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Nawaz Sharif is not the most popular political leader in Pakistan

Results of recent survey from Gallup Pakistan misrepresented by Hina Pervez Butt

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Claim: Nawaz Sharif is the most popular leader in the country with a 60% approval rating, while Imran Khan is only at 53%, according to a recent survey conducted by Gallup Pakistan.

Fact: According to the survey by Gallup Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif’s national positive approval rating has risen from 36% to 52% and Imran Khan’s rating has fallen by 3% from 60% to 57%. 

However, within Punjab, Nawaz Sharif’s positive approval rating is cited as 60% and Imran Khan’s as 53%. Since Sharif’s rating in Punjab is higher than Khan’s, we may say that based on this survey, he is the more popular leader of the two within Punjab but Nawaz Sharif is not the most popular leader in Pakistan. 

On 12 January 2024, a member of Pakistan Muslim League N (PML-N), Hina Parvez Butt shared a tweet with the following caption,

“الحمدللہ گیلپ کے تازہ ترین سروے کے مطابق نواز شریف پاکستان کے سب سے مقبول سیاسی شخصیت قرار۔۔”

[Translation: By the grace of God, according to Gallup’s recent survey, Nawaz Sharif is the most popular political personality of Pakistan.]

The tweet refers to a Pakistan Political Weather Report which was published by Gallup Pakistan on 10 January 2024, titled, “Gallup Pakistan Political Weather Report: 1 month before the General Election 2024.” 

The official Gallup report starts with a disclaimer that this assessment report is based on various surveys that Gallup Pakistan has conducted over the past 8 months and that it also draws on the Gallup & Gilani Electoral Index which is a digital library maintaining 40 years of election survey data.  

Fact or Fiction?

Section 2 of the Gallup report covers approval ratings and gives out results for the national positive approval rating and positive approval rating for Punjab. Imran Khan’s national positive approval rating fell by 3% from 60% to 57% and Nawaz Sharif’s jumped to 52% from 36%. However, Khan remains on top, leaving Sharif behind by 5 percentage points. Therefore, Hina Parvez Butt’s tweet where she claims that Nawaz Sharif is the most popular leader in the country with a 60% positive approval rating, is false. 

The latest survey was carried out in late December 2023 and early January 2024. Hina Pervez Butt’s tweet about Nawaz Sharif’s popularity claims to cite numbers from the results of this survey.

The numbers quoted by Butt correspond with Nawaz Sharif’s provincial positive approval rating within Punjab and not the national positive approval rating. According to the survey results, the positive approval rating within Punjab was led by Nawaz Sharif with a 60% rating, followed by Khan with a 53% rating.

Another related false claim shared over WhatsApp

A screenshot of the WhatsApp image containing the claim regarding Siraj ul Haq

The image falsely claiming to show Siraj ul Haq as the third most popular leader in the country according to the Gallup survey

Another version of the claim, found on Facebook and shared over WhatsApp (pictured above), claims that Jamat-e-Islami’s Siraj ul Haq is amongst the top 3 most popular leaders in the country and in the province of Punjab. 

However, Soch Fact Check found that on page 20, the report by Gallup Pakistan reveals that Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is the third most popular leader in the country, with a 35% rating recorded in December 2023. In Punjab however, Siraj ul Haq’s popularity is 2 percentage points higher than Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s.

Findings of the survey

The following key findings of the report reflect the voters’ preference from each province in the country: 

  • 34% of the surveyed voters said they would vote for PTI in December 2023 and 32% said they would vote for PMLN. 
  • In Sindh, PPP is the largest political party with PTI being the second.
  • 45% of the surveyed voters in KPK claimed that they would like to vote for PTI. 

Virality

Hina Parvez Butt’s tweet was viewed by 281,000 times and received more than 7,949 interactions on X. 

Various versions of the claim were also published on Facebook. Some of them can be found here, here, here, and here

Conclusion: Nawaz Sharif is not the most popular leader in the country according to Gallup Pakistan’s recent survey. 

Background image in cover photo: Gallup Pakistan Political Weather Report 

To appeal against our fact-check, please send an email to appeals@sochfactcheck.com 

 

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