime minister: Mian Nawaz Sharif

Published: March 7, 2013

Pakistan Muslim League (N) registered as a first choice vote on 37 percent of the surveys PHOTO: REUTERS

The Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT) alongside Gallup released a thorough report on March 4 on public opinion in the run up to the spring elections.

By all measures, it was the most representative survey conducted during this election cycle, with over 9,500 people surveyed, in more than 200 urban centres and 300 villages, across all four provinces and nearly 100 districts. The sample included Pakistanis of all backgrounds, income-level, education, linguistic group, and geographic region.

For those who may not have the time to read the lengthy report, a concise summary is as follows; Nawaz Sharif is likely to be your next prime minister with Imran Khan’s PTI as the most preferable partner in an alliance.

Although you may have already been aware of this, now the members of PPP and PTI can finally find closure from their denial stage and begin their process of grief.

Pakistan Muslim League (N) registered as a first choice vote on 37 percent of the surveys, while both the PPP and PTI jockey for the runner-up status with 16 percent support, respectively.

The strength of these numbers is evidenced by the blow dealt to the PPP recently. Nawab Lashkari Raisani, the former president of the PPP Balochistan branch, alongside 21 other provincial leaders defected to join the main opposition party, PML-N, citing alienation and failure on part of the government to stem sectarian violence.

These responses shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Last December’s by-elections for nine seats all across Pakistan led to a similar conclusion; PML-N won seven of the nine, while PPP and PML-Q won a seat each.

A micro-analysis of the surveys reveals a better picture, and confirms regional strongholds. PML-N was supported by 54 percent of Punjabis while nearly 35 percent of Sindhis favoured the PPP. And perhaps because of Imran Khan’s stated commitment towards ending military operations in the tribal areas as well as his crusade against drone strikes, 30 percent of those polled in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa favoured the PTI.

In Balochistan, a host of regional parties consolidated under one “regional parties” label led with 36 percent, while PPP played second fiddle, garnering 17 percent of the support. Given the recent turn of events in Balochistan, this support is likely to dwindle.

An analysis of voting patterns from the past four elections, spanning 20 years, shows that the regions with highest level of change in voter intentions seems to be in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.  The rest of Pakistan has favoured a specified dominant party in each of the last four elections, which provides further evidence of deep entrenched regional influences of the individual parties in Punjab and Sindh.

What separated this survey from the others conducted in the past — most notably the much debated International Republican Institute poll — was that it offered a glimpse into which party may be a potential partner in an alliance.  Across Punjab and the all-important industrial hub, Karachi as well as other areas in Sindh, PTI enjoys approval as a second choice vote. In other words, in the likely event of a PML-N victory, PTI will be sought after as an important alliance partner, meaning that its voice will be projected on a much larger stage than ever before.

Although  elections are yet to start, polling spread out over the course of the past several months continues to confirm that barring some delay in elections or a military coup — fingers crossed against both propositions — Pakistan will be led by someone other than President Zardari.

Given that General Kayani has confirmed his backing of a fair and speedy election, the chances of this poll mirroring results come spring should be high.

But then again, this is Pakistan we’re talking about, where surety lies outside the lexicon.

Read more by Hamza here.

hamza.mannan

Hamza Mannan

Hamza Mannan is a freelance writer and his work has appeared across various newspapers.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • De

    Pakistanis, get ready to see the last of our countryRecommend

  • ahmed

    The Opinion have been taken from 9,000 people and compare that to the latest Intra Party Elections of PTI which were held in KPK and Punjab where million’s voted for PTI.

    http://tune.pk/video/40730/Overall-Situation-of-PTI-Intra-Party-Elections-in-Punjab
    http://tune.pk/video/40718/A-Positive-Side-of-PTI-Intra-Party-Elections-in-Punjab-Recommend

