Sargodha by-election: Exit poll predicts PML-N’s victory


SARGODHA: The exit poll exercise conducted by the Coalition for Elections and Democracy (CED) in by-elections of Sargodha’s PP-30 constituency indicates that the independent candidate backed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has a clear lead.

Candidates contesting the polls include Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Rao Sajid and independent candidate Yasir Zafar, who is backed by the ruling PML-N. The provincial assembly seat fell vacant due to the demise of Chaudhry Tahir Sindhu.

According to the exit poll survey, the PML-N-backed candidate bagged 55.40per cent votes as against 26.32per cent votes bagged by the PTI candidate. It was conducted on a sample size of 1444 voters, including 731 males, 713 females. The voters who abstained to share their view were 12.19per cent of the total sample.

The responses were collected from 40per cent of total 137 polling stations set up in the constituency. Total number of registered voters in the constituency is 1,73,919, including 98,145 male voters, and 75,774 female voters.

Total number of polling stations set up in the constituency is 137 with 417 polling booths, 228 for male voters and 189 for female voters. This report presents the responses of the voters from sampled polling stations taken throughout the day. Candidates without party affiliation continued dismal performance in Punjab by claiming only a total of 6.1per cent of the polled votes.

The analysis of exit poll data shows some interesting trends. The gender breakdown of the exit poll result shows that PML-N candidate attracted more female voters than males. As per the responses of the voters participating in the exit poll, the PML-N obtained 52per cent of total male votes as against 59per cent of the total female votes.

On contrary, the PTI candidate received backing of 29per cent and 24per cent of total male and female votes, respectively.

Elaborating more on the voter mix the exit poll shows that 47.50per cent of voters choosing PML-N backed independent candidate were male as compared to 52.50per cent of females. Moreover, 55.79per cent of voters voting for the PTI candidate were male and 44.21per cent were female.

The exit poll also presents interesting data about educational qualifications of the voters. There has been a slight shift in trends in this by-poll as compared to the by-elections held in last few months.

In PP-30, the PML-N seems to be a clear choice for almost all educational groups, including illiterate, primary, matric, graduation and masters. The support enjoyed by the PML-N-backed candidates remained 63.31per cent, 61.36per cent, 44.39per cent, 45.09per cent and 56.67per cent in these educational categories, respectively, as compared to 16.73per cent, 23.01per cent, 36.63per cent, 36.42per cent and 28.33per cent for the PTI in the same categories.

However, PTI enjoys majority among voters with educational qualification as M. Phil/PhD in the sample.

The connection between age group and vote choice sees a drastic change in relation to the past trends. The PTI had clear choice of younger voters in the past by-elections; however, in PP-30, the PML-N leads among voters from age group 18-22 and 23-35.

The PML-N is also a clear favourite for the age groups 35-50, 51-65 and 65+. Interestingly the age group of 18-22 showed polarised trend with 47.55per cent going to the PML-N-backed candidate while 37.06per cent going to PTI candidate.

Interestingly the voter choices of different professional groups seem to toe the trends of previous by-polls. PML-N enjoys popularity among, unemployed, housewives, daily wagers, self-employed / farmers, private business, government and private jobs groups. PTI, however, has a majority only among students and industry workers.