The ruling Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf retained it’s National Assembly’s seat in constituency NA-4, during by-poll, 2017 conducted on Thursday. The seat in NA-4 had fallen vacant when the PTI’s MNA Gulzar Khan, passed away on August 28 this year.
For the first time, electronic voting machines (EVMs) were used to maximize the transparency of the election. According to Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), 100 polling booths used ECM’s. The by-poll were considered to be the litmus test to the popularity of ruling party, especially keeping in mind the upcoming general elections next year.
A total of 14 candidates, including Six political and eight independent candidates, contested for the MNA slot in NA-4.
According to the official results, PTI had won the contest by significant margin and secured 45,734 votes, while Awami National Party (ANP) stood 2nd, securing 24,874 votes. Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) (PML(N) and Pakistan People’s party (PPP) received 24,790 and 13,200 votes respectively. The turn out was 37.25%, 3.09% less than the turn out in general election, 2013.
Although, PTI succeeded in retaining it seat in NA-4, however the following statistics suggest that PTI has lost 5% votes as compared to 2013. While ANP, PML(N) and PPP has gained 7.48%, 4.14% and 1.36% votes as compared to 2013.
Following graph shows the percentage of votes received by the candidates of PTI, ANP, PML(N), PPP and other contestants.
These statistics tells us that PTI has to some extent failed the litmus test. The increase in voter bank of ANP, PML(N) and PPP is worrisome for PTI. Although PTI still has lead in constituency with 15.89% votes in the area, the decreasing margin shows the changing political alliances in Kyber Pakhtunkhwa.