But once again, the comparison of the seats and votes percentages reveals that the PML-N remains adept at managing a high number of seats out of a comparatively lower percentage of votes. In fact, apart from the MQM it is the only party to win more seats than votes - percentage wise.
On the other hand, the PPPP, despite its rout, continues to win over more votes than seats.
However, in 2013 it shares this honour now with the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf which in terms of seats remains lower than the PPPP but has emerged as the second biggest party at the national level if the share of votes is considered.
In fact, the disconnect between the PTI vote and seat share is the largest of all the parties represented in the bar chart.
Nonetheless, the emergence of the PTI at the national level for a party that had little or no representation in the last two elections is the biggest story of Election 2013.
Even if the party has not been able to win as many seats as some of its more ardent fans or analysts had predicted, the party has made signifcant inroads in two of the four provinces as well as having made its presence felt in Sindh. More details of this phenonemon are provided in the provincial sections.
As usual, the religio-political parties such as JUI-F and JI have not managed much success and stayed below the five per cent mark.
The only other trend is the near obliteration of the PML, which unoffically is known as the PML-Q. Nationally it was the second largest party in 2008 in terms of votes polled and it had bagged a hefty 42 directly elected seats.
Its national presence has now been reduced to two seats and around three per cent of the vote.
In the near future, once the details of the results are finalised, the focus of most analyses will be on the success of PML-N; the emergence of PTI; the unprecedented disaster that was the PPPP and the expected obliteration of the PML.
Punjab — the unexpected sweep
Punjab never ceases to surprise and 2013 was no different. In the run up to the elections, everyone was sure that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) will do well in the elections of 2013.
Several things were going in its favour such as the incumbency factor which was expected to hurt the PPPP that was ruling and had by most accounts not governed well. This was expected to benefit the PML-N.
It seems as if projects such as the Metro Bus project and the earlier Sasti Roti scheme, which was not praised by economic experts, had helped create the perception that the party was much better at delivering and governance than the PPPP.
Third, the N was seen to gain from the steady decline of the Pakistan Muslim League (that has dropped the Q since 2008) and the defections of its leaders to the PML-N.
Yet, the extent of PML-N's victory in Punjab has surprised nearly everyone.
Partly this is because the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf did not emerge as the formidable force expected in the province.
As a result, the PML-N has taken a massive 116 seats out of the 148 contributed to the National Assembly from Punjab. PTI on the other hand managed to bag a measly eight seats from Punjab.
However, more than the seats, the votes’ percentage tells the story of the change in the province.
The PML which claimed 29 per cent of the voter share in the 2008 elections has shrivelled up to barely anything, winning only two seats in 2013.
A large chunk of its vote share of 2008 has gone to the PML-N.
However, it must be kept in mind that the PML-N did not manage to reach the 58 per cent figure that was the total of the PML-N and PML share in the 2008 elections.
Even if the 2013 vote share of the PML-N was increased because of absorbing the PML share, there is still 11 per cent unaccounted for.
In any case, not all the PML share could have come the N way, as some of the former’s legislators fought the 2013 election as independent candidates; some joined the PTI and some also went to the PTI.
Furthermore, there is a severe shrink in the PPPP vote share from 29 per cent in 2008 to 11 per cent in 2013, which also needs to be traced.
The fall in PPPP’s vote share is staggering.
Even in 1997, the great anomalous PML-N sweep of Pakistani history, the PPPP still managed a 22 per cent vote share in Punjab.
This time around, it has fallen even lower though it managed two seats this time around; in 1997 it won no NA seat from Punjab. Consequently, it seems as if the PPPP and the PML have together lost around 40 per cent of vote share between 2008 and 2013 (58 per cent in 2008 versus 16 per cent in 2013), but the gain in votes by PML-N has only been 20 per cent.
This is where the PTI has shown its force. A party, which disappointed its supporters as well as the analysts with its seat tally, has attracted a hefty 19 per cent of the vote share.