2014 vs. 2018: How has voter turnout shifted



Mon, 02 Apr 2018 - 01:51 GMT


Mon, 02 Apr 2018 - 01:51 GMT

Sisi begins 2nd presidential term, winning landslide 21.8M votes (97.08%)

Sisi begins 2nd presidential term, winning landslide 21.8M votes (97.08%)

CAIRO – 2 April 2018: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi garnered 97.08 percent of valid votes in the presidential elections last week, where more than 21.8 million people voted for him. His hardly-known competitor received 656,534 votes, making up 2.9 percent of the valid ballots.

Much like the 2014 election, where Sisi competed against well-known politician Hamdeen Sabahy, void votes ranked second in the poll at 7.27 percent, accounting for 1.762 million ballots.

In a Monday press conference, the National Elections Authority announced the unsurprising figures, yet its head, judge Ibrahim Lachine, applauded the turnout of Egyptian expats abroad and the judicial supervision of the poll.

In the 2014 vote, 23.4 million people voted for Sisi, void votes accounted for one million ballots, and Sabahy amassed 740,000 votes.

President Sisi competed against al-Ghad Party chairperson Moussa Moustafa Moussa.

Initial figures showed that 21,088,295 voted for Sisi in polling stations across Egypt, excluding several stations in Cairo and Giza; Moussa on the other hand won 682,797 votes.

Looking at the 2014 presidential election and the 2018 presidential election, it becomes clear that voters’ actions, beliefs and turnout patterns have somewhat changed. Egypt Today compares between both elections to see how the political scene has changed.

Governorates with highest voter turnout:

New Valley, South Sinai, Menoufia, Beni Suef and Beheira coming ahead of all other governorates in terms of voting turnout, it is worth seeing why these governorates have had higher turnout than other governorates. Egypt and Alexandria, which hold two of the top five highest amounts of registered voters, also saw relatively high turnout.

New Valley

With five main voting stations and 61 sub-polling stations, provisional figures show that 1,376,647 votes were cast out of 168,863 registered voters, leaving turnout at 58.7 percent.

Sisi received 85,866 votes, while Moussa received 4,117 votes; invalid votes recorded 9,141.

South Sinai

With nine polling stations and 18 sub-polling stations, provisional numbers suggest that 52,521 votes were cast out of 101,742 registered voters; a turnout of 51.6 percent.

Sisi led the polls with 45,090 votes, while Moussa received 2,053 votes; invalid votes recorded 5,378.


With 12 main polling statins and 596 sub-polling stations, provisional figures showed that 1,207,613 votes were cast out of 2,514,278 registered voters; a turnout of 48 percent.

Sisi led the polls with 1,138,565 votes, while Moussa received 22,746 votes.

Beni Suef

With nine main polling stations and 514 sub-polling stations, provisional figures showed that 814,135 votes were cast out of 1,741,507 registered voters; a turnout of 46.78 percent. Sisi led the polls with 727,895 votes, while Moussa received 26,681 votes.


With 18 main polling stations and 885 sub-polling stations, provisional figures showed that 1,728,622 votes were cast out of 3,730,211 registered voters; a turnout of 46.3 percent. Sisi led the polls with 1,568,378 votes, while Moussa received 43,817 votes; invalid votes recorded 116,436.

Why have we seen a shift between the leading governorates in terms of voter turnout between the 2014 election and this one?

According to a statement by Akram Alfy, journalist and political analyst, the 2014 election saw Menoufia as the leading governorate in terms of turnout, however, this time (2018), it was the New Valley that led the governorates in voter turnout.

Alfy explained that this shift does not mean that coastal governorates decreased in terms of voting, however, he explained that the 2014 election saw the original voting base and those who already had the ability to vote casting their vote. This election, however, there were mechanisms to facilitate citizens’ voting process, therefore, the smaller circles and those areas that are smaller in numbers, who were previously marginalized, were able to vote and were therefore included in the numbers.

In light of this, Alfy suggests that it was this facilitation that led them to increase their number of votes, allowing them to lead governorates in voter turnout.

Alfy further clarifies that he does not believe, and that there is no evidence to suggest, that coastal governorates’ voter turnout decreased; Alfy argues that they stayed the same, at least relatively. He further elaborates that Cairo, and to a lesser extent, Alexandria, held their voting patterns in 2018 similar to that of 2014.

