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71pc won’t change their voting behaviour in NA-120: survey

By our correspondents
September 06, 2017

LAHORE: With just 12 days to go to polls in NA-120 bye-election, Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) appears to be enjoying a rather unassailable pre-poll lead in this constituency, according to a pre-election poll conducted by Institute for Public Opinion Research (IPOR).

According to the pre-poll survey conducted on PML-N's request, the PML-N is leading the PTI by 15 percent which can be considered a significant margin keeping in view the time remaining for canvassing and campaigning.

A total of 2,198 people were interviewed by IPOR according to their report, out of which 49 percent said that they would vote for PML-N while 34 percent expressed their intent to vote for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. The two provincial constituencies that fall under this National Assembly seat are PP-139 and PP-140. In PP-139, 55 percent respondents sided with PML-N while 29 percent with PTI while in PP-140, 54 percent said they would vote for PML-N while 26 percent were PTI voters.

Another interesting trend that was revealed by the survey was the people's openness to reconsider their traditional voting patterns. According to the survey, 71 percent of the people said they won't change their voting behaviour and will continue voting for the same party they did last elections while only 27 percent expressed openness towards reconsidering their voting choices.

NA-120 has been a PML-N stronghold and has won elections in this constituency since 1985. The poll also shows that 76 percent of the respondents of the constituency were satisfied with the performance of the PML-N while 25 were dissatisfied.

In response to another question regarding the trust of the respondents of NA-120 regarding the PML-N promise of resolving energy crisis by the end of 2017, 68 percent expressed their trust in this promise while 32 percent termed it unlikely.

Another interesting result of the poll was regarding the public perception as to why was former prime minister Nawaz Sharif disqualified. Despite major campaign by Nawaz himself and the entire PML-N, 55 percent believed that he was disqualified over corruption allegations while only nine percent believed that it was due to the Iqama issue.

When it came to gender split, PML-N captured 36 percent of the male and 18 percent of female vote. The PTI's numbers show 19 percent male and eight percent female vote. Demographically, PML-N led PTI in all age groups, which the IPOR segregated into four brackets vis-à-vis 18-25, 26-40, 41-50 and 50 plus.