The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) is eyeing an easy win from NA-247 on October 21, since most bigwigs have already surrendered before the poll day.Karachi’s NA-247 was vacated by PTI’s Dr Arif Alvi after he assumed office as the country’s 13th president. Now, the ruling party is fielding Aftab Hussain Siddiqui from the constituency. Since the constituency is a PTI stronghold, the MQM-P candidate has a slim chance of victory. The PTI views an easy win because the Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP), the second largest party from this constituency, has not fielded a candidate.The TLP spokesperson told Daily Times that even though they had been approached by the MQM-P regarding an electoral alliance but was refused, signifying PTI’s tightening grip over the city. Besides MQM-P’s Sadiq Iftikhar, Qaiser Khan Nizamani of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Arshad Vohra of the Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP), Ali Nawab of the Sunni Tehreek Pakistan (STP) and seven independent candidates plan on contesting in the upcoming by-polls.According to sources, MQM-P’s Sadiq Iftikhar is not a strong candidate because he is neither a worker nor a member of the party. Reportedly, the candidate was awarded the ticket because he was a friend of MQM-P politician Khwaja Izhar-ul-Hasan Meanwhile, PPP’s candidate Qaiser Khan Nizamani is a renowned television artist and is quite famous but he might not be able to attract PTI’s strong vote bank. In addition to TLP, Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) also decided not to contest in the by-polls. While MQM-P founder already urged his followers to boycott the by-election, MQM-P’s senior leader Faisal Sabzwari is reported to have said that his party might have a chance to emerge victorious if the MQM-P loyalists come out to vote in NA-247.A total of 543,964 voters are registered in the constituency which comprises of Defence, Clifton, Old City area, Kharadar and Ranchhore Line.According to political pundits, the by-poll election in NA-247 would remain slow with a low voter turnout despite a large number of registered voters. It is worth mentioning that low voter turnout was observed during the by-polls held in NA-243.By-polls would also be conducted in PS-111 on October 21. PTI’s Shahzad Qureshi has emerged as a favourite in this constituency.Published in Daily Times, October 19th 2018.