The Rand Corporation launched a new report today, ‘Voting Patterns in Post-Mubarak Egypt,’ with an event featuring report author Jeffrey Martini and commentary from Michele Dunne of the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and Samer Shehata of Georgetown University.
Using data from four post-Mubarak elections, the report gives a better understanding of the future electoral prospects of Islamist and non-Islamist parties in Egypt.
Martini stressed two main findings from the report: first, that despite perceptions, Egypt is not “lost to Islamists,” and that if secularists choose to contest the next parliamentary election, they will gain seats. Second, non-Islamists have the most to gain in the Delta, an area often referred to as an Islamist stronghold, and yet one where Islamists have consistently underperformed their national averages.(...)
The report itself concludes:
"Should the non-Islamist parties reverse course and contest the vote, this report argues that non-Islamists would improve their position, picking up seats from their Islamist rivals. The potential boycott notwithstanding, Egypt does not appear “lost” to Islamists, nor are non-Islamists irrelevant to the country’s future. Rather, Egypt appears headed toward a much more competitive political environment in which Islamists are increasingly challenged to maintain their electoral edge."