  • But why

    ok so now shias will be killed pakistan-wide and not only in karachiRecommend

  • Sane

    Nawaz Sharif is the best among the worst.Recommend

  • http://talhaansari.com Talha

    Without undermining the credibility of the survey, data tells us that 2-months are more than enough to completely alter an election dynamics. One shortfall these surveys have, and will always have, is that they only take an instantaneous picture on a situation. They are statistically incapable of incorporating the variables which have strong correlation with the public popularity. One such variable is ‘campaigning-effort’ by political parties. A simple number crunching exercise over past elections data (from throughout the world) will tell us that ‘campaigning-effort’ has a strong correlation with ‘public-leanings’ (or else why would anyone even care to campaign?). The on-ground fact is that PTI has not been campaigning at all because of their intra-party elections (this has only started to change now). Once they press their paddle, I would expect their numbers to go up.Recommend

  • Imran

    I think it is about time IK bury his hatch with NS & form an alliance against PPP & MQM. PTI & PMLN opposing each other goes only to the benefit of PPP, MQM & ANP which means 5 more years of load shedding, corruption & destabilized security situation across the country. The only province that has shown progress (needless to mention a very good progress) during last 5 years is PMLN dominated Punjab. PTI workers must convince their leadership to consider some rationality this time. Its election season already & time is slipping away below our feet. PTI dreaming of a clean sweep is not helping Pakistanis in any regard & the remains of the momentum it had generated during last 18 month is not going to last long. Daydreaming wouldn’t get anyone anywhere.Recommend

  • Dr Dang

    @But why:
    Stop spreading bias and hatred. Pakistanis are being killed all over the country, only idiots would be selective in condemning terrorism.Recommend

  • Hina

    PPP defectors joining PML-n shows both parties have the same mindset but different names. Pakistanis are way too stupid if the bring same back into powerRecommend

  • Fahd

    My analysis on your article is as follows:

    In south punjab, apart form bahawalpur nawaz sharif is very weak. PPP and PTI have the electables there. Besides there is a large anti nawaz mood in south punjab due to pro lahore development policies and ignoring south punjab ( i am a lahori btw)

    In central and upper punjab, the elections will be between pti and pmln. The impact of that will be judged after 23rd march jalsa of imran khan. I hope you write another article after that.

    Now for baluchistan, neither ppp nor pmln nor pti will win a single seat from there. Do u really think the baloch will vote for raisani after what his brother did there? baloch nationalist parties and Mahmood achakzai will win along with Jui F. In KPK, nawaz sharif has not done a single jalsa nor visited the place apart from swat where ameer muqam is there. He has done seat adjustment with juif and in process with anp. May I ask who is he doing this adjustment against? of course PTI. and you will see reality on 10th march peshawar jalsa as to whom KPK belongs. In sindh, it will be a three way dance between mqm, ppp and pmlf + nationalists. Peer pagara and nationalists will be in majority, pmln alone does not have a single seat there from any constituency. So to sum up, nawaz sharif is only a force in central and upper punjab and over there he will be challenged by PTI.

    Please mark my words, Nawaz sharif will never ever become prime minister of Pakistan again InshAllah. neither in this election nor in the other. The tusks of an elephant are different from its actual teeth. By manipulating and bribing the media nawaz and pmln are surely giving this impression that they are next in power, but the reality will be different. Hopefully you will write another article after the election day!!!!Recommend

  • GhostRider

    God forbid if this happens…goons of LeJ will enjoy their honeymoon period.Recommend

  • Ali

    @Imran:
    you do your deal with the devil, we will dream on.Recommend

  • Ali

    @Dr Dang:
    Denying genocide won’t end it.Recommend

  • Imran

    @Ali
    I don’t think it would hurt if you somehow manage to stay niceRecommend

  • Namaloom Afraad

    Once bitten, pardoned. Twice bitten, stupid.Recommend

  • Supariwala

    Nawaz Sharif is a full politician style..Pakistan will always be Pakistan..good god.Recommend

  • Sane

    @De:

    Pakistanis, get ready to see the last of our country

    We are already at ‘Last’. What else the last could be.Recommend

  • Parvez

    The message that Tahirul Qadri came to give about changing the system and strengthening the CEC so that laws and rules are followed, was not heard because all the beneficiaries of this corrupt system got together and drowned him. To be honest he also messed it up with poor timing and his own credibility issues.
    If the CEC went by the book and the letter of the law 90% of these politicians would not be eligible to rule.Recommend

  • M Baloch

    Democracy in the times of Shriat Bill (added flavour of Saudi Arabia). A new Saudi Arabia on the way, brace up girl and drive your cars as much as you can before the Saudi laws come into the land.Recommend

  • Aasim Mukhtar

    @fahad..
    You have nailed it man.. Add another impact, SMQ has followers in Ghotki and adjacent areas, expect a seat or 2 for PTI from that area as well..

