Published Date: Mar 6, 2013
SDPI launches report on voting choices of people
Development Policy Institute (SDPI) on Tuesday launched the report on voting
choices of people of Pakistan in upcoming general elections. The report titled
"Political Barometer: A Study of Socio-Political Preferences of People of
Pakistan" is the outcome of opinion survey jointly conducted by Herald
Pakistan and SDPI in 54 districts across the country.
on the occasion, Dr Abid Q Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI said that survey
was an academic exercise that gauged the level of consensus on issues such as
law and order, corruption, poverty, extremism, education, health, economic and
foreign policies. He said the findings must not be confused with popularity
levels of different political parties and their leaders.
the findings of survey, Dr Suleri said majority of voters were divided on
various policy issues including who to vote and what issues were critical at
the moment for the country. He shared that 29 percent of registered voters
expressed an intention to vote for Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) whereas 24.7
percent pledged support for Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), while 20.3
percent indicated a preference for the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI).
said 42 percent of respondents believed inter-provincial relations in Pakistan
were disharmonious and there was almost equal demand for creation of new
provinces. Apprising on voting choices on the basis of ethnicity, he said, 55
percent Sindhis favoured PPP, 34 percent of Pakhtuns were in favour of the PTI,
43 percent Punjabis supported PML-N whereas 47 percent of Balochis favoured
Dr Suleri said survey findings indicated that PTI derived support from all
ages, dispelling the notion that the PTI’s vote bank was concentrated in
younger generations. He said, looking at those results and voting histories,
the PML-N’s vote bank appears to have remained stable while the PPP’s seemed to
have declined significantly, whose voters appeared to be shifted towards PTI.
said the survey identified an alarming trend, which showed that society was
getting more radicalised where 53 percent wanted the government to promote
Hijab; 30 percent considered honour killing acceptable and justified; 26
percent wanted the government to ban women working along men; and 19 percent
wanted a ban on women contesting elections and taking parts in sports.
Vaqar, Deputy Executive Director, SDPI briefed participants on socio-economic
trends of the survey and said that majority of the respondents supported
increased spending on education and health, while making a substantial cut on
defence budget. They also termed military as the strongest institution in the
country, and then comes judiciary and other power groups.
Ahmed Ramay, Senior Research Associate, SDPI presented survey findings on
peoples preferences on foreign affairs. He said China was the most popular
country among people of Pakistan, adding that respondent also called for having
stronger ties with Islamic and Saarc countries with 88 percent and 74 percent
support respectively. He informed that 57 percent people strongly opposed drone
strikes while at the same time they also considered presence of foreign
militants on Pakistani soil as violation of Pakistani sovereignty.