LAHORE - As the PML-N begins to ease out of power, it is heading for a close contest with the PTI in the provincial capital on at least six NA seats, according to the polls surveys which also project its clear victory on an equal number of seats.

PTI, on the other hand, is comfortably placed in two constituencies out of total 14 as per the current assessment of its candidates and their campaign pattern. But at the same time, it is having very close fight with the PML-N candidates on at least six NA seats.

And, if it is able to win half of these, and there is strong probability of it to happen, its tally in Lahore would become five which would be a significant improvement on its previous performance in the PML-N stronghold. 

PTI had won only one National Assembly seat in 2013 elections from the City.

PPP stands little chance of making any upset on any seat in the City.

If Samina Khalid Ghurki can defeat PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif and PTI’s Mansha Sindhu in NA-132, it would be major upset in a City still considered a fortress of the PML-N. Likewise, if Aslam Gill of the PPP can knock out PML-N’s Pervaiz Malik and PTI’ Ejaz Ch from NA-133, it will come as a great surprise for many. No PPP candidate in other constituencies is in a position to pose a challenge to his opponents.

The above assessment about the major players fighting for dominance in the provincial metropolis is based on the polls surveys conducted by different organisations, interviews with heads of local groups in the constituencies and this reporter’s own assessment of the contesting candidates.

While the actual situation will get clear on July 25, the PML-N which had secured 12 out of total 13 NA seats from Lahore is now at the risk of losing at least half of the seats it had won in the previous election.

Here is a brief account of 14 NA seats from Lahore up for grabs on July 25.

A certain ratio of votes has been assigned to the candidates to depict their likely performance in the upcoming contests.

NA-123

According to the poll surveys, PML-N candidate Malik Riaz is most likely to get 50 per cent of the total votes from this constituency. PTI’s Maher Wajid Azeem, his main rival, is not expected to get more than 37 per cent of the votes while 12 per cent of the votes may go to smaller parties.

NA-124

PML-N candidate Hamza Shehbaz Sharif is most likely to get 65 per cent of the total votes as against 30 per cent of his rival, Noman Qaisar of the PTI.

Five per cent of the votes will go to other candidates.

NA-125

The projected ratio of votes to be obtained by PTI’s Dr Yasmin Rashid and Waheed Alam of the PTI is 50:40 respectively. Religious parties are expected to bag rest of the 10 per cent votes.  

NA-126

It is among the six hotly contested seats in Lahore though the PTI’s candidate Hammad Azhar is having a slight edge over PML-N’s Mehar Ishtiaq. Here, the estimated ratio of votes is 46: 44 respectively. Rest of the 10 per cent votes will be obtained by other parties. 

NA-127

PML-N’s Ali Pervaiz is comparatively placed better in this constituency compared to Jamshaid Iqbal Cheema of the PTI. The projected ratio of votes in this constituency is 45: 38 respectively. Ali Pervaiz is contesting election from this constituency in place of Maryam Nawaz Sharif.

NA-128

This seat may also go to the PML-M as its candidate Rohail Asghar is most likely to get over 57 per cent of the total votes to be cast on the polling day. His rival, PTI’s Ejaz Diyal is expected to get not more than 30 per cent votes, according to the poll surveys. 

NA-129

A tough and close fight is likely on this seat between Aleem Khan of the PTI and Ayyaz Sadiq of the PML-N. Both stand an equal chance of victory on this seat with a projected vote ratio of 45: 45. Analysts believe that the candidate who shows better management skills on the polling- day will grab this seat.

NA-130

Shafqat Mehmood of the PTI and Khawaja Hassan of the PML-N are set to engage in a very close fight this time also. Shafqat had won this seat in 2013 by a narrow margin of around 7000 votes. This time, the projected ratio of votes for the two is 46:43 respectively. 

NA-131

PTI’s Imran Khan Niazi is most likely to win this seat but he will have to work really hard to get on the victory stand. Khawaja Saad Rafique of the PML-N is also running an impressive campaign in this constituency. Various poll surveys have assigned an estimated ratio of 60:40 to the two candidates respectively.

NA-132

Poll surveys have placed PML-N President Mian Shehbaz Sharif far ahead of his rivals in this constituency. He is expected get 65 per cent of the total votes. PTI’s Mansha Sindhu and PPP’s Samina Khalid Ghurki will get the remaining 35 per cent of votes in varying proportions, according to the estimates. A minor per centage of votes may also go to other candidates also. 

NA-133

This constituency is bracing for a neck-to-neck contest between Pervaiz Malik of the PML-N and Ejaz Ch of the PTI. They are expected to get votes with the estimated ratio of 40:40. The rest of the 20 per cent votes would be shared between Aslam Gill of the PPP, Liaquat Baloch of the MMA and Zaeem Qadri, an independent candidate.

NA-134

Rana Mubashir Iqbal of the PML-N is most likely to defeat Malik Zaheer Abbas Khokar of the PTI in this constituency. The estimated ratio of votes here comes to 45:38 respectively. 

NA-135

Malik Saiful Malook Khokar of the PML-N and Malik Karamat Khokar of the PTI are going to fight a close battle in this constituency. Malook is expected to get 46 per cent of the total votes whereas Karamat is likely to end up getting 43 per cent of the total votes. 

NA-136

Malik Afzal Khokar of the PML-N is highly likely to win this seat by getting 50 per cent of the total votes. His rival, Malik Asad Khokar of the PTI has been projected to get 40 per cent of the total count as per the poll surveys.