50% of voters in Lahore, Pakistan continue to participate in elections


The voter turnout in the provincial capital of Lahore was estimated to be around 50 percent by observers. Most of the 14 NA constituencies and 30 provincial assembly seats in the city experienced a slow start in the morning, with the pace only picking up late afternoon. The hopes for a massive voter turnout were based on the PTI revenge vote to foil the establishment’s design. However, most PTI candidates were slow to converge to polling stations, fearing backlash, while voters were cautious due to rumors of police interference.

The majority of voters had to reach the polling stations by themselves, without logistical support from candidates, which further slowed down the process. Additionally, the habit of Lahorites to wake up late in the afternoon also contributed to the slower pace of voting. By 12 noon, only 10% of votes had been cast, picking up some momentum by 4pm to reach 35 to 40%. The PML-N deliberately kept the turnout low, fearing that a high turnout would favor the PTI and hurt traditional parties.

Despite sporadic queues in some individual polling stations, the overall voting was a quiet and smooth affair for most of the day. The PTI and PPP presence was felt in the vicinity of polling stations, while TLP was more active and had agents in most polling stations.

NA-128, spread over posh areas, had a more enthusiastic and vocal atmosphere, dominated by young individuals and families. NA-129 also experienced a low turnout in the first half of the day, with a contest between PML-N’s Hafiz Nauman and PTI-backed independent Mian Azhar. The atmosphere in NA-129 became festive in the second half, with a contest between the main candidates.


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