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 results of an exclusive Herald survey conducted among 10 top experts on Pakistan’s electoral politics indicate.
The survey conducted in the last week of March 2013, and involving experts from the academia, think-tanks and civil society organisations, shows Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) getting the highest percentage of seats — at 34.89 per cent, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) getting the second highest percentage — at 24.89pc, and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) getting the third highest percentage of seats in the National Assembly — at 12.11pc.
In seven experts’ opinion, PML-N will get 30pc or above seats — with one of them giving it as high as 44pc. Only two predict that it will get less than 30pc seat and none gives it below 25pc. The highest per cent of seats PPP may get is 35pc and the lowest is 18pc. Two experts believe that the party will get less than 20pc seats and three believe it will get more than 30pc. The rest expect it to win anywhere between 22 and 28pc seats. In PTI’s case, the highest per cent of seats it may win, according to two survey experts, is 16pc.
The party’s lowest expected presence in the National Assembly could well be just 7pc, according to one expert. Other experts believe that PTI will win anywhere from 9pc to 15pc seats in the National Assembly.
The results of the survey, being published in the magazine’s special pre-election issue which was scheduled to hit the newsstands on Wednesday, also indicate that PML-N will get the highest percentage of votes from among the Hindko-speaking voters — at 49pc, followed by 48pc Punjabi speakers. Similarly, PPP is likely to get the most percentage of votes from among the Sindhi-speakers — at 52pc — and from among the Seraiki speakers — at 46pc. A rather high percentage of Seraiki speakers — at 43pc — may vote for PML-N. Among the Pashto-speakers, ANP is likely to get the biggest share of votes at 38pc, followed by PTI at 35pc.
For most Balochi speakers, the preferred party seems to be Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) with 45pc of them likely to vote for it, according to the survey experts. The second highest vote-getter among the Balochi-speakers could be PML-N, at 32pc. PTI, which is either leading or is 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, Pothohari languages. Among the Urdu-speakers, however, MQM may take a clear lead by polling 71pc of their votes, the survey says.