On one hand, party workers across parties are often unhappy with the way party tickets are distributed - a scarce commodity with many contenders and getting one party ticket is a big deal.
On the other hand, Imran Khan is running for the National Assembly seats from 5 constituencies spread across the country. Shahbaz Sharif is running from at least 3 constituencies to hedge against the risk of losing in one.
It might feel bizarre that Pakistani law allows candidates to run from constituencies that they don’t live in and from multiple ones at the same time. This typically leads to by-elections when candidates end up winning from multiple seats.
There are many strategic reasons for why parties would want to field the same candidate in multiple constituency but we looking back at the 2013 elections, we wanted to assess whether running from multiple seats was a winning strategy in the long term?
The answer is both: Yes and No.
Yes, it helped candidates like Chaudhry Nisar Ahmad and Shah Mahmood Qureshi play the odds and make it to the National Assembly despite election losses.
No, except the two seats won by Nawaz Sharif, none of the other seats were retained by the party of the candidate. Imran Khan’s PTI, for example, could only retain the one seat that he chose not to give up, and so on.