ISLAMABAD: Fifty per cent of the country's population supports the present government, with 49 per cent favouring the opposition, the latest survey of public opinion in Pakistan conducted by the International Republican Institute (IRI) said.
The IRI, which works with the stated goal for advancement of democracy worldwide, conducted the survey during August 1-26, 2013. It is a national representative sample of adults from 70 districts in all provinces, excluding Fata and Chitral.
Male, female, illiterate and educated respondents from different income groups were included in the surveys and were asked questions on key areas relating to democracy, elections, etc.
According to the findings, 50 per cent Pakistanis supported the current Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) government, with 49 per cent favouring the opposition and 60 per cent in support of the National Assembly.
About the rating of national institutions in terms of efficiency and performance, 89 per cent favoured the army, 80 per cent went with the media, 66 per cent with government schools, 63 per cent expressed their preference for the judiciary, 61 per cent for government hospitals, and only 29 per cent favoured the police.
When asked how they would rate the performance of the PML-N government, 10 per cent respondents rated the performance of the government as very good, 48 per cent rated it as good, 22 per cent rated as bad, 11 per cent rated it as very bad and nine per cent did not respond.
The surveyors asked likely voters that if the elections for the National Assembly were held next week, who were they most likely to vote for. Thirty-three per cent responded that they would vote for PML-N, 11 per cent for Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf (PTI), nine per cent for Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), two per cent each for Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Jamaat-i-Islaami (JI) and Pakistan Muslim League – Functional (PML-F) while one per cent each said they would vote for Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Fazl (JUI-F), Pakistan Muslim League – Quaid (PML-Q) and Awami National Party (ANP). Twenty-five per cent did not respond to the question.
Forty-two per cent of the respondents identified electricity and 21 per cent inflation as the most troubling issues faced by the country. This was followed by unemployment at 12 per cent and terrorism at 10.
Three per cent each termed law and order, corruption and poverty as the most important issues.
Only one per cent considered gas/petrol as the single most important issue facing Pakistan. Three per cent said there were other important issues confronting the country.
When asked about the timing of holding the local government (LG) elections, 64 per cent replied that LG polls should be held next year, 17 per cent responded in the negative and 19 per cent did not respond.