Mapping Egypt's election results: the lay of the land

Published May 29th, 2012 - 20:03 GMT

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Ahmed Shafiq and Mohammed Mursi stand-off in runoff
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Image 1 of 9: While it was a game of more than two halves for a country with such wide ranging views, the results leave us a final two sides of a coin. With a choice of candidates finally in the offing, Egyptians took to the polls to state their differences. But the 2 highest vote-earners, Shafiq and Mursi, to emerge will be facing off in a runoff June 16-17.

Egypt vote map: regional spread of votes
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Image 1 of 9: One side of the country could hardly be more different to the other. From the voting patterns recorded we can see the change from urban centers to rural regions and from bedouin deserts to tourist beaches. The heart and soul of the Middle East could not agree on which candidate to go for.

Cairo votes Sabahi in Egypt elections
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Image 1 of 9: The big urban centers of Cairo & Alexandria are where leftist candidate Sabahi came out on top. Not immediately surprising, particularly for the cosmopolitan capital, but northern Alex is known as a hub of Islamism - who can tell why a Brotherhood contender didn't swing their vote? For the runoff, the Salafis have pledged to endorse Mursi.

Hosni Mubarak's home town votes Shafiq
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Image 1 of 9: It was time to go back to the future for the home regions of Hosni Mubarak. For them, the obvious choice was Ahmed Shafiq, his former Prime Minister rather than a more revolutionary figure. Apparently Luxorites were also keen to keep up with the old regime too, plumping for Shafiq ahead of any of the new school candidates.

Conservative women from the Delta vote Mursi
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Image 1 of 9: Away from metropolitan areas, voters took a much more conservative view. In the New Valley, Giza, Aswan, Suez, North Sinai the Muslim Brotherhood frontman Mohamed Mursi scored highly. Those in the Delta had short memories as it was the same Brotherhood that perpetrated the terrorist attacks in their region during the 1990s.

Sharm el Sheikh votes Amr Moussa
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Image 1 of 9: On the beach and in the South Sinai they chose an international candidate for an global hotspot. More than used to seeing tourists from all over the world, voters looked to Amr Moussa, the regional peace negotiator and Arabist, to steer them into a promising future.

Egypt's Siwa tribes: Bedouin population votes Aboul Fotouh
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Image 1 of 9: Unsurprisingly, the bedouin Western Desert, largely cut off from the rest of the country was where outlier and conservative contender Abul Fotouh took the most votes. Some said the influence of neighboring Libya could work in his favor in this Islamist stronghold.

Egyptians resident in Saudi Arabia vote in Egyptian elections
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Image 1 of 9: This year was a first ‘free’ vote for Egyptians at home but also for expats, who had been shunned previously.The majority of Egyptians abroad are resident in Saudi and the conservative influence showed when they voted for Mohammed Mursi. Ahmed Shafiq came in fifth in the Expat poll though he took pole position in Israel’s community of 5,000.

Across Egypt, Mursi, Shafiq and Sabahi took highest votes
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Image 1 of 9: How they fared regionally: The greatest fear for the Western world was the Egyptians reacting to the turmoil by seizing on an Islamist candidate for future president. Mursi scored higher than Abul Fotouh in the conservative regions of the country but both were favorites for the less cosmopolitan areas. The Islamic portion of the vote reached 57%.

As Egypt's initial voting results break through the cloudy horizon of Egypt's political future, we take a look at the indications of the people's choice so far. While there are voting patterns to be found by mapping the disparate populace by region and demographic, the story of how five became two is still confounding many from the electorate to the outsider.

A nation spoilt for choice with Salafis, Brothers, Arab nationalists, seculars, former militarians, old school, lefties, moderates, as well as the new breed of post Tahrir revolutionaries to the mix of options, has finally registered and asserted its popular willpower. The very self-determination it protested the absence of during the dark ages of dictatorship and submission to the political and military whims of the elites, has been re-appropriated.

It's been a rauous and turbulent, transitional time in Egypt these last 6 months and the fiercely contested presidential prize has not passed without a fuss, sometimes verging on a palava, but always returning to the light and optimism born of the revolution.

We take a closer look to analyse the country's voting trends, by geography and demographic (urbanite to bedouin to, to tourist-merchant) to scrutinize the 46 percent turnout the country's 50 million eligible voters. Should there be any rhyme or reason why Egypt's Choice should come down to two men - Ahmed Shafiq and Mohammed Mursi -  neither of whom represents anything particularly new or evocative of revolution or change? One old regimer who served fleetingly as Prime Minister following Mubarak's steppng down, citing his predecessor as his very own Arab 'idol'; and the other, a staunch Islamist who brings more of the ascetic parliament make-up over to the presidential palace.

What happened? Maybe the Egytpians had too many choices of 'cereal' and balked, panicked and went by reflex. However, despite the collective gasps of the world audience and much of Egypt too, the Muslim Brotherhood is not a surprise choice for Egypt. It has long been known that democracy in the Arab world could signify Islamism. What was more surprising is that they officially ran at all (since it violated their own issued statements) and that a man so close to Mubarak should come up as Egypt's choice alternative to the old despised way. There was a widely held view that the Muslim Brotherhood didn't initially fancy running for fear of the daunting task of governing the populous and preponderous Egypt. That they already held the legislature, they didn't necessarily need the presidency. And it looked like they were simply on a mission to put the fear of God into concerned western parties, not least of all Israel who hardly needed another religiously buoyed populace emboldened by a leadership with Godly beliefs on Islamic heritage to counter Israel's own religious zeal for its holy sites.

The lay of the land

The results, and the voting trajectory, through the picture selection above, uncover which of the top five candidates - Mohammed Mursi, Ahmed Shafiq, Abdel Moneim Abdoul Fotouh, Hamdeen Sabahi and Amr Moussa - came out trumps and in which regions in this sprawling nation. And where the upsets, such as Amr Moussa's defeat, lay.

The results showed Islamist domination across the board, with Islamists coming by 57% of the vote.

 

The breakdwon in figures

Aboul-Fotouh: 18%     3,936,264 votes

Sabbahi: 22%            4,739,983 votes

Moussa: 11%            2,407,837 votes

Mursi: 25%               5,553,097 votes

Shafiq: 24%              5,210,978 votes

 

Any thoughts on who will take the much coveted but daunting post of President of Egypt? Mursi man or Shafiq-ite, have your say in the space below.

 

 

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