Egypt Presidential Election, 2014: Opinion Polls
In the 2012 presidential election the opinion polls made by different media have proven to be utterly wrong. Most of the of these polls gave Amr Moussa and Abo El Fotooh the highest number of votes, which was one of the reasons they were chosen to debate together. It has also been said that these polls have resulted in Abo El Fotooh and Moussa falling fourth and fifth respectively in the election, because of counter voting. In 2014 different opinion polls were made in different media and the results varied according to the target audience.
El Masry El Yom
This poll is still open on El Masry El Yom's website until the time of writing this post. It shows that 346,144 have voted in this poll, giving a result of 67.22% to Sabahy and 32.78% to Sisi. El Masry El Yom is a private newspaper owned by businessmen, it is known to be a moderate and somewhat objective newspaper that gives space for writers from both sides to speak their minds. It is also known to be a newspaper of great reach, which makes interesting that Sabahy has gotten more than double the number of votes of Sisi. The reason behind this might be that the poll is on the website, and the internet and social media users are mostly of the youth and city inhabitants where the number of Sabahy supporters is higher.
MBC Masr and Baseera
The Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research (Baseera) held different polls about the presidential election in association with Yahdoth Fy Masr, a popular talk show aired at the Saudi MBC Masr and hosted by Sherif Amer. The polls have shown that 87% of the sample they have asked plan to vote in the 2014 election, while 9% plan not to vote and 4% are undecided.
When asked what would they do if the voting day were tomorrow, 76% of the sample said they'd vote for Sisi, while 2% said they'd vote for Sabahy, 0.3% said they would nullify their vote, 7% would abstain and 15% are undecided.
These results came out on May 14. The sample is made up of 2,000 Egyptians, almost equally divided between people living in both urban and rural areas and males and females. The majority of the sample were between 30 and 49 years of age, with less than intermediate education and low income levels. More information can be found in the report.
Soutak is a website founded by some Egyptian young entrepreneurs to help people decide who to vote for before the elections, one of its founders is Ziad Aly of Masrena. This poll is ongoing until one day before the voting starts. It shows that Sabahy has a higher chance with 53.3%, while Sisi has 26.5% of the votes. 18% are abstaining and 1.98% are undecided.
The website uses your Facebook profile to count your vote and so they have some information about their sample. The total sample size is 4,842 that is until the time of writing this post. The sample is made of mostly men, and the majority of women chose Sisi. The greatest percentage of Sabahy's supporters are aged between 18 and 24, while those of Sisi are 45 and above. While the greatest abstaining majority is between 25 and 34. In general, as we move from the youngest sample group to the oldest, Sabahy's supporters decrease and Sisi's increase.
Cairo Scene is an English website that is only used by the great minority we call the upper class and some of the upper middle class. The website that is mostly about having fun in Cairo has decided to join in and add a poll about the election. The poll that is still open shows that inhabitants of the high class areas are almost equally divided between Sisi voters (30%), Sabahy voters (29%) and people who don't care (27%). Then there are those who are abstaining, either because they don't care or they're doing it as a positive act (11%). It seems that people with this standard of living and education think differently about Sisi than those in Baseera's sample, which also explains El Masry El Yom's and Soutak's results.
This poll is more special than any other, maybe because it was the first popular one. Last Friday (May 9), El Watan Newspaper's website held this poll. El Watan is another newspaper that is owned by businessmen and is known to be supporting Sisi, its editor in chief, Magdy El Gallad, is also known to be a Sisi supporter. The poll asked: "after watching Sisi's and Sabahy's interviews, who are you voting for?" By Midday this was the result:
After the poll resulted in Sabahy having double the amount of votes of Sisi (66% to 34%) the website went offline. It was said that this has happened because of the great traffic on the poll. On social media, a fight erupted, with Sisi supporters saying that Sabahy's are living in a virtual world and that Sisi's supporters are those in the streets, the real people that is. Then this happened:
The campaigners took to the streets asking people to go on El Watan website and vote for Sisi. That was when the website went back online. Then this happened:
Sabahy went from 66% to 47% with the number of voters increasing from 50,000 to 80,000 and Sisi went from 34% to 53% with the number of voters jumping from 25,000 to 88,000! How this huge jump happened after the website went offline then went back online remains unknown. According to the website, the average number of votes per second was 18.
Now, after a week the results have reached 55% to 45% for Sisi, with the total number of votes reaching more than 180,000.
The Real Deal
As mentioned, these opinion polls do not really mean much. What is meaningful though is the expats election which started this Thursday (May 15). The turnout is said to be the highest ever since expats were granted the right to vote. Queues were seen in different countries, especially in Qatar and UAE. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the number of votes have exceeded 162,000 in 24 countries. The voting process shall Continue until Sunday, May 18. The initial results of this voting process shall act as a somewhat reasonable opinion poll.