Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience



Your Name:

Recipient Email:

— File Photo

The May 11 election appears too close to call, with two main contenders enjoying almost the same voter approval ratings and the third one being not very far behind, the results of an exclusive public opinion poll conducted by the Herald magazine show.

A very high 95.1 per cent of the 1285 poll respondents say they are registered to vote and 25.68 per cent of these registered respondents say they intend to vote for Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN), 24.98 per cent of them say their vote will go to Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) and another 17.74 per cent want to vote for Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

In Punjab, where more than half of all National Assembly contests will take place, PMLN seems to be the party of choice, with 38.66 per cent of the respondents indicating support for it, followed by PTI at 30.46 per cent.  The outgoing ruling party in Islamabad, PPP, is trailing way behind at 14.33 per cent.

In Sindh, PPP still enjoys the biggest share of support with 35.21 per cent respondents indicating it as their party of preference, followed by Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) with 19.37 per cent support, PTI with 8.45 per cent support and PML-N with 8.1 per cent among the survey respondents.

This is despite the fact that 50 per cent of the respondents in the province have rated the federal government’s performance as poor or very poor. In Khyber Pakthunkhwa, PTI is leading with 35.41 per cent support among the respondents while PML-N (with 12.92 per cent support) and Awami National Party (with 12.44 per cent support) are two distant runners-up. Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) has the highest backing among the poll respondents in Balochistan, at 19.18 per cent, with PPP a distant second at 8.22 per cent. The two parties leading nationally, PML-N and PTI, only have 2.74 per cent and 5.48 per cent support respectively among the respondents in Balochistan.

The poll, conducted by the Herald in March 2013 in 42 districts and two tribal agencies across Pakistan and being published in the magazine’s special pre-election issue scheduled to hit newsstands today (Wednesday), also shows high level of distrust among the respondents about the polling process. As many as 65.6 per cent of them feel that elections in Pakistan are neither free, nor fair nor transparent. Only 29 per cent respondents believe that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has the capacity to ensure free, fair and transparent elections; the number of those who are unsure about it (responding in “Maybe”) is much higher at 49 per cent. Those who say that it does not have that capacity are 22 per cent of the poll respondents.

While the respondents show an eagerness to vote (over 66 per cent of them say they will vote no matter whether the polls are free, fair and impartial or not), a significant portion of them (40 per cent) says the biggest disincentive to vote comes from the feeling that the government policies will not change. Another 24.48 per cent identify political apathy as the biggest hindrance to casting the ballot and 19.14 per cent find corruption as the discouraging factor.

Expert survey indicates otherwise

Meanwhile, the results of an exclusive Herald survey, conducted among ten distinguished experts on Pakistan’s electoral politics, indicates that the May 11 election will result in a National Assembly in which none of the three leading parties will win a simple majority of the seats.

The survey conducted in March and April 2013, and involving experts from academia, think-tanks and civil society organisations, shows PML-N getting the highest percentage of seats – at 34.89 percent, PPP getting the second highest percentage – at 24.89 percent, and PTI getting the third highest percentage of seats in the National Assembly – at 12.11 percent.

In seven experts’ opinion, PML-N will get 30 per cent or above seats – with one of them giving it as high as 44 per cent of seats. Only two experts predict that the party will get less than 30 per cent of seats and none give it below 25 per cent of the seats in the National Assembly.

The highest percentage of seats that PPP may get, according to the experts on the panel, is 35 per cent and the lowest is 18 per cent. Two experts believe that PPP will get less than 20 per cent of the seats and three believe that it will get above 30 percent seats; the rest expect it to win anywhere between 22 per cent and 28 per cent of the seats.

In PTI’s case, the highest percentage of seats it may win, according to two surveyed experts, is 16 per cent. The party’s lowest expected presence in the National Assembly could well be just seven per cent seats, according to one expert. Other experts believe that PTI will win anywhere from 9 per cent to 15 per cent of the seats in the National Assembly.

