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The younger population is likely to be the deciding factor in the results of the upcoming polls, with more than 49.76 million or 58 per cent of total voters aged 40 years or younger.—File Photo

KARACHI: Young voters are likely to play a deciding role in the upcoming general elections with over 34 per cent of voters aged less than 31 years, according to statistics obtained from the Election Commission of Pakistan.

The latest figures show that out of the total 85.42 million registered voters, 16.88 million, or 19.77 per cent of total voters are less than 26 years of age, while 12.73 million, or 14.91 per cent are between 26 to 30 years.

The largest segment of voters, 20.13 million voters comprising 23.58 per cent of the total base, is between 31 to 40 years of age.

Experts believe that the figures signal a revival in political interest and activism shown by the Pakistani youth in the forthcoming polls.

“After a revival in political interest shown by youngsters during the lawyers’ movement, the youth was largely disillusioned with politics,” says Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, Executive Director of the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT).

“In the days to come, youngsters are likely to cast more votes, especially with their recent increased participation in rallies, blogging, and political activism,” he said. “We hope there will be a revival, especially with the ‘Imran Khan phenomenon’.”

Overall, the younger population may end up playing a significant role in the results of the elections, with more than 49.76 million or 58 per cent of total voters 40 years or younger.

There has been skepticism over how many of these young voters will actually make it to the polling stations on Election Day.

However, there are positive signs that turn-out would be better than previous years.”

“In the past, the turnout for young voters tended to be less than the average turnout, as previous exit polls have shown us. This trend is likely to be reversed in the coming polls. Secondly, with the independence of the ECP, people now have greater confidence that their votes will actually count towards the results of the elections,” said Mehboob.

Province-wise, Punjab leads by a staggering 57.17 per cent out of the country’s 85 million voter base. The province also has the largest number of women voters, with 21.29 million or 43.6 per cent of the Punjab's 48.83 million voter base comprising of women.

Interestingly, 3,844 senior citizens over 100 years of age have registered themselves for voting, with the majority (2,524) of them from Punjab province.

In terms of number of voters, Sindh will be the second largest battleground in the coming polls, with the province representing 18.66 million or 21.84 per cent of all voters. 44.7 per cent of voters in Sindh are women.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa represents 14.33 per cent, while Balochistan comprises only 3.9 per cent of Pakistan’s total registered voters.

Gender-wise, men outnumber women in the total number of registered voters, with 48.25 million or 56.5 per cent male voters as compared to 37.16 million or 43.5 per cent female voters.

Unfortunately, the percentage of registered women voters is about five percent less than their ratio in the total population, says Mehboob.

However, there has been a gradual positive growth in the percentage of women voters being registered.

“In 2006, only around 30 per cent of all registered voters were women. However, monthly figures of registered voters have shown that this has been growing slowly but gradually,” Ahmed Bilal Mehboob added.

“This is a very positive trend, and we are hopeful that it will continue until gender-parity has been achieved.”

Comments (10) Closed

Malick Mar 20, 2013 10:48pm
We love and welcome to our young blood, hope they cast country blessed vote in the best interest of Pakistan. The vote is not the belonging of any individual Pakistani, vote is the property of State of Pakistan. Do not let State to suffer, cry and repeat like very soft lady, who shouted," Anarry nal yari tey jism da nuqsan"
avid_supporter Mar 21, 2013 12:20am
Imran Khan will win Inshallah.
Azam Mar 21, 2013 12:36am
Like the fresh waters from the mountains let the young rejuvenate the land.
Nasr KiKi Mar 21, 2013 01:06am
To the 100 year olds who have registered to vote I would ask three question. Did you ever educated your youth how and whom to vote in your lives of 100 years. Did you used your vote correctly? And what you did to bring a change a positive good change in your country? If your answer is in negative then please do not commit a sin at this age of 100 and over. Please just pray for the betterment of the country.
Pro Truth Mar 21, 2013 02:30am
That is the key for next elections! this segment has merely cast votes in the past but they will come out and change the course of history of Pakistan Inshallah for the better!
Abdur Razzaque Mar 21, 2013 05:52am
Hope their fresh energy and good decisions would enable Pakistan to stand on his own feet. They are well experienced with the comparative ideologies,international politics and trends and above all the basic requirements Pakistan needs at this crucial moments. They would also need to compare the importance of the religion in their society. It is only a good govt.,inspired and promised in the name of Islam can save their contemporary society, generation, proud civilization and valuable cultures from total destruction. It is only the true Islam can secure and strengthen brotherhood,abolish corruptions,mass killing,disunity,chaos and confusions It is only Islam can secure everybody and can promote the development of their own country. May Allah (swt) enables the young Pakistani generation to fulfill their 'Imanic' duties and responsibilities. Amin!
Fuzail Z. Ahmad Mar 21, 2013 08:48am
This may be a news for others but not for people who know the demographics of Pakistan. Every elections will have X millions of new voters and this figure of X can be easily found from the population growth rates 18 years ago. Every political leader calls this youth bulge as an advantage, but not just the election results, everything else deteriorates year after year. While the youth bulge is rising year after year, the percentage of poor, illiterate people within the youth bulge is also rising. Will the youth bulge vote in the coming elections and those who do vote, will they follow the voting patters of their elders?
Noman Mughal (@NafeesNoman) Mar 21, 2013 10:18am
Youth is a very important factor in upcoming elections. side by side this youth needs a true leadership with direction of real change from its leadership; with its will to prosper Pakistan, uniting, struggling and innovating a real Pakistan. And I believe that Pakistan's future is bright having Syed Munawar Hassan and Jamat Islami in the field.
Gerry D'Cunha Mar 21, 2013 01:33pm
in pakistan, it is only the youth who could topple the present corrupt system of election, where only the rich;mighty and with power can win the elections
PM Mar 22, 2013 03:52am
If elections are fair and not rig then Pakistani youth will play a decisive role in coming election,