What will be the political voting preferences in Pakistan for next general elections?

What will be the voting preferences in Pakistan for next GE? | Baaghi TV

Absence of NOTA [None of the Above] option on electoral paper means that the voter will have to make a decision from the list of candidates put before them. He does not have the option to reject all.

From dynastic parties to MQM, to PTI, to Tehreek-e-Labaik and JI, what will be the mix?

Situation in Pakistan can change overnight. The scenario on ground may well change by the time we move closer to elections. However, as things stand today & based on information one gets- here is a shrewd calculation:

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PML-N will suffer in the next general elections. PTI had laid grounds for a disastrous economic situation. Their removal & subsequent PML-N’s rush to take over the reigns was the worst mistake they could have made. Due to IMF pressure, many hard hitting economic decisions had to be made and more will follow, due to diktat of IMF. This was inevitable no matter which government had come to power. Being largely a PML-N playground, it will be PML-N that will pay the price by losing seats.

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On the other hand, the lack of ability by Khan to form policies that should have shown consistency, instead his high handling of party members and other erratic approaches, PTI will see breaking away of many from its fold before the general elections. They will make a bee-line for membership in the party that shows greater promise to be the incoming major winner. Just like they rolled over towards PTI.  Also, PTI’s failure will be the gain of JI as already witnessed in Karachi, in LB polls, it gained 83 seats as opposed to PTI with 40. Tehreek-e-Labaik too will bag some residual seats from PTI. MQM too, can pick up more seats if it presents a joint front. JI stands a good chance to win in KP as well.

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The likelihood as things standing today is that PPP will emerge as the main ruling party. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has shown great promise as Foreign Minister. PPP has emerged as the party with greatest numbers in the LB polls Karachi with 93 seats. Many analysts are fond of saying that Karachi’s politics follows its own stream as opposed to other provinces. This may have been true in the past, but the wind blowing today is different  and favors PPP. Though Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, may be Pakistan’s future Prime minister, we cannot rule out the possibility of the slot of Deputy Prime Minister being created for him with a mature leader in years as the Prime Minister also from PPP.

Two predictions will not change. One, the fact that voter turnover across the board will be very low and two; it will be a coalition government.

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The writer is a lawyer, academic and political analyst. She has authored a book titled ‘A Comparative Analysis of Media & Media Laws in Pakistan.’ She can be contacted at: yasmeenali62@gmail.com and tweets at @yasmeen_9

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