Egypt: election results vs November Facebook popularity

By: Albrecht Hofheinz, University of Oslo.

Now that the elections for the People’s Assembly are over, it is interesting to compare the results to how prominent the various political groups stood out on the social media last year. How ‘representative’ are the social media of the population at large (a largely very young population, mind you!) ?

The final results for the People’s Assembly elections show the following distribution of seats in the 508-member lower house:

FJP: 47.2% of seats Wasaṭ: 2% ʿAdl: 0.2% Nūr: 24.7% x-Gamāʿa: 1.8% Wafd: 7.6% Kutla (Egyptian Bloc): 6.8% Fulūl (NDP-successors): 3.6% Revolutionaries: 1.4%


MB: 49.4% Salafī: 26.5% Liberal: 14.6% Fulūl: 3.6% Left: 1.4%

On 7 Nov. 2011, I had done a little experiment to assess the Facebook strength of the various Egyptian parties. I averaged ‘likes’ and ‘talking about’ and categorized the different parties very roughly into tendencies, and came up with this result:

MB: 38% Salafī: 21% Liberal: 23% Left: 20% Fulūl: 1%

(adds up to >100 since I counted Ḥizb al-ʿAdl as both MB and liberal).

Very roughly, FB thus showed a 60% Islamist vs. 40% secularist distribution. Compared to the outcome of the elections in ‘real life’, with 76% won by the Islamic trend, FB thus had a relatively stronger ‘secular’ population, but the Islamic trend was also strongly represented on the social media, as is no surprise to observers.