The results of the survey, being published in the magazine’s special pre-election issue scheduled to hit the newsstands today, also indicate that PML-N will get the highest percentage of votes from among the Hindko-speakers – at 49 per cent, followed by  48 per cent from among Punjabi-speaking voters. Similarly, PPP is likely to get the most percentage of votes from among Sindhi-speakers – at 52 per cent – and from among Seraiki speakers – at 46 per cent.

A rather high percentage of Seraiki-speakers – at 43 per cent – may vote for PML-N, according to the experts.

Among Pashto-speakers, ANP is likely to get the biggest share of votes at 38 per cent, followed by PTI at 35 per cent. For a large number of Baloch voters, the preferred party seems to be BNP-M, with 45 per cent of them likely to vote for that party, the panel predicted. The second highest vote-getter among the Baloch voters could be PML-N, at 32 per cent.

PTI, which is either leading or is seen as being a runner-up in most public opinion surveys, is likely to get the highest percentage of votes only from among the speakers of ‘other’ languages, including the speakers of Kashmiri, Gojiri, and Pothohari languages. Among the Urdu speaking community, however, MQM may take a clear lead by polling 71 per cent of their votes, the survey says.

Comments (69) Closed

Samiullah Khan May 09, 2013 06:13am
Abbas May 09, 2013 05:53am
What was the sample size? what were the mix? I have seen surveys where selected people are interviewed belonging to certain demography to get results which are not at all representative of the whole population. With huge majority of uneducated, unapproachable, influenced, dependent population, it is very difficult to do proper survey in Pakistan. I would certainly doubt this and other surveys!!!! We will know the result in 3 days from now.
Arsalan May 09, 2013 05:08am
PTI will rule Insha Allah!
Jamshed Khan May 09, 2013 04:43am
If the pattern of votes in the Dawn's discussions below is followed in national elections too, then PTI should be a clear winner.
shabut May 09, 2013 04:22am
The posts here are showing some other story, e.g. PTI. Get ready for a big shock.
Bashir May 09, 2013 04:22am
I believe that Pakistani people are mature enough, so as to think behind their own personal interest but on large scale for country interest. They would come out of street politics to national politics and national thinking as well!!!!!!!! If Pakistan is prepossessing means we all are progressing!!!!
altaf May 09, 2013 04:03am
i wish people of Pakistan elect PT I....we have already witnessed mess affairs displayed by traditional pol. parties of Pakistan......jeve jeve Pakistan From Altaf.....Indian occupied Kashmir
Arshad Patel,Ohio,USA May 09, 2013 01:18am
Dear Mr. SINDHI, I don't know from where have you learnt that a forklift can lift only 100 kgs. weight, for your kind knowledge, even a healthy strong man can lift more than 100 kgs. and the weight lifters go as high as 300+ kgs. And before passing comments on west or the rest of the world and others, please analyze our own past and our own efforts: What have we done so far in taking the country towards prosperity, free of corruption and above all a TRUE MUSLIM COUNTRY? Two days in general elections, I pray to my ALMIGHTY that give us knowledge and wisdom to elect a sincere and selfless person who can move the country towards prosperity and peace. GOD BLESS PAKISTAN
Usman May 09, 2013 03:54am
The survey does not hold ground because it was conducted in March.....much can and already has changed in the last 6 least sitting in the urban setting of Karachi it seems like a two way race.....PTI or PML (N), I just hope and pray that the next 5 years are better than the last 25 years.
Rehan May 09, 2013 02:18am
While PTI definitely has the most support, they are not going to win many seats. This is mainly because in our, parliamentary-style system, votes are divided into constituencies. And, the majority of rural constituencies are controlled by big landlords and waderas, who basically dictate who to vote for - that's why PPP and PML-N have so many "guaranteed" constituencies. PTI doesn't have that vote.
