Thursday February 22, 2024

Punjab tops in voter turnout: Gallup report

Voters’ turnout data released by Gallup Pakistan shows that all provinces saw a decline in voters’ turnout

February 13, 2024
A woman casts her vote at a polling station during Pakistans national election in Lahore on February 8, 2024. — AFP
A woman casts her vote at a polling station during Pakistan's national election in Lahore on February 8, 2024. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: The voter turnout in the general elections 2024 remained almost 48 percent which is 3 percent lower than the previous general elections. The Punjab province showed the highest turnout with 52 percent whereas only 35 percent voters showed up to cast their votes in Balochistan.

The voters’ turnout data released by Gallup Pakistan shows that all the provinces saw a decline in the voters’ turnout. The Punjab province faced a five percent (56 percent-51 percent) decline in the voters’ turnout, Sindh seven percent (49 percent-42 percent) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa three percent (43 percent-40 percent).

In the general election 2024, the female voters’ turnout remained 9 percent lower than the male turnout. The gender gap was 10 percent in general elections 2018 which means the gap between male and female voters’ turnout has reduced by one percent despite the female turnout has also fallen. The gender gap was the highest in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (15 percent). However, the gap has narrowed by 4 percent as compared to general elections 2018 when this gap was 19 percent. Moreover, the gender gap in Balochistan has increased by 2 percent as compared to the general elections 2018.

According to a Gallup report, Tharparkar, Bhakkar and Bahawalpur were the highest turnout seats in the general elections 2024. Similarly, Waziristan, Khyber and surprisingly Karachi South seats showed the lowest turnout.

The report says the rejected votes’ phenomenon has remained a source of concern in the general elections. A total of 2.8 percent of the votes were rejected in the general elections. The rejected votes were high in Sindh and Balochistan provinces. In 2018, the number of rejected votes was 3.13 percent of the total which means the 2024 general elections rejected votes are lower than the previous elections.

The three major parties’ vote share in the general elections as per the Gallup report shows Pakistan Tehrek-e-Insaf got 31 percent votes, PMLN 24 percent and PPP 14 percent. In Punjab the top three parties almost retained their share.

Whether the elections were competitive or not? The report shows that in Punjab the victory margin between the winner and runner-up was low for most of the constituencies. In Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa the victory margin was high for the most seats.

“Generally voters were upbeat about the elections – the highest number in past 3 elections as the voters thought the elections would help improve the condition of the country when asked on Election Day by Gallup,” the report says.

According to the Gallup report, the opinion of the voters on the election day and a day after the election shows that a significant majority (87 percent) of the voters trust the electoral process of the general elections were free and fair.

“Similarly, the impartiality of the election staff was the same as in the previous three elections. The voters on the voting day wanted the elections to lead to stability and consensus. Some people think that all the political parties should set aside their differences after the elections and should work together,” the report says.