As we approach the 2018 General Elections, the ultimate question on everyone's mind is - can Nawaz Sharif's PML-N withstand the latest barrage of corruption scandals and judicial scrutiny and win another term, or will it succumb to the opposition's onslaught and lose its majority in the upcoming elections. To answer this question, we go back to the data to first identify which political party (or parties) poses the biggest threat to PML-N in this electoral race. Is Imran Khan's insurgent PTI the main competition for the Sharif's, or is Zardari's PPP in a position to wrest back power from the PML-N?
In a previous post we showed using an interactive map how PML-N came to power in 2013 by sweeping Punjab and winning nearly 80% of seats in that province. In this post we we use a similar mapping approach but this time highlight the runners up parties in each constituency so you the reader can identify which parties are the main contenders behind PML-N and on what seats could they potentially go from being second place to the winner. Below the runners-up map are aggregate tables showing party positions (winner vs runner-up) by each province and more granular provincial regions. Combining both gives us insight into how PTI may well be the biggest runner-up party overall, however, there's a significantly large number of seats where the electoral race was primarily between PML-N and PPP, or PML-N and Independence candidates. A longer list of learnings we've gathered from our analysis is included at the bottom of this post. Please take a look and share any other interesting insights you can uncover.
Figure 1 - Map of Runner Up Parties By NA Constituency
The map above and the aggregated tables below illustrate the regional nature of the electoral races. For example, you can see how PML-N and PTI are competing against each other in Northern and Western Punjab, while the race in Southern Punjab is primarily between PML-N and the PPP or Independents. On the other hand the Karachi region is purely a battleground between MQM and PTI, while much of KPK and FATA is a race between JUI-F and PTI.
Table 1 - Overall seat positions by party during the 2013 General Elections
Table 2 - Seat positions by party in each province during the 2013 General Elections
Table 3 - Seat positions by party within Punjab during the 2013 General Elections
Table 4 - Seat positions by party within KPK during the 2013 General Elections
Table 5 - Seat positions by party within Sindh during the 2013 General Elections
Table 6 - Seat positions by party within Balochistan during the 2013 General Elections
Here's a quick summary of our analysis results. Please do share your feedback, suggestions, and additional insights in the comments sections below.
While PTI was the primary runner up party in 2013 - coming in second on 30% of seats - a significant portion of seats also saw PPP and Independent candidates come in second.
PTI was the main competitor to PML-N in Northern & Western Punjab and KPK's Hazara division, while the race in Southern Punjab in 2013 was interestingly between PML-N vs Independents or PPP.
The Karachi Region saw the rise of PTI as the main competitor to MQM, with PTI winning 1 seat and coming in second on 16 other out of 21 seats there.
Outside of the Hazara Region where PML-N performed well, a majority of seats in KPK were contested between PTI and JUI-F, with JUI-F coming in second on almost 30% of seats in KPK & FATA.
Each of the 3 major political parties have clear regional strongholds. For PML-N it was Central Punjab (won 94% of seats), for PTI it was Peshawar Valley (won 62% of seats), while for PPP it was Interior Sindh (won 80% of seats).