Zahrah May 08, 2013 08:52am
Insha'Allah, PTI it is!
Zahrah May 08, 2013 08:54am
By the way DAWN, you have a wonderful, wonderful job of election coverage.
farmerdr May 08, 2013 09:02am
PMLN is proven to be regressive and corrupt, PPP is proven to be incompetent, massively corrupt but progressive, MQM is simply vicious, PTI is the newcomer thought to be regressive but not corrupt. I would like to see PTI pairing with PPP, this could potentially be a good combination for a coalition governing this long suffering country. Military Inc. will retain Shah Mahmood. Win for the people, win for the Establishment.
Miandad May 08, 2013 09:10am
Good work by Syed Nawaz Ul Huda
Shah Nawaz May 09, 2013 01:59am
I have communicated with many people in Pakistan and have not found a single person not voting for Imran Khan. I believe only religious extremist are going in some other directions
Khalid Rahim May 08, 2013 09:40am
Finally a credible survey looking forward to a free, fair and peaceful polling.
Mahmood May 08, 2013 09:45am
PML- N has delivered despite severe odds. It has not been given full tenure to prove its worth. It must be given a free chance of full term to assess its will and capabilities.
A sincere Pakistani May 08, 2013 09:48am
It is a wonderful analysis but I am not sure what was the proportion of urban and rural respondents, which would determine the credibility of these survey results.
Muhammad Asif May 09, 2013 01:40am
Please note: "The survey conducted in March and April 2013, and involving experts from academia, think-tanks and civil society organisations" But I guess in the lasw few days, things have changed a great deal in favour of PTI and then you add to that the silient vote that would probably go more to PTI.
Maulana Diesel May 09, 2013 01:39am
Bilal, good analysis. These media men totally rely on rickshaw think tanks or try to sell off their for the appeasement of powerful. Everyone knows in the heart of his heart that Imran is going to strike and will win with majority In shaa ALLAH
Bilal Saeed Ahmad May 08, 2013 09:59am
I am sorry, i guess i am just depressed, after seeing what happened to Imran Khan yesterday and now the news excerpts from Skynews as well. There is a definitive foreign interference.The West just does not want us to prosper and until we have morons running around freely looking for fame and fortune they will succeed. But i digress, let me leave us a reminder and inshaaAllah that will suffice us: "But they plan, and Allah also plans. And verily Allah is the best of planners". (Quran 8:30)
zia khan May 08, 2013 10:04am
For God sake not PPP
niaz May 08, 2013 10:21am
insha allah coalition government of PTI and PPP
Shahid May 09, 2013 12:43am
PPP is the most corrupt party, however it has sacrificed the most for democracy.. No other party can claim this fact. That is why people still vote for it
Shahid May 09, 2013 12:41am
Vote for PTI if you want a good looking JI in power.
Shahid May 09, 2013 12:40am
Dear Bilal, If Dawn was so pro PPP, why would it show its arch enemy PML-N getting the highest % of seats in NA, Please be sensible and rational in your analysis if the surveys are not to your liking.
Junaid May 08, 2013 10:45am
11 May will turn the table in favour of PTI. InshaALLAH
Kashif May 08, 2013 10:46am
Things can turn around in favor of PTI as this election is the most unpredictable and the enthusiasm never before...
Jamshed Khan May 08, 2013 10:57am
Considering the abysmal performance of PPP over the past few years, lootings, poor law-and-order, deterioration of the society and the infrastructures, there are still so many people who want to vote for PPP? This is truley mind boggling.
bob May 08, 2013 11:21pm
frightening, thats what is. Given the performance of PPP and Nawaz league, PTI and the upcoming independents should be sweeping these rounds
Jaidi May 08, 2013 12:16pm
I shall vote for PTI :)
Ijaz May 08, 2013 12:21pm
I liked your comment but as for incompetence thing, I would request you to consider the relativity perspective of the word in current scenario (both from party's condition as well as national and international circumstance - all inclusive) then you might be able to detach it as core quality of PPP. :)
