SDPI has launched its survey report on voting choices of people of Pakistan for upcoming general elections scheduled in 2013. The report titled “Political Barometer: A Study of Socio-Political Preferences of People of Pakistan” an upshot of opinion survey mutually carried out by Herald Pakistan and SDPI in 54 districts across the country, has thrown forward startlingly details of demographic social opinions.
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The survey was conducted in 54 districts, across the country by taking random sampling of selected groups of respondents. Number of respondents was selected from each group according to weight of the groups in population composition. In all 1283 respondents fill out the form and registered their voice in their mother tongue.
In nutshell, the Survey is an academic exercise to gauge the level of consensus on issues such as law and order, corruption, poverty, extremism, education, health, economic and foreign policies. The findings of the survey, doesn’t talk about the popularity levels of any political party and their leaders. It keeps focus on major economic issues faced by people of Pakistan and, which party would be effective in addressing them.
Survey findings show that 29% of the respondents expressed their intention to vote for PPP, 25% are in favor of PML (N), whereas 20% have indicated their preference for PTI. According to the survey, PTI derives support from all age groups, which is contrary to the notion that its vote bank is rooted in younger generation.
The survey has revealed interesting facts about the popular support for political parties. It shows that the vote bank of PML(N) is not progressing, positively or negatively.
Comparison of the voting history shows that the party has managed same percentage of its supporters. On the other side, Pakistan People’s Party has lost voters.
The party’s support has dwindled in the poorest groups that seem to be its power hub. PTI has played a part in eroding PPP’s vote bank in Urban areas.
Majority of the respondents support increase in spending on education and health, while making a substantial cut on defense budget. Respondents have termed military as the strongest institution in the country, followed by judiciary.
Respondents have called corruption as the biggest hurdle in the ways of development. Bulk of them have termed PPP as the most corrupt political party. Poor governance and incompetent leadership have also been viewed as major impediments.
PTI is identified as the most effective party in handling corruption. Where as the title of most corrupt institution in the country has been awarded to Police.
Answering questions on foreign policy respondents have ranked China as the most popular country among the people of Pakistan. They have called for having stronger ties with Islamic and SAARC countries. Majority of the respondents have strongly opposed drone strikes. At the same time they also considered presence of foreign militants on Pakistani soil as violation of Pakistani sovereignty.
It is apparent from the survey that no single political party is poised to sweep the forthcoming general elections. Based on survey findings, PPP may retain its current allies and maintain its present political clout. PML(N) may also present a strong competition. Whereas, PTI is emerging as the third option