    My analysis on your article is as follows:
    In south punjab, apart form bahawalpur nawaz sharif is very weak. PPP and PTI have the electables there. Besides there is a large anti nawaz mood in south punjab due to pro lahore development policies and ignoring south punjab ( i am a lahori btw)
    In central and upper punjab, the elections will be between pti and pmln. The impact of that will be judged after 23rd march jalsa of imran khan. I hope you write another article after that.
    Now for baluchistan, neither ppp nor pmln nor pti will win a single seat from there. Do u really think the baloch will vote for raisani after what his brother did there? baloch nationalist parties and Mahmood achakzai will win along with Jui F. In KPK, nawaz sharif has not done a single jalsa nor visited the place apart from swat where ameer muqam is there. He has done seat adjustment with juif and in process with anp. May I ask who is he doing this adjustment against? of course PTI. and you will see reality on 10th march peshawar jalsa as to whom KPK belongs. In sindh, it will be a three way dance between mqm, ppp and pmlf + nationalists. Peer pagara and nationalists will be in majority, pmln alone does not have a single seat there from any constituency. So to sum up, nawaz sharif is only a force in central and upper punjab and over there he will be challenged by PTI.
    Please mark my words, Nawaz sharif will never ever become prime minister of Pakistan again InshAllah. neither in this election nor in the other. The tusks of an elephant are different from its actual teeth. By manipulating and bribing the media nawaz and pmln are surely giving this impression that they are next in power, but the reality will be different. Hopefully you will write another article after the election day!!!!Recommend

  • I am a Khan

    Ethnic Politics :( His slogan of ‘Jag Punjabi jag’ has finally worked. If only his slogan was Jag Pakistani Jag….sigh.Recommend

  • Umar Khan

    @Imran:
    I totally agree with you!Recommend

  • Umair

    @Fahd:

    Well my opinion about south punjab is they never voted for performance unfortunaetly they play a role of slums under feudal lords when it comes to voting. They mostly voted for PPP and will keep voting for PPP but if they vote for IK or NS that would be a decider.

    As far as spendings are concerned you better have look at this http://tribune.com.pk/story/516706/punjab-governments-performance/

    Balouchistan has same story of feudal lords so they have fix candidates and fix seats and majority has just joined PML N or announced a joint venture.

    KPK is where IK has real vote bank but PML N is trying hard for seat adjustment and they may succeed.

    My point is, what you are talking is something ideal and Pakistan is a country which never give surprises :) Recommend

  • umer

    one thing the blog overlapped completely is the Leader’s popularity which the survey itself clearly states a high turnover for IMRAN KHAN. Those who are reading this blog kindly read the survey itself. I can assure to all PTI’s supporters that they would definitely find a ray of hope while observing IMRAN KHAN’s PE GAP:)Recommend

  • Syed

    Over 40 million Shias of Pakistan won’t be voting for Narendra Modi of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Raniya

    I WANT TO GIVE ADVICE….TO POARTY THAT NOT GIVE TICK TO OUTSIDER ON THE BASE OF MONEY…..GIVE TO LOCAL PEOPLE..Recommend

  • [email protected]

    @Sane:
    Hardly a saving grace considering that Pakistan has enough talent and potential to nurture and find out the best of the best. the whole democracy thingy is screwed as a systemRecommend

  • Muhammad Haris

    May ALLAH (s.w.t) save and protect Pakistan from Nawaz Shareef PML-N and Asif Zardari and his allies.Recommend

  • go zardari go

    Celebrating before the war has even started. Nothing wrong with that right. So another survey just showed up today saying the ppp is most popular what does this tell us. That this is still Pakistan and anything can happen come election day.Recommend

  • roadkashehzada

    Nawaz Sharif as PM, Shahbaz Sharif as Water and Power minister and Saad Rafiq/Khawaja Asif as CM punjab.Recommend

  • http://twitter.com/myrakhan Myra

    Seems like the only thing we want our politicians to have in common is CORRUPTION!

