IRI’s Nov. Poll Show Strong Approval for New Govt, But Economy Source of Anxiety For Pakistanis

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PKONWEB Report (Islamabad) — On the completion of PTI government’s first 100 days, we published an analytic piece headlined ” PTI’s First 100 Days: A- (Some Governance Better Than Misgovernance).

On Qualitative analysis, PTI’s performance got “A-”; On Quantitative scale, it was lower; Therefore, the overall score ended up being “B” or “B-“.

Another assessment by Bilal Lakhani in The Express Tribune gave PTI a B+ for its performance.

So between the two assessments, a B would be a fair evaluation–and fall anywhere between 55 and 65 points on a scale of 100.

Some positive changes have taken place since then due to lots of firefighting during the 180 days. According to one analyst, “Khan Sahib needs to shift his focus away from corruption to economy. The recent space gained as a result of standoff with India may give him some breather”.

Therefore, maintaining that inertia matters—getting better will be the best. However, given the roulette-like situation the country finds itself in economically, financially and geopolitically, maintaining a B with better signs trending is a fairly reasonable speed to travel forward.

Why? Two concurrent national activity are underway and that so by a new team: deconstructing decades-long embedments of poor governance albiet misgovernance on one hand, and reconstructing an acceptable socio-economic model with good governance amid constraints.

Therefore, it’s not surprising that a new nationwide poll of Pakistanis by the International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Center for Insights in Survey Research reveals strong approval ratings for the new government and concerns over the state of the economy, while revealing confidence in the July 2018 elections.

According to the ssurveyr report, a combined 57 percent of respondents think that Prime Minister Imran Khan is doing either a “very good job” (17 percent) or a “good job” (40 percent) so far, and a combined 56 percent approve of the government.

A plurality of respondents (40 percent) said that they are willing to give the government one year (26 percent) or two years (14 percent) to start delivering on their campaign promises.

The poll also indicates high levels of confidence in the results of the July 2018 national elections. A clear majority (84 percent) say that the results are either “very accurate” (46 percent) or “somewhat accurate” (38 percent). A combined 83 percent believe that the election was either “completely free and fair” (50 percent) or “mostly free and fair” (33 percent).

The survey was conducted between November 1 and November 22, 2018 through in-home, in-person interviews. The sample consisted of 3,991 respondents aged 18 and older and is representative of voting-age adults nationally.

Since then, several confidence building measures in finance, economy, and social welfare areas have taken place. Most importantly, the way the civil-military handed post Pulwama attack standoff with India, playing a significant role in US-Taliban peace talks and having succeeded in abating financial crisis, have boosted PM Khan government’s ratings.

The incremental uptick in popularity could be anywhere between B and A. That’s a B+ as a media, and would relate to a numerical range of 65 to 70 on a scale of 100.

Still, “Poor economic conditions are a significant source of anxiety for Pakistanis,” said Johanna Kao, IRI Regional Director for Asia. “Despite Pakistan’s economic challenges, confidence in the new government and the prime minister is high. Pakistanis seem to be willing to give the government time to deliver on its campaign promises, which will require difficult economic reforms to revitalize the country’s struggling economy.”

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