KARACHI: The survey quoted by Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan on Wednesday to highlight his party’s popularity lacks standard procedures vital to declare the findings as authentic and reliable.
“Look at this graph, the result of a survey. This tells you that right now the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is 70% popular,” claimed the PTI chief in a recorded video message.
He also repeated the claim in an interview with Al Jazeera on the same day.
Geo Fact Check found that the survey was conducted by an Islamabad-based think tank – Republic Policy.
As per the website of the think tank, the poll was conducted between May 10 and 15 in Punjab and its data found that 70 percent of the respondents, it reached out, had a favourable opinion of Imran Khan.
While the former prime minister’s political rivals, Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz had a combined popularity of only 18 percent.
However, neither the think tank’s web portal nor its YouTube channel provided any additional information on the methodology used to collect the information, the cities and rural areas in Punjab it targeted or the sample size of the survey.
Tahir Maqsood Chheena, one of the heads of Republic Policy, told Geo Fact Check over the phone, that 10-15 students, who worked as volunteers, helped him complete the survey.
“I also called people myself,” said Chheena, adding, “People who I knew, as well as sent teams in the field.”
Even more astounding is the sample size of the survey.
Chheena claimed that the think tank interviewed 25 people in each union council of the province. Since Punjab has over 4,015 union councils, the Republic Policy would have reached out to an astounding 100,375 people in just five days as per his claim.
“I cannot tell you an exact number of the sample size,” Chheena said, “It could have been 90,000 or 100,000.”
When asked if his team identified people scientifically, based on their income and profession, amongst other things. He said: “We did nothing as such. You have the right to say we did not do it [the survey] properly. Next time we will keep this in mind.”
The Republic Policy conducted a similar survey in March, where it again found Imran Khan’s popularity touching 62 percent in Punjab, much ahead of all other politicians.
Bilal Gilani, the executive director at Gallup Pakistan, said that in order to determine the quality of a survey it is important to tell the readers the sample size and the profile of the respondents interviewed, in terms of profession etc.
“I saw this survey and it didn’t tell you the sample size or the profiles,” he told Geo Fact Check. He added that as per the international code of ethics for polling organisations, they must transparently disclose all information about themselves, including what they do and how. “Even these details are scarce about the Republic Policy,” he said.