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Political Barometer Phase I
By: SDPI

Partner:Heinrich Boll Stiftung (HBS) & Monthly Herald

Duration: June 2013 to December 2013

Locale:? Islamabad, Karachi Lahore, Peshawar & Quetta

Status: ?Closed

Team Member: Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Shakeel Ahmed

Background:

The advent of political opinion surveys may well be an indicator of electoral democracy’s evolution and maturity in Pakistan. In the run up to general elections 2013 in Pakistan, an attempt was made in December 2012 to understand the factors, which affect the voting decision of people. Respondents were divided along the fault-line of religion, sect, ethnicity, ideology, party affiliation and geographical location across 54 districts. They were probed to assess their policy preferences on issues such as economic empowerment, religious freedom, access to information, health, education, drone attacks, trade with India, defense etc.

About 1100 respondents were interviewed in 54 districts of Pakistan.

Objectives:

  • To gauge perceptions on politics and opinion of people on socio-political issues
  • To predict the election outcomes
  • To study people’s voting behaviours

Findings:

  • Survey identified an alarming trend, which was related on the radicalization of society, as 53% respondents wanted the government to promote hijab, 30% considered honor killing acceptable and justified, 26% wanted to ban women working along men, and 19% wanted a ban on women contesting elections and taking part in sports.
  • Some 42% respondents believed that interprovincial relations in Pakistan were disharmonious and there was almost an equal demand for the creation of new provinces. From an ethnic perspective, 55% of Sindhis favored PPP, 34% of Pakhtuns favored PTI, and 43% of Punjab supported PML-N whereas 47% of Baloch favored BNP-Mengal.
  • Survey findings indicate that PTI derives support from all ages, dispelling the notion that the PTI’s vote bank is concentrated in youth. PML-N vote bank appeared to have remained stable while the PPP’s seemed to have declined significantly, whose voters appeared to have shifted towards PTI
  • Majority of the respondents were divided on major policy issues. In December 2012, at least 29% respondents expressed their intention to vote for Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), 24.7% pledged support for Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), and 20.3% showed a preference for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)
  • The findings were carried by Herald Magazine that brought a special issue on SDPI’s Survey findings in February 2013

SDPI Political Barometer: A Study of Socio-Political Preferences of People of Pakistan

  • Voter preferences: The political contest
  • Political Barometer: A measure of citizen perceptions on national issues
  • Citizen perspectives on Pakistan?s foreign relations?
  • Media influence on political preferences
  • Societal reflections on gender issues in Pakistan?
  • Societal reflections on inclusion of minorities
  • The importance of culture and voter preferences in the context of cultural arts
  • Governance in Pakistan: Gauging institutional control?
  • Civil military ties and balance of power
  • Domestic policy and internal conflicts?
  • Interprovincial relations, implications for Elections 2013
  • Societal perceptions on the state of corruption in Pakistan