Islamabad: The Pakistani opposition party led by former cricket star Imran Khan is gaining ground in opinion polls ahead of a 25 July general election, with one survey showing it pulling ahead of the ruling party and another showing it only slightly behind.
A survey by Pulse Consultant showed Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) ahead with the support of 30 percent of respondents nationwide, compared to 27 percent for its main rival, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) was at 17 percent.
A separate nationwide poll by Gallup Pakistan had PML-N on top with 26 percent, PTI with 25 percent and the PPP at 16 percent.
Both polls were commissioned by Pakistan’s Jang Media Group and were published earlier this week in its affiliated newspaper, The News. They each surveyed about 3,000 people, with a margin of error of 1.6 percent for the Pulse survey and 2-3 percent for Gallup.
The new polls indicate a swing towards Khan’s party compared to similar nationwide polls in 2017, which put the PML-N 8-9 percentage points ahead of PTI.
Khan’s political fortunes have improved since PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif was removed as prime minister by the Supreme Court last year over undeclared assets.
Sharif, who was disqualified from politics for life, now faces a verdict in an anti-corruption court today along with his daughter Maryam, who is running for the Pa...