Preliminary Analysis of Voting Figures in Iran’s 2009 Presidential Election

That the countryside always votes conservative is a myth. The claim that this year Ahmadinejad swept the board in more rural provinces flies in the face of these trends.

Executive Summary

Working from the province by province breakdowns of the 2009 and 2005

results, released by the Iranian Ministry of Interior, and from the 2006 census

as published by the official Statistical Centre of Iran, the following observations

about the official data and the debates surrounding it can be made.

• In two conservative provinces, Mazandaran and Yazd, a turnout of

more than 100% was recorded.

• At a provincial level, there is no correlation between the increased

turnout and the swing to Ahmadinejad. This challenges the notion that

Ahmadinejad’s victory was due to the massive participation of a

previously silent conservative majority.

• In a third of all provinces, the official results would require that

Ahmadinejad took not only all former conservative voters, all former

centrist voters, and all new voters, but also up to 44% of former

Reformist voters, despite a decade of conflict between these two

groups.

• In 2005, as in 2001 and 1997, conservative candidates, and

Ahmadinejad in particular, were markedly unpopular in rural areas.

That the countryside always votes conservative is a myth. The claim

that this year Ahmadinejad swept the board in more rural provinces

flies in the face of these trends.

Read the paper:

http://www.chathamhouse.org.uk/files/14234_iranelection0609.pdf

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