While results of 10 seats still pending, the results on 255 of the 266 general seats to the National Assembly showed a commanding majority of independents—the bulk supported by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)—followed by the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) in second and Pakistan Peoples Party trailing in third.
While the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had initially claimed it would issue results of all constituencies no later than 10 a.m. on the day after polls—Friday—it failed to deliver, with a majority of results coming after the deadline and 10 seats still pending as of Saturday afternoon. Polling on one seat was postponed after a candidate was killed during the campaign.
In light of results already announced, PTI-backed independents have secured a majority with 92 seats in the National Assembly. They are followed by the PMLN, which has secured 73 seats in the National Assembly, emerging as the largest single party in the Lower House. The PPP trails in third with 54 seats, followed by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (Pakistan) with 17 seats. The Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid) has posted 3 wins to the National Assembly; the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl) 2; the Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party 2; Balochistan National Party 2; Pakistan Muslim League (Zia) 1; Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen Pakistan 1.
Additionally, there are eight wins for independent candidates not backed by any political parties.
Key for political parties is that they will be able to secure additional reserved seats on the basis of their proportional strength. This would be denied to independents—including those backed by the PTI—whose numbers would remain unchanged. As neither grouping has sufficient numbers to form the government—a minimum of 169 votes are required to form the government—coalitions become necessary, with negotiations already underway between all parties in a bid to shore up these numbers.
A key concern for the PTI going into this process is how many independents remain loyal to it, as they are not bound by legal clauses requiring them to follow party discipline. Under Rule 92(6) of the Election Rules, independent candidates must opt to join a party within three days of the notification of their victory. They can also opt to form an “independent” group, but this would deny them any reserved seats.