Islamabad, July 16: With less than 10 days remaining for Pakistan to go to polls, pre-election surveys have been released presenting a grim picture of the electoral mood. Here's what the opinion polls have predicted for the three major parties - Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan People's Party (PPP).
Although PTI chief Imran Khan enjoys unprecedented popularity, his party is still facing a strenuous challenge from Nawaz Sharif's PML-N on the ground. Similarly the PPP led by Bilawal Bhutto, despite being projected as the third player, maintains significant electoral presence in Sindh and Balochistan, the opinion polls claim.
Pakistan General Elections 2018 Opinion Poll: What Surveys Have Predicted So Far For PML-N, PTI and PPP?
Survey prediction for Punjab: The three major surveys, conducted by Pulse Consultant, Gallup Pakistan and IPOR, claim the PML-N will gain more than 50 per cent votes in the state.
The province will be crucial in determining the results of parliamentary elections as 148 of the 272 seats contested are accounted from Punjab. The surveys, however, have predicted a surge for the PTI as their voteshare projection has jumped from 18 per cent in 2017 to 30 per cent in the latest opinion polls.
The PPP is likely to remain a non-factor in Punjab as the Gallup survey claims it would end up with less than 10 per cent votes in the province.
Survey prediction for Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa: A clear wave in favour of Imran Khan is predicted as 57 per cent respondents in Gallup opinion poll said they would be voting for the PTI. In another survey, conducted by Pulse, PML-N and PPP are predicted to secure only 10 per cent and 9 per cent of the votes, respectively.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, however, is not as electorally significant as Punjab as the province accounts for 35 seats in the national assembly.
Survey prediction for Balochistan and Sindh: The two provinces, with 14 and 61 seats respectively, have been the traditional strongholds of the PPP.
The Gallup survey predicts the Bhutto-Zardari family-led party t retain 44 per cent of the votes in Sindh -- the same electoral share it grabbed in 2013. PTI and PML-N are predicted to bag less than 10 per cent of the votes.
In Balochistan, the PPP is predicted to emerge as the single-largest party with 36 per cent of the vote share. The PTI trails as the second spot, with nearly 12 per cent vote share prediction, the opinion poll claims. PML-N, all surveys, claim will received less than 10 per cent votes in the province.
Mood of the voter on the national scale: PML-N vs PTI a battle still close to call?
Gallup survey still puts PML-N a notch ahead, predicting an overall vote share of 26 per cent, closely followed by the PTI at 25 per cent. The PPP trails at a distant third spot with 16 per cent of the votes.
The Pulse opinion poll has given Imran Khan the edge with 30 per cent of the votes, followed by 27 per cent to the incumbent PML-N.
The poll pundits, however, claim the return of Nawaz Sharif to Pakistan and his arrest could serve as a shot in the arm for PML-N cadres. It remains intriguing to see on who would take over as the next head of the nation - Imran Khan or Shehbaz Sharif?