Here’s the first of three installments of my markaz-and-qism presidential elections result map for Upper Egypt. It will be easier to serve the map up in pieces because the Nile Valley south of Cairo is elongated and an awkward shape, and it will save my groaning four-year-old computer from rendering too-large image files. It almost quit me over the Delta map. The numbers refer to district names and full statistics on my updated spreadsheet.
As you can see, El-Fayoum governorate was to Mursi what El-Menoufiya was to Shafiq, his highest unbroken concentration of pure support. The governorate average vote for Mursi was 78%, second only 80% of the much smaller volume he won in Matrouh governorate. (By comparison, Shafiq won 71% overall in El-Menoufiya). Importantly, the Muslim Brotherhood was able to boost voter turnout by 25% in Fayoum from the first round. Unlike El-Menoufiya, which was tightly wound into the patronage system of the old regime, Fayoum is an impoverished and neglected backwater, despite its relative proximity to Cairo, that has trouble getting enough water for its crops and suffers environmental threats from callous military industrial investment. The area has so long been a center of Islamist activity, that there are many interesting intellectual divides in the movement, for example, between the Muslim Brotherhood and various Salafi groups. But they all came out for one candidate on election day.
“Middle Egypt,” a colloquial concept covering Bani Suef through Asyut and sometimes Sohag, was generally Mursi’s citadel, a longtime center of Islamist social and political organization. As a result of the strong security measures taken against a small minority of violent radical Islamist groups in the 1980s and 1990s, the region has been cut off from the lucrative tourism trade its neighbors Luxor and Aswan to the south enjoy, further alienating it from the old regime. However, it is obvious that Mursi’s sheer dominance was restricted to rural areas: the governorate capitals of Bani Suef and El-Minya only voted 48% and 51% for Mursi respectively. By the middle of El-Minya, even the rural areas voted in the 60-65% range. This trend continues farther south, especially since Christian populations are larger in Sohag, Qena, Luxor and Aswan.
Short of any grand theory about these results, I decided to post some links about the campaign and vote in the areas above:
Mursi held some big campaign events in Middle Egypt. Here’s a Muslim Brotherhood press release describing one from May 16, with plenty of football heroes in attendance.
Young Mursi supporters ransacked the Shafiq campaign office in Fayoum between the first and second rounds.
The BBC interviewed voters in El-Fayoum.