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Pattan’s snap poll on Sunday by-elections

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A majority of voters of by-election constituencies were found in favour of early general elections, though more than one-fourth of them perceived Election Commission, provincial and federal governments partisan and 12% of the respondents believed the by-polls were not held in a free and fair way. A significant majority of the voters were likely to vote for PTI on Sunday. These are some of the salient findings of an opinion poll being conducted by PATTAN on 13 and 14 October at 186 locations of the by-poll areas. On average 16 polling areas of each by-poll constituency participated in the survey.

Regarding holding of general election earlier, overall 55% of respondents were likely to favour to have early election, while 60% of PTI supporters and 52% of PDM voters also favored the early election demand.

It appears due to repeated postponement of by-elections; some voters appeared to have lost interest in polling. Resultantly it may become responsible factor for reduction in turnout on Sunday. As far popularity of contesting parties, overall, the respondents from 60% locations were likely to vote for PTI, while 31% opted for PDM supported candidates. Only six percent opted for TLP, while one percent said they would vote Jamaat-i-Islami. The respondents were also asked to which party they had voted for in general election 2018. Fifty one percent had voted for PTI in 2018, while 23% had voted PMLN, which appears to have reduced to just 10%. This seems to consolidate the fact of PMLN decline.

To gauge freeness and fairness of the conduct of by-elections, PATTAN probed opinions of the participating respondents. As many as 16% reported usages of illegal means to increase vote bank such as distribution of cash, gifts, and intimidation etc. More than 10% also believed that elections were not held fairly and freely, while 26% reported initiation of some kind of development project in constituencies.

Read more: Inequality in the quality of elections and governance

Regarding usage of 8300 to check registration of vote on roll and allocation of polling station, a large majority appeared to have failed due to high cost, restricted use of SMS packages of some cell phone companies.

PATTAN will conduct exist poll on Sunday and release its findings on the same day with media.