Key reasons behind voter choices in Pakistan since 1993

Kasim Abbasi
People can be seen in line to cast their votes in the 2024 general elections on February 8, 2024, in Karachi, Pakistan. —
People can be seen in line to cast their votes in the 2024 general elections on February 8, 2024, in Karachi, Pakistan. —

ISLAMABAD: The primary reason why people cast their votes for their favourite political party is to have their government-related issues resolved, such as police and court matters, as revealed by Gallup Pakistan’s book on previous elections since 1993.

Other significant reasons cited by voters included development initiatives, loyalty to respective political parties and the belief that their chosen party is more competent than others. 

The most common reason given by voters of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was their desire for development initiatives. The second most cited reason among the PML-N voters was the expectation that their court and police-related issues would be addressed under their preferred political party.

Most voters, who have chosen the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) since 1993, said that their vote was due to their loyalty to the party. In contrast, the voters who supported the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in past elections, said they chose the respective party because they wanted their police and court matters, among other issues, to be resolved.

Gallup’s book on the past 11 general elections of Pakistan reveals that from 1993 till 2018, in the past six elections, the majority of people voted because they wanted their police and court matters resolved and were seeking representation from the elected leader.

Furthermore, 21% of the total participants in the past six elections said they voted because they wanted their government-related matters resolved under their chosen political parties. Whereas, 19% of the total voters said they voted for their preferred candidate because they sought development work in their respective areas and throughout the country.

Moreover, 16% of the total voters cast their votes out of loyalty to their political parties, making it the third most common reason for voting and 13% of the total voters in the last six elections believed their chosen political party to be more competent than others. 

Similarly, another 13% of the public mentioned they chose their political party based on religious beliefs and honesty while 8% of the voters cast their votes due to personal relations with the candidate from their community.

Furthermore, 2% of the people voted for their preferred party because they wanted another party to lose and 4% of the voters cited other reasons, while 3% stated they didn’t know why they chose any political party.

Originally published in The News