Poll: Moussa, Abul-Fotouh maintain lead in Egypt's presidential contest

Ahram Online, Thursday 3 May 2012

Mubarak-era minister Amr Moussa and ex-Muslim Brotherhood member Abul-Fotouh lead pack in Egypt's hotly-contested presidential race as Brotherhood's Morsi lags behind, new poll reveals

Aboul-Fotouh and Moussa
Aboul-Fotouh and Moussa

With only three weeks to go until Egypt's first post-revolution presidential elections, a new poll reveals that former Arab League secretary-general Amr Moussa and ex-Muslim Brotherhood member Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh are the top contenders, both having secured 11 per cent of respondents' votes.

The Egyptian Cabinet's Information and Decision Centre conducted the poll for which it interviewed 1077 Egyptian citizens above the age of 18 on 28 and 29 April.

According to the results, 74 per cent of participants said that they will vote in the upcoming elections.

However, it seems that many people are still unsure who they should cast their vote for with 42 per cent saying they have not yet decided.

Seven per cent have opted not to participate.

Those who decided not to vote cited a variety of reasons with 24 per cent saying they will not vote for "personal reasons" and 18 per cent saying that they do not trust any of the candidates with competently running the country and 4 per cent of the sample are not liking any of the candidates.

According to the poll, Abul-Fotouh and Moussa are by far the most popular candidates at the moment.

Mubarak's last prime minister Ahmed Shafiq, who was nearly banned from running, follows closely with six per cent, while the Muslim Brotherhood backed candidate Mohamed Morsi, lags behind with only 3 per cent.

Women prefer Moussa

Male and female voters differ in their choices. Approximately 18 per cent of Egyptian males said they would vote for Abul-Fotouh, 11 per cent would opt for Moussa and six per cent chose Shafiq.

However for Egyptian women, the most popular candidate was Moussa (12 per cent), while Shafiq and Abul-Fotouh were in joint second securing seven per cent of the female vote.

Preferences also change depending on whether voters live in a city or the countryside.

Approximately 12 per cent of urban dwellers said they will vote for Abul-Fotouh, 11 per cent for Moussa and seven per cent for Shafiq.

In rural areas, however, participants stated that Moussa was the most popular (11 per cent) closely followed by Abul-Fotouh (10 per cent) and then Shafiq (6 per cent).

The poll revealed that those from high income household differed dramatically from those in low income households.

18 per cent of the wealthier households supported Abul-Fotouh, 10 per cent for Moussa and 8 per cent for Shafiq; whereas, 14 per cent of low income households opted  for Moussa, 4 per cent for Shafiq and only 1 per cent went for Abul-Fotouh.

The poll also questioned people according to their faith, with 13 per cent of Muslims saying they would vote for Abul-Fotouh, 12 per cent for Amr Moussa and 7 per cent for Shafiq.

As for the Christians, eight per cent of their vote would go to Moussa and five per cent to Shafiq. Abul-Fotouh and Morsi did not feature.

According to the poll, the majority of Egyptians who have not finished high school will support Moussa, while Abul-Fotouh is the top contender for those who hold both high school and university degrees.

Abul-Fotouh: Choice of the young

In terms of age, 19 per cent of those between 18 and 30 years old went for Abul-Fotouh, while participants between the ages of 30 and 50 support all three candidates with 8 per cent of the vote jointly going to Shafiq, Abul-Fotouh and Moussa.

The poll also investigated the different ideologies of the supporters of the top two contenders Abul-Fotouh and Moussa.

According to the results, 90 per cent of Abul-Fotouh voters were "pro-revolution", 20 per cent were in support of Muslim Brotherhood and 17 per cent were in favour of the ultra-conservative Salafists.

For Moussa, the majority of his support base were also revolutionaries (89 per cent), however 37 per cent of his votes came from Salafist sympathisers and only 6 per cent from the Muslim Brotherhood.

Abul-Fotouh's popularity has skyrocketed in recent months according to the poll. The moderate Islamist frontrunner went from not securing any support in July 2011, to gaining two per cent of the votes in March 2012 and then 11 per cent in April.

For the most part, however, Moussa has sustained his popularity. The former foreign minister attracted 12 per cent of the voters in July 2011, before falling slightly to seven per cent between January and March 2012. However he jumped up to 11 per cent again in April 2012.

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