63% of Pakistanis support PM Imran’s smart lockdown strategy: survey

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ISLAMABAD: A recent survey published by the Institute for Public Opinion Research (IPOR) on Thursday showed that a significant number of Pakistanis support Prime Minister Imran Khan’s approach and handling of the coronavirus pandemic, reported The News.

The report showed that among the 52% of the ‘satisfied’ Pakistanis, 25% said the performance was ‘very good’ and 27% believe it was ‘good’. As many as 63% respondents support the ‘smart lockdown’ policy by the prime minister.

On the other hand, a substantial 42% seem dissatisfied with the prime minister’s response to the pandemic — 14% said that the Centre showed “bad” performance while 28% said it was “very bad”.

When comparing Sindh government’s policy seeking a complete lockdown and Prime Minister Imran Khan’s smart lockdown strategy, the majority of the people supported the premier.

PM Imran Khan’s smart lockdown strategy has secured more support in the survey than CM Murad’s complete lockdown strategy as per the IPOR survey. 

The survey indicated that the majority, 63% went with PM Imran’s policy, whereas 21% approved of a complete lockdown supported by the chief minister Sindh.

However, for the very first time since elections of July 2018, the PML-N has surpassed PTI in its popularity with 32% of the respondents said they will vote for PML-N, While 29% said PTI, 13 % respondents said they would vote for the PPP. This survey was conducted by IPOR, the same research agency that successfully predicted PTI would beat PML-N in 2018 elections.

Majority of the respondents think former Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif can solve Pakistan’s challenges. 

As far as leaders are concerned, 27% thought Shehbaz Sharif can solve Pakistan’s challenges while PM Imran trailed behind with 22%. PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari came in third, and last, with only 5% thinking he can solve the country’s challenges best. 

In the survey, 46% respondents believe that Imran Khan will be a good prime minister, while 44% believe he wouldn’t be. 21% respondents supported Imran Khan for ‘change’; 19% for honesty and development work; and 16% for his fight against corruption. Those respondents who disapprove of him say that the premier has lack of political experience (22%); is bad for country (15%) and takes U-turns and is non-serious (11%).

27% of the respondents say they will vote for the PML-N if elections are held across the country tomorrow

Another survey showed that across the country, the majority would vote for the PML-N if elections were held tomorrow, with 27% saying they would vote for the PML-N, 24% favouring the PTI and only 11% saying they would vote for the PPP. 

The survey showed that in Punjab 50% respondents would vote for the PML-N and 31% for PTI; in KP 45% respondents would vote for the PTI and 12% for PML-N; in Sindh 35% respondents would vote for the PPP, 18% for PTI and 10% for PML-N; and in Balochistan 16% respondents would vote for the PPP, 12% for MMA, 10% for PkMAP and 8% for PTI.

On the budget, 52% respondents expressed dissatisfaction, while 21% respondents supported it.

About the single most important issue facing Pakistan, 26% respondents said unemployment, 14% thought it was loadshedding, 13% said it was corruption, 12% believe inflation is the main issue, while 8% each believe drinking water and poverty are the main issues of Pakistan.

The survey revealed that 33% of the respondents believed that the carelessness exhibited by masses was the reason for the spread of the virus, while 11% believe that a ‘lenient’ lockdown was behind the spread.

The report also said that a majority of the population, 67%, are ready to get themselves vaccinated if a vaccine for the novel virus is available in Pakistan while 25% expressed doubts and said they would not get vaccinated.

Explaining the reason behind not getting vaccinated, 19% of respondents said they did not trust it while 17% believed it wasn’t needed, 15% expressed the virus was nothing but a rumour, and 13% claimed it would kill them.

The IPOR poll of 1,702 adults was conducted during June 19-30 through Computer Assisted Telephonic Interviews (CATI) had 54% of respondents from Punjab, 23% Sindh, 17% KP, 6% Balochistan.

The survey consisted of 54% male participants and 46% female. Of these, 19% were from the age group 18-25, 47% were between 26 and 40 years old, 20% were between 41 and 50, and 14% were above 50 years of age.

In response to a question about whether respondents thought things were heading in the right direction or the wrong direction, 35% said they are headed in the right direction, while 64% said things are headed in wrong direction.

Meanwhile, a government spokesman said the government is headed in right direction and it was the best budget under the circumstances which has been passed with ease. 

The spokesman said different institutions conduct different surveys and its results are not necessarily spot on all the times. The spokesman said the PTI will win the next elections due to its performance and action against corruption. He insisted that the popularity of the PTI is intact and it will enhance further.

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