Govt poll shows Shafiq leading Egyptian presidential race

Ahram Online, Monday 14 May 2012

Cabinet-run Information and Decision Support Centre issues a presidential poll that shows Mubarak's last prime minister in the lead, but with doubts about the sample of voters used

Ahmed Shafiq
Former Prime Minister and presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq (Photo: Reuters)

The Egyptian Cabinet's Information and Decision Support Centre (IDSC) has issued a poll on the upcoming presidential elections, in which the highest scoring candidate was Mubarak's former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq, in contrast with most other published opinion polls.

In the IDSC's poll, Shafiq scored highest among the candidates, receiving 12 per cent of total votes, with Amr Moussa as a runner up on 11 per cent, followed by Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh on 9 per cent. In the poll 38 per cent of sample voters said they were still indecisive.

Major national polls, carried out by both public and private entities, have shown significantly different results from the ones demonstrated in the IDSC poll, though a similar sample size is used.

In those polls, former foreign minister and secretary-general of the Arab League Amr Moussa has been steadily holding the first position, with Shafiq and Abul-Fotouh alternating between second and third.

The sample used by the Centre was made up of 1,390 people; Egyptians from the upper middle classes made up 29 per cent of the sample, and the elite upper class made up 26 per cent. In Egyptian society, the majority of people fall into the lower socio-economic classifications, which made up only 33 per cent of the poll sample.

No one from IDSC was available to comment on criticisms of the poll.

According to the IDSC poll, Shafiq received the highest votes, as a favoured candidate for those who were pro-revolution as well as those were against it. He scored 12 per cent from the former category and 14 per cent from the latter, followed by Abul-Fotouh on 11 per cent in the pro-revolution category and Moussa on 14 per cent in the anti-revolution category.

Muslim Brotherhood supporters favoured the Brotherhood's candidate Mohamed Morsi, on 20 per cent, followed by Abul-Fotouh on 10 per cent.

Salafist supporters also favoured Morsi, on 16 per cent, followed by Abul-Fotouh on 14 per cent, even though the Salafist Nour Party and Salafist Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya's Building and Development Party gave Abul-Fotouh their official endorsement two weeks ago.

Those voters who said they were opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists opted for Shafiq; he received 23 per cent of the voters of anti-Brotherhood voters and 22 per cent of the votes of anti-Salafist voters.

Egypt's first post-Mubarak presidential poll will be held on 23/24 May, with a runoff round on 16/17 June if no single candidate wins an outright majority. Egypt's next president will be formally named on 21 June.

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