LOS ANGELES — Eighty-six percent of Egyptians that Gallup surveyed in April say they plan to vote in the presidential election that begins Wednesday, and nearly as many (82%) expect the election to be fair and honest.
That so many Egyptians believe their election will be fair and plan to participate are signs of stability for a country that has endured a lot since former President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster in early 2011. In the run-up to the election, many candidates were disqualified for various reasons, prompting protests from supporters of Hazem Salah Abu Ismail and others, while leaving Egyptians with a smaller pool of candidates to choose from. While some analysts worry limiting presidential candidates might discourage some voters from participating, Egyptians are as likely to say they plan to vote in April of this year as they were in February.
Egyptians’ unwavering commitment to the electoral process even amid turmoil may be a positive sign for the potential success of Egyptians’ efforts to vote in a president, write a constitution, and go on with the business of addressing the nation’s challenges.
Fewer Egyptians Expect Military to Give Up Power
The army has pledged to hand over power to the new president by July 1, but tensions between the ruling military council and some pockets of Egyptian society have continued to flare with recurring protests. From secular groups and opposing Islamist ones to the “ultra” sports fans, the ruling military council’s decisions have been rejected numerous times since the fall of the Mubarak regime.
Despite a noticeable drop between February and April 2012, more than seven in 10 Egyptians still believe that the military will hand over power to a civilian government after the presidential election.
As the clearest sign of a path to progress, Egyptians’ faith in the process that brings a new president is a promising sign for what has been at times a chaotic transition. The widespread expectation that the military will hand over power to a civilian government is a sign that most Egyptians enter the polling booths this week view the outcome as a major watershed moment in Egypt’s transition.
Egypt is clearly moving in a direction where an eager electorate is ready to participate in building the future. Despite a challenging transition, the country is ready to turn the page and elect a new president. Gallup data indicate that Islamist parties and groups lost support in the run up to the election. It will be interesting to see how this loss in support will affect the performance of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi and the non-party-affiliated leading Islamist candidate Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh. With such faith and engagement in the process, candidates will organize their teams across the country to win this historic vote.
For complete data sets or custom research from the more than 150 countries Gallup continually surveys, please contact SocialandEconomicAnalysis@gallup.com or call 202.715.3030.
Results are based on face-to-face interviews with 1,074 adults, aged 15 and older, conducted April 8-15, 2012, in Egypt. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3.4 percentage points. The margin of error reflects the influence of data weighting. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.
For more complete methodology and specific survey dates, please review Gallup’s Country Data Set details.