LAHORE - The mainstream political parties have made tall claims of winning the maximum number for seats in the next elections, but the grounds facts may tell a different story.
The PML-N, the PTI and the PPP are parties assessing their seats tally high in tomorrow’s election with the view to reach the power which, however, does not appear possible without mustering support of other parties, alliances and independents.
The party having the highest stakes this time is the PML-N as this party has been passing through a very turbulent period since emergence of Panama leaks and the subsequent disqualification of Nawaz Sharif as a member of the Parliament. The PML-N frenziedly needs the election victory that may help it tide over the present predicament.
In the last elections, the PML-N won total 129 NA seats, the PTI 28 and the PPP 33 of the total 272 general seats.
The PML-N which ruled the Centre and the Punjab over last five years is estimating certain victory on 107 National Assemblies seats across the country in the July 25 polls. Previously, the party had claimed getting clear victory on over 120 seats with maximum number from the Punjab, but later the number came down. Most of the election surveys conducted by national and intentional organizations counted the PML-N ahead of its main rivals, the PTI and the PPP, but a margin for the PTI was kept to take a lead over N-League where close contests were predicted.
PML-N Central Media Committee Chairman Mushahid Hussain Syed, on the basis of the party surveys and projection by the organizations, estimated the party seats between 100 and 110, which in the final count stands precisely at 107 at the party end, excluding those constituencies where the party has tight contests. Contrarily, an institutional survey gave a total of 72 seats to the PML-N in its projection, 99 to the PTI and 35 to the PPP. This estimate, given in the last days shifts in the public mood, is, however open to change.
Of the 107 seats, the PML-N is sure to get 12 seats in Lahore. Of the Total 141 seats in Punjab, the party expects win in 80 and close fight on 37 others while it hopes to get 11 of 39 general seats in KP and four seats in Sindh (all from Karachi) of the total 61. It is also sure to bag all three seats of Islamabad. From an impartial outlook, the PML-N projection appears somewhat ambitious, given the new factors in the field, a changed situation from the past and its rival at a better stead than the last elections.
The PTI is also projecting its tally between 120 to 140 seats and getting its members elected from all the four provinces unlike the PML-N which appears losing hopes in Balochistan. Senior PTI leader Shafqat Mahmood finds the party best placed to win the election with big a margin. The PTI is mainly banking on Punjab and KP. In Punjab the party feels touching the figure of not less than 80 seats while it is upbeat about capturing 24 of 35 seats in KP and four in Sindh and two each in Islamabad and Fata. The party sounds in a good position in Rahim Yar Khan, Rajanpur, Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, Jhang, Sargodha, and Chakwal after many electables and those who hold their ancestral constituencies switched over to this party over the last few months. Surveys have also shown the PTI in a better position to clinch seats which were won by the rivals previously.
The PPP mainly focuses on Sindh where it is sure to get 35 to 40 seats of the total 61, up to 35 in Punjab, four in KP and one in Fata. As such the party projects its tally around 80 seats, which, if achieved, would be reckoned as a new and positive political re-emergence of the party under the leadership of Bilawal Bhutto.
The six-party alliance, MMA, is being projected getting 12 to 15 seats with maximum from KP and Fata, MQM from 10 to 14, GDA up to 10 seats and independents and others about 35 seats.
This estimate is not final, but guessed in view of the transformations and changes that took place over the last five years at the national and international level and their effect on the mind of the voters.