WASHINGTON: The latest US survey of public opinions in Pakistan reveals that PML-N is now the most popular party in the country, followed by PTI and PPP.
The survey by the International Republican Institute also shows that the majority disapprove the creation of Southern Punjab province.
The report on political parties includes a comparison of two recent surveys, showing their positions on national and provincial levels.
Founded in 1983, the IRI is funded by the US government and conducts international political programmes and opinion polls.
Their latest survey declares PML-N the favourite on national level, with 32 per cent approval. The PTI is second with 18 per cent and the PPP is third with 14 per cent. PML-Q and JUI-F have two per cent each.
Asked if they would support the creation of a new province in Punjab, 21 per cent Pakistanis said they would, strongly. And 14 per cent said they would “somewhat” support it. Nine per cent said they “somewhat” opposed it while 41 per cent said they strongly opposed it. Fifteen per cent had no opinion.
A similar poll in August 2012 showed 21 per cent Pakistanis strongly supported the creation of a new province in Punjab, 16 per cent backed it reluctantly, nine per cent said they “somewhat” opposed it and 42 per cent strongly opposed it. Twelve per cent had no opinion.
A comparison of the last two surveys showed that the PML-N had 28 per cent popularity rate in August 2012 which increased to 32 per cent in the latest poll. PTI’s popularity rate decreased from 24 to 19 per cent. PPP retained its position with 14 per cent in both surveys.
MQM also increased its support from 3 to 4 per cent. PML-Q maintained its 2 per cent while JUI-F’s increased from one to two per cent.
In the previous poll, 18 per cent said they did not know which party to support while in the latest, 17 per cent remained uncommitted.
In Punjab, PML-N increased its support from 43 to 49 per cent. PTI, however, receded from 27 to 19 per cent. PPP made a slight gain, from 7 to 8 per cent. PML-Q also gained one percentage point, from 2 to 3 per cent.
In Sindh, PPP remains the most popular party, although its support base decreased from 39 to 32 per cent.
MQM remains second as its support base increased from 11 to 16 per cent.
PTI is third but its support base also shrank from 13 to 9 per cent.
PML-N gained, from 6 to 8 per cent but PML-Q lost two points, from three to one per cent.
In KPK, PTI remains the most popular party, gaining between August and November 2012, from 20 per cent to 32 per cent.
PML-N gained three points, from 9 to 12 per cent.
PPP maintained its 5 per cent support base while JUI-F improved from two to five per cent.The current ruling party, ANP, also gained two points, moving from one to three per cent.
PML-Q showed a hundred per cent loss, from one per cent to zero.
In Balochistan, PTI is ahead of other parties, although popular support for the party dropped by nine per cent, from 26 to 17. PPP made the biggest gain, from five to 18 per cent.
JUI-F moved from four to eight per cent and PML-Q from three to five per cent.
Field work for this poll was conducted by the Institute for Public Opinion Research, Islamabad. Oversight and analysis was provided by Robert Varsalone of Maven Public Affairs.
A multi-stage probability sample was used. In the first stage, the sample was stratified into four provinces. In the second stage, the sample was further stratified into districts within each province by rural and urban categories. In the third stage, each district was further stratified by union councils.
Face-to-face interviews were conducted. The interview teams comprised both men and women.
Sample size: 4,997 Eligibility: age 18 and older Margin of Error: ±1.4 per cent Response Rate: slightly more than 75 per cent.