General elections are scheduled to be held in Pakistan less than 90 days after the dissolution of the National Assembly, which was prematurely dissolved on 10 August 2023 by President Arif Alvi on the advice of the Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. This means that the election must be held no later than 8 November 2023. However, on 5 August 2023, the results of the 2023 digital census were approved by the Council of Common Interests headed by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. Therefore, elections will be delayed until February 2024 at the latest, as announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). However, on 13 September 2023, President Alvi proposed 6 November 2023 as a date to the ECP and advised it to seek guidance from the Supreme Court for the announcement of the election date. On 2 November 2023, the ECP and the President agreed on 8 February 2024 as the date for the general election.
All 336 seats in the National Assembly
169 seats needed for a majority
Leader: Imran Khan Nawaz Sharif Bilawal Bhutto
Party. PTI PML (N) PPP
Last election : 31.82%, 24.35%, 82 seats 13.03%, 54 seats 149 seats
Seats needed: Increase 20 Increase 87 Increase 115
The three major parties are Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led by former Prime Minister Imran Khan, Pakistan Muslim League (N) (PML(N)) led by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) led by former Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
General elections were held in Pakistan on Wednesday 25 July 2018 after the completion of a five-year term by the outgoing government. At the national level, elections were held in 272 constituencies, each electing one member to the National Assembly. At the provincial level, elections were held in each of the four provinces to elect Members of the Provincial Assemblies (MPA).
As a result of the elections, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) became the single largest party at the national level both in terms of both popular vote and seats. At the provincial level, the PTI remained the largest party in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP); the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) remained the largest party in Sindh and the newly-formed Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) became the largest party in Balochistan. In Punjab, a hung parliament prevailed with Pakistan Muslim League (N) (PML-N) emerging as the largest party in terms of directly elected seats by a narrow margin. However, following the joining of many independent MPAs into the PTI, the latter became the largest party and was able to form the government.
Opinion polling prior to campaigning had initially shown leads for the Pakistan Muslim League (N) (PML-N) over the PTI. However, from an 11-point lead, the PML-N’s lead began to diminish in the final weeks of the campaign, with some polls close to the election showing PTI with a marginal but increasing lead. In the final result, the PTI made a net gain with 31.82% of the vote (its highest share of the vote since its foundation), while the PML-N made a net loss with 24.35%. In the lead-up to the elections, there had been allegations by some pre-poll rigging being conducted by the judiciary, the military and the intelligence agencies to sway the election results in favor of the PTI and against the PML-N. The opposition to the winning parliamentary party alleged large-scale vote rigging and administrative malpractices. However, Reuters polling suggested PML-N’s lead had narrowed in the run-up to the elections, and that the party had suffered “blow after blow” which caused setbacks to any hopes of re-election. Some had termed the ruling PML-N “embattled... facing a number of desertion and corruption charges”. Imran Khan proceeded to form the coalition government, announcing his cabinet soon after. The newly formed coalition government included members of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and Pakistan Muslim League (Q).
Regarding the voting process, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) out rightly rejected reports of rigging and stated that the elections were conducted fair and free. A top electoral watchdog, Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN), also said that the 2018 general elections in Pakistan had been “more transparent in some aspects” than the previous polls.In its preliminary report, the European Union Election Observation Mission said that no rigging had been observed during the election day in general, but found a “lack of equality” and criticized the process more than it had in the Pakistani election of 2013.
In the run up to the 2023 Pakistani general elections, various organisations have been carrying out opinion polling to gauge voting intention throughout Pakistan and the approval rating of the civilian Pakistani government, led by Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. The results of such polls are displayed in this section. The date range for these opinion polls is from the previous general election, held on 25 July 2018, to the present day.
In August 2023, the ECP imposed a total ban on entrance and exit polls including those on official digital media accounts of electronic and print media outlets.