The Politics of Surveys in Pakistan

02 Feb

Owing much to the concept of ‘paying heed to issues that don’t need our attention’, politics of surveys is yet another trend in Pakistan. The problem is that such surveys can’t be exaggerated to an extent where they can serve the purpose of forecasting election results and they can’t be ignored completely by the parties that aim at contesting in the elections. Therefore, the findings and abstractions interpreted from the political polls/surveys should be projected according to their limitations. Each new survey becomes a topic of debate in the mainstream media. Anchor persons and analysts start gauging the people-to-politician interactivity level on the basis of these surveys. Where the results are being effectively publicized, due attention should also be given to the research methodology and sample size used by the Institutes. In addition to this, there are some general questions that are completely ignored while discussing the results.

In October 2012, a survey conducted by the International Republican Institute (IRI) notified about the increase in Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz‘s (PML-N) popularity while a slight decline in Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf‘s support. Another startling revelation was that 91 percent of those who were included in the sample size, believed that Pakistan was heading in the wrong direction. There has been no substantial debate over this disappointment attached with the people who are likely to caste their votes in the upcoming elections as they all belong to an age group of 18 +. The sample size of the survey conducted between July and August 2012 was 600,1. The latest one was conducted from a pool of 4,997 people from November 2 to November 22, 2012. Apart from the decrease in sample size there was also a shift in the public opinion over the most pressing issues faced by the country. In the previous survey, Pakistanis considered energy crisis and inflation as the two most challenging issues in the country. In contrast, the latest survey reveals that now “terrorism” is a major problem of Pakistan and the research concluded that people aren’t in favour of new provinces.

Another thing left unnoticed is that the IRI missed Federally Administered Tribal areas and Chitral due to political turmoil and volatile security situation in those regions. This still leaves a question mark on the complete popularity graphs of various political parties on regional/provincial basis. The furore over this survey, isn’t an objective way to portray the findings. However, it does provide some ‘points to ponder’ to the national political leadership. For the masses it is among other electioneering gambits.



Posted by on February 2, 2013 in Political Ticker


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3 responses to “The Politics of Surveys in Pakistan

  1. amjadbullo

    February 3, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Madam Now a days PML Functional is get popularity in sindh . Pir sahab get more votes in election madam people are like the pir policy madam . Let see madam what happening in election

  2. amjadbullo

    February 3, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Madam PML N only in Punjab province . PPP is most popular in province of sindh and balochistan . How we can say that the PML N is most popular in punjab madam . Punab is not province which lead the country.

    • Fakiha Hassan Rizvi

      February 3, 2013 at 4:50 pm

      @Amjad This is where the survey goes wrong as I have implicitly pointed out in the article. The popularities are on provincial or regional basis. However, analysts do opine that being the most populous province of Pakistan, Punjab does represent a substantial chunk of ‘public opinion’. On the other hand, if the new province is created, then the representation of the existing Punjab will reduce in the National Assembly.


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