    Fool us once, shame on you.
    Fool us twice, shame on us.Recommend

  • MAD

    So i take it that this country is cursed.Recommend

  • qais

    Insallah he will be next pm then u will see the condition of karchi he will again revise operation clean up in karchi same as 1992.Recommend

  • http://www.pmln.o qais

    @Hina:
    no no if pppp people join pti then u say that these peoples are coming on pti idealogy and if they join pmln then u say lootas wah kia baat haiRecommend

  • http://www.pmln.org qais

    inshallah nawaz sharif will come and u will see he will revise operation cleanup again in karachi.Recommend

  • m.a.shah

    I agree with the views expressed by Fahd. Let me add, the recent polls arranged by some, does not take into account that PTI were busy in their internal elections (which in itself is a big achievement) and they were not out on the electoral campaign. Pml(n) position is desperate, therefore they are taking in all so called electables without their past performance and their reputation. I think Pml(n) has peaked soon as we still have time for elections. People are sick and tired of all these incompetent and corrupt mafia and THEY WANT A CHANGE. PTI is now going to start its election campaign so you watch their jalsa of March 10, at Peshawar and March 23, at Lahore. I foresee an absolute different political scenario after this. So lets hope and pray May Allah (swt) gives the reigns of our country in the hands of educated, honest, sincere and bold people. To try time and again these uneducated, corrupt and incapable people is mere lunacy. May Allah (swt) guide us at this delicate moment of our history.Recommend

  • Shazy

    The survey tell the true story. who are not believe on it may be the looser of end game. PML(n) attain good repute due to its matured behavior of its leadership. on the other hand PPP and PTI leaders lose there credibility due to confusing behavior at different occasions.Recommend

  • Ismail Suleman

    I would suggest Musharraf should return back to the country as he is the sincere leader who can steer the country out of crisis. For PTI i would say that they are atleast better than Nawaz Sharif, but PTI has less chances of winning, If PTI makes an alliance with Musharraf that would be a good combination, as Imran khan has no experience about governance. Majority of the people in Karachi, and few parts of Pakistan want Musharraf back and some are demanding an alliance of Imran Khan and Musharraf. I really feel an alliance between Musharraf and Imran khan would be better so that people make choices and there would be a third political option, Majority of the liberal minded in Pakistan are sick of both corrupt parties PPP and PML(N) so thats why third political option is necessary. During Musharraf era some very good things like economic development took place and the country was on the vague of success. If People of Pakistan do not make a sensible decision at this particular time than Pakistan would have to face massive problems in the future.Recommend

  • Fiza

    @ Ismail Suleman: I second you. The alliance between Musharraf and PTI would be the best for our country! The others have been tried and tested and disappointed us immensely…they are beyond redemption.

    I agree in Musharraf’s era a lot of good initiatives were taken: high GPD growth (exports & foreign reserves increased, rupee was stable at around 60-61 to a dollar) Free media, women’s rights, International image improved, arrested some big shots who were considered untouchable, enlightened moderation, (which is the need of the time), progressive Islam, Infrastructure Development and the list goes on..

    He made some mistakes but the good thing about him he never manipulated people in the name of religion or to get his own way. Recommend

  • Sane

    @qais:
    Insallah he will be next pm then u will see the condition of karchi he will again revise operation clean up in karchi same as 1992.

    Being a Karachite and Urdu Speaking I totally support to an operation clean-up against all criminals and against specially to those who have made this city hostage. Those who have introduced the culture of Bhatta and Parchi starting from Zakat, Fitra and Khal (hide of scarificial animals). They are the worst enemy of their own so-called nation; the Urdu Speaking. They did nothing but made Karachi as a horror story.Recommend