Hamid Awan May 08, 2013 12:24pm
A small correction for the writer that in Azad Kashmir the language that is spoken is the same that is known as Potohari in Potohar region and in Azad Kashmir the language is Potohari rathen than Kashmiri language. Also Gojri speakers follow Hindko regions in their voting pattern as Gojri speakers are historically connected to the culture of North Punjab and Kashmir regions.
sindhi May 08, 2013 12:35pm
Pakistan will grow only when ppl like you grow. Imran fall was becuz of basic principle of gravity. when a forklift which can only life 100 kgs had to lift 250 kgs it will give up. But you cannot not come out of satan and west that you will look at it
Khan May 08, 2013 12:39pm
People like you are the problem in Pakistan. The 'West' does not want Pakistan to progress? The West wants every country to progress, that is why they try so hard to get rid of the Neanderthals in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Pakistan does not belong in the modern world in its current state and your statement of blaming foreigners for everything proves it. Nothing will ever change as long as people like you exist in Pakistan, blaming the West for your own incompetence and everything is a conspiracy.
turi May 08, 2013 12:41pm
Bilal May 08, 2013 12:52pm
If PPP or PML(N) comes into power. Get ready for the next 10 years of misery in an already devastated country. Devastated in every sense. Only PTI will save Pakistan. Sharifs and Zaradaris should be disregarded because they are nonsense.
Bilal May 08, 2013 12:58pm
I spoke to ea friend last night who belongs to depalpur. I asked him if he is going to vote for PTI or not. He said he liked PTI the most simply because Imran Khan is the best option we will ever have. However, he said that his father wants to vote for Manzoor Wattoo because Wattoo is like their "guru". I told him how that made no sense. We have to come out of the closet and face the reality. Manzoor Wattoo is not a politician. He is a hustler. Hustlers are good at selling stuff, people like him will sell pakistan for nothing. People like Imran Khan will strive to make a New PAKISTAN. If we hope for change we need to change our way of thinking first. VOTE FOR IMRAN KHAN VOTE FOR IMRAN KHAN VOTE FOR PTI!!! PTI ZINDABAD!!!
Bilal May 08, 2013 01:04pm
One more comment on this article. I don't know how you got these surveys. It would have been better if you could have said more on the procedure you followed to conduct this survey. In my opinion, clearly PTI is ahead of any other party. Forecasters can always go wrong. Forecasters went wrong on their forecast about the recent global financial crisis of 2008 that struck almost every world economy. Next time when you write an article like this, please tell us what procedure did you follow and that findings are statistically significant or not. Now I don't know how can there be such a big difference between Herald's findings and other findings. Something is biased here. And, by the way DAWN is very pro-PPP is run by people who are extremely close to Zardari. So, I don't know when to trust DAWN!! You guys did not even show Imran Khan's campaigns properly. You guys need some improvement here...
Bilal May 08, 2013 01:06pm
Well said
Fawad K May 08, 2013 01:11pm
Experts are going to be shocked.
hakuna2matata May 08, 2013 01:12pm
The overseas pakistanis coming in huge number will be the swing for pushing PTI ahead inshallah
Raja Islam May 08, 2013 01:40pm
Some reasons for this: 1. Most of the population is crooked therefore will vote for crooks 2. All parties including the civil and military establishment are crooked so it does not matter. 3. PTI is inexperienced at governance and Imran Khan does not have a clear manifesto
Keerha May 08, 2013 01:44pm
This comment was more unpreictable than the elections of 11 May. This is never going to happen.
Ashfaq May 08, 2013 01:49pm
There are two major reasons GHQ and Respect (not Lack) of Education.
k khan May 09, 2013 03:51pm
Only PML (N) can do best in tackling the problems created by a ruling party and its allies
