I’m excited to report that I’m now working with a full set of data from the first round of the Egyptian presidential election at the district (qism and markaz) level, thanks to assistance from Hamdy Khalil, CTO of eSpace, the web development and consulting company that built the attractive and useful sites for the Supreme Committee for Elections, elections.eg (as well as elections2011.eg). This data is going to provide invaluable geographic information to political activists trying to build a “third current,” among the non-Islamist, non-“feloul” (i.e. not loyal to the old regime) constituencies of Egypt. The dark horse candidate of the first round around whom the vast majority of these voters rallied was Hamdeen Sabbahi, a Nasserist-leftist politician with a long career of opposition to the Sadat and Mubarak regimes. After the drama of the final round of the election between Muhammad Mursi and Ahmad Shafiq, it is easy to forget that Sabbahi was very close himself to entering the final round, winning 4.8 million votes to Mursi’s 5.7 million and Shafiq’s 5.5 million in the first round. In the end, Sabbahi voters were forced to choose between two options they might have found unpalatable (the subject of my next post). But with cooperation, over time new leftist coalitions could have a very large constituency to build upon to make an impact on the future course of the Egyptian state, assuming electoral parliamentary life returns to Egypt in due course.
With ten candidates running, and five prominent ones that frequently split districts nearly evenly, analyzing this data visually is a challenge. My first attempt in the map above is merely to show the candidate that won the plurality in each district. A great many of the contests were very, very close. For example, in Al-Matariya qism in Cairo, Sabbahi received 26.4% to Shafiq’s 26.1% and Mursi’s 22.9%; I have marked it green on the map. But despite the razor thin margins and a lot of variation, the result on the map is again a surprising continuity across broad swaths of the Nile Delta. (The Egypt Maps link above has a reference map to place names in the delta). Shafiq won all of Al-Menoufiya, most of Al-Gharbiya and large parts of Al-Sharqiya and Al-Daqhaliya. Mursi won southern Al-Beheira, eastern Al-Sharqiya, coastal Al-Daqhaliya, and rural Al-Ismailiya and Al-Giza (in addition to much more of Upper Egypt not on this map). Sabbahi was obviously the candidate of Egypt’s cities, the choice of liberals and the urban working class. He positively dominated his home governorate of Kafr El-Shaykh, but he also did quite well in Alexandria, Damietta, Port Said, Ismailiya, Tanta, Mansoura and Mahalla el-Kubra and nearly all of Cairo and urban Giza.
The detail on Cairo here reveals interesting patterns. The most upscale areas of Zamalek and Heliopolis went for Moussa and Shafiq respectively. But El-Maʿadi and El-Mohendiseen went for Sabbahi like most of the rest of the old core of the city. Christian areas in Shubra and Rod El-Farag also slightly preferred Shafiq. Some of the satellite cities, and suburbs in Al-Qalyoubiya, went for Mursi and Aboul-Fotouh.
Moussa and Aboul-Fotouh, once the media’s front runners, who staged a tense and some say damaging debate in the weeks leading to the election obviously lost voters to Shafiq and Mursi respectively. Yet Aboul-Fotouh’s campaign was able to attract more voters in northern Beheira around Kafr el-Dawwar and in the rural areas of Damietta governorate. Moussa won a very few scattered districts, like Rashid and the southern district of Port Said, but he took relatively more in Sinai and the Red Sea.
Stay tuned for more maps. I will also return to the final round to finish maps of southern Upper Egypt, and I will attempt a high-res district map for the entirety of the country.