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Jan 28, 2013

IRI Survey: An Analysis of the Key Findings

Just months before the elections, the latest IRI survey is out and is full of interesting information. By now all of you must have read the headlines that the PML – N is leading the polls nationally and in the last 4 months has gained 4%-age points nationally (From 28% to 32%) while the PPP is still solid at 14 %-age points. The survey for the first time provided empirical evidence to something we all knew was going on; the PTI’s losing momentum having dropped 6 %-age in the last few months.    

In addition to the national polling sentiment, the IRI survey also puts forward new data such as support for parties based on gender where PML – N is in lead too. This information debunks the theory that women voters prefer the PTI or PPP over PML - N.

Political Party
Male Voters
Female Voters

Based on the survey results, PML – N has gained ground across all the four provinces. PTI is in a comprehensive lead in KPK while PPP for some reason is still going strong in Balochistan even though they themselves dissolved the provincial government. In Sindh, the PPP’s lead has dropped about 7 %-age points to 32% but even after that they are in comfortable lead. MQM has gained 5 %-age points to 16% in the last few months and are comfortably the second largest party in Sindh according to the survey results. Meanwhile PTI has seen its support drop in Sindh to a mere 9%.

In addition to political party sentiments the survey also asked the question ‘Would you support the creation of a new province in southern Punjab?’ The answers to this are as follows:
Jul/Aug, 2012
Nov, 2012
Strongly Support
Somewhat Support
Somewhat Oppose
Strongly Oppose
Don’t Know

The data indicates that about 65% of the people do not support the creation of South Punjab with 50% explicitly stating that they would not support any such measure while 15% are unsure of its utility. To put this in to perspective, three political parties (PPP, MQM and PML – Q) whose combined support 20% is of nationally and just 11% in Punjab are trying to do something that is opposed by 65% of the population.

But probably the most eye opening insight from the IRI survey is the list of key issues for Pakistanis. Corruption, which is probably the most talked about issue in the media and general conversations is not even within the top 4 concerns of Pakistanis! Instead the main concern for likely voters is Inflation with 32%, followed by Unemployment with 20%, Water and Power with 13% and Terrorism with 10%. The issue of corruption is 5th on the list with a mere 7% of the population calling it their main concern. Shockingly the issue of poverty is dead last on the list with only 5% of the people calling it their main concern for the upcoming elections. Based on this insight, political parties need to have a rethink of what they are selling to the public i.e. corruption is not the top priority for the voters anymore. Economy and economic issues are worrying Pakistanis the most and that is one of the reasons PML – N seems to be doing well on such surveys as Economy is considered to be their domain.

Its the 'Economy'Stupid!
All political parties are reacting to the IRI Survey in their own way. PML – N hails it as their success, PPP is doing the whole cry baby thing they do, PTI has matured enough to logically take in the trends and work on them while PML – Q is looking for ‘mitti’ to throw at this survey. Point is, a single survey will not decide what happens in our country as that is what voters are for, but what a survey does is show us what direction we are heading in. This survey is nothing more than a snapshot of public sentiment within a specific period of time. Political parties need to learn from these findings and start making the changes that their voters are now demanding. 

1 comment:

  1. Now I understand why do people call you a 'Paid Noora' ; What a shitty piece you have written sire- Thumbs up!