Amir Iftikhar Warraich May 08, 2013 02:34pm
PTI sweep electiions in Gujrat and Punjab ... inshallah
simlpysaints May 08, 2013 02:38pm
That survey does not make any sense. I think Herald should revisit its information prior to publication. Sounds like their poll was not representative.
Tariq Mehsud May 08, 2013 02:56pm
With the blessings of almighty Allah it is evident Imran Khan will be the winner and Inshallah also the Prime minister of Pakistan Allah bless you Imran Khan.
DR. AFZAL (USA) May 08, 2013 03:09pm
Asad Khan May 08, 2013 03:09pm
You do a survey and then go to the so called "experts" to determine who will win how many seats. Why the experts when the survey clearly suggests that PPP is no more except for rural Sindh. Why would I trust your experts? This election is clearly about a choice that Pakistanis never before had. It is about Pakistanis taking back their country from the clutches of the political mafias that have been holding the entire country hostage for so long. And we are so close to taking our country back.
PakBrains May 08, 2013 03:10pm
Any survey ranking PPP so high especially in Punjab is not credible IMO. Why we dont find these people on the streets but polls somehow end up finding them? Do this test: Go out and ask 100 people around you if they will vote for PPP I am sure you'll get strange looks and weird answers :-)
Raheel May 08, 2013 03:13pm
and really bad headlines.
naseem May 08, 2013 03:35pm
If this is he case, then shame on PTI and I will not vote for them.
rana1 May 08, 2013 03:39pm
PML-N worked to amass wealth under the pretext of governing and service.
aabdul May 08, 2013 03:45pm
PML-N and PPP or PML-N and ANP coalition govt. Distance chance is PPP and MQM. On the other hand, PTI has no chance at all.
Israr Khan Ismail Zai May 08, 2013 04:03pm
Wow, very interesting "survey", just simply look at the likes and dislikes on this page for the comments and you will find out which one is the favt party.
touseef May 08, 2013 04:05pm
Like it or not your comments were right on the money. You should try writing or blogging for a change.
naqash May 08, 2013 04:30pm
vote for Pti vote for pakistan,i think the policies made by imran khan and their co_workers have tremendous importance for every pakistani...
Zinda Dil May 08, 2013 05:16pm
very well said , but inshallah Imran will come and lead the way this country was meant to be led by Jinnah.
Pak Sar Zameen May 08, 2013 06:41pm
Pti... Hail imran khan...
Sahib Zar Khan May 08, 2013 07:00pm
How? Why PMLN Selected Musharraf from bieng brigade to full general.? so he is gone for his mistake. now what will he do? again to give him the country?
anonymous May 08, 2013 07:30pm
i really want to be a realist but i don't know why i feel that poll results will quash all these surveys and it will be a dawn of "naya pakistan"
Navid Khan May 09, 2013 07:43am
The prediction that ANP is likely to get a bigger percentage in KPK is simply out of question. PTI has clear mandate among the Pashtoons and will emrge victorious Insha Allah. How can ANP win as they have only filled their own pockets and has completely ignored the masses. We need a change and we need a "Naya Pakistan". And only IK is capable of doing that.
Moiz May 09, 2013 10:53am
Zinda hae Bhutto Zinda hae (Dubai mein)
Mubi Rana May 09, 2013 08:03pm
I've said to everyone that pml-n is good.they can do many good things for pakistan.but reason why i dont want to vote them is their curruptions if they have done work without doing single penny curruption i would definetly vote for pml-n bcz i like mr shehbaaz sharifs's work. This Time I'm a P.T.I Supporter.Weather they loose or not. If there was no pti i would definetly choose pml-n for next government.
ali noor May 10, 2013 05:18am
PTI will clean sweep inshallah ,i am witnessed of such huge crowd in isb yesterday ,i was PMLN supporter but looking to the families and young people i am pretty sure that PTI will clean sweep.moreover we know that media is against PTI overall.
ali noor May 10, 2013 05:20am
PMLN will win maximum 30 to 40 seats ,my bro people have taken decision they will vote for PTI
Malveros May 10, 2013 05:36am
PTI will not get more than 65 seats.