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Home » GeoNotes, Southwest Asia and North Africa

Egypt’s Electoral Geography Revealed

Submitted by on March 4, 2012 – 6:06 pm 3 Comments |  
Egyptian Block Vote Map from Electoral Politics 2.0By Western standards, Cairo is a socially conservative and religiously devout metropolis. By Egyptian standards, however, it is a rather liberal place. Such a position is evident in the electoral maps of Egypt’s 2011 legislative election, recently put on-line by the invaluable website, Electoral Geography 2.0: Mapped Politics. As the first map posted here shows, the secular, center-left party, Egyptian Block, received a higher percentage of the vote in greater Cairo than elsewhere in the country. Egyptian Block also did relatively well in Alexandria, which was once considered a cosmopolitan city, and in the Assiout Governorate in the central Nile Valley, noted for having one of the largest concentrations of Coptic Christians in the country.  According to the Wikipedia, Egyptian Block, which received less than nine percent of the vote nationwide, hopes to:

“[E]stablish Egypt as a modern civil state in which science plays an important role, and to create equality and social justice in the country. The objectives of the Bloc also include to make a decent life possible for the poorer population, including education, health care and proper housing. It advocates a pluralistic, multiparty democracy and rejects religious, racial, and sexual discrimination.”

 Al_Nour Vote Map in Egypt from Electoral PoliticsAs the second map shows, the ultra-conservative Salafist party, Al-Nour, received relatively few votes in Cairo.  This party did very well, however, in the western desert, in the agricultural Fayoum Depression, and in large parts of the Nile Delta.

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  • Robbiebrown

    I read this post and just kept thinking of candidate Obama’s speech about mid-westerners (or was it working-class in general?) clinging to their guns and religion.

    • Robbiebrown

      I just had a thought, doesn’t this require a re-evaluation of Tobler’s First Law? Or does that also apply to “political space,” in addition to geographic space?

      • http://geocurrents.info Martin W. Lewis

        Thanks for the intriguing comment, but could you expand on it a little?  ”Tobler’s first law” states that  ”Everything is related to everything else, but near things are more related than distant things,” and is based on the gravity model of spatial distribution (which holds that “influence” varies inversely with distance squared) . I’m not exactly sure what the connection here is.