Between two elections:

During the 2014 presidential election, current President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and Hamdeen Sabahi ran for office, however, there are differences between the 2014 presidential election and the 2018 presidential election. Here is a look at two of the main governorates that saw changes between the two elections.

Kafr El Sheikh

Being the birth place of Sabahi, Kafr El Sheikh was expected to overwhelmingly support him, however, Sisi received 857,504 votes, while Sabahi received 54,114 votes. Total invalid votes stood at 25,290 votes.

The 2018 presidential election, much like the 2014 presidential election, suggests a growing popularity for Sisi in the governorate. Initial figures showed that 969,434 votes were cast out of 2,124,427 registered voters; a turnout of 45.6 percent. Sisi led the polls with 910,810 votes, while Moussa received 23,673 votes. The invalid votes recorded 34,951. Kafr El Sheikh has 578 sub-polling station and 14 main polling stations.

Why did Sisi’s support base increase in Kafr El Sheikh?

Perhaps the main reason for his growing support base is the increasing prosperity within the governorate due to economic measures and projects implemented by Sisi’s Administration.

In June 2017, Sisi inaugurated eight national projects in the Nile Delta’s Kafr El-Sheikh governorate during celebrations on the fourth anniversary of the June 30 events, Kafr El-Sheikh Governor Al-Said Nasr said Thursday.

The projects include fish farming in the Berka Ghalion, development of Burullus Lake, three hospitals, two drinking water stations and a STEM school, Nasr added.

Fish farming has been established on an area of 2,500 feddans (1 feddan = 1.038 acres) and will provide 15,000 job opportunities, the governor added, noting that the project will increase Egypt’s fish production from 40 percent to 70 percent.

Kafr El-Sheikh University Hospital, Burullus Hospital and Sidi Ghazi Hospital will also be inaugurated. The university hospital is equipped with 433 beds, 12 emergency units, 63 beds for intensive care units and 13 operating rooms. The cost of the project is worth LE 360 million (around $19.8 million), the governor continued.

The biggest of these projects was the fish farm, known as MENA's largest fish farm in Kafr El Sheikh.

The project was first announced in 2014 with a three-phase plan. The idea of the project is to build a huge fish farm on 12,000 feddans using the latest advanced techniques in the field of fish farming.

The project consists of a hatchery of fish and shrimp on an area of 17 feddans, with a production capacity of 20 million fish and two billion shrimp.

The project also includes 1,359 aquariums and 83 projects of popular Egyptian fish.

The project will help reduce fish imports by about 27 percent. It has also decreased unemployment, and will continued to do so as it expands more and more. It has already provided 5,000 jobs.

An industrial city will be built as part of the project that will include four main factories, a development and training center and a central laboratory to ensure high quality products.


Initial figures showed that 354,991 votes were cast out of 833,779 registered voters; a turnout of 42 percent. Sisi led the polls with 297,551 votes, while Moussa received 9,696 votes. The invalid votes recorded 28,460. Ismailia has 10 main polls and 222 sub-polling station.

Ismailia has seen a higher turnout this election, although still provisional, than that of the 2014 presidential election.

Why did Sisi’s support base increase in Ismailia?

Sisi inaugurated late December 2017 the second stage of aquaculture projects in Ismailia Governorate, East of the Suez Canal; the first stage was inaugurated earlier.

This came during the inauguration of a number of projects in the Ismailia Governorate and Canal cities attended by Sisi, as well as senior state officials, public figures, youth and representatives from all state institutions.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi inaugurated the second stage of aquaculture projects in Ismailia governorate - Press Photo

Sisi also inaugurated a floating bridge called Martyr Ahmed el-Mansy, connecting the Eastern and Western shores of the Suez Canal in Zone 6 in the Ismailia Governorate, achieving integration with ferries and undersea tunnels.

These facilities aim at smoothing the movement of citizens from the Eastern side of the canal to its Western lands, as part of the infrastructure necessary to urban agglomerations Eastern the canal and connecting Sinai with the rest of Egypt, which supports development projects executed in the Suez Canal governorates.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi inaugurated the second stage of aquaculture projects in Ismailia governorate - Press Photo

Port Said Shipyard implemented an international designing program and hired skilled Egyptians trained abroad to execute the project under the supervision of a French company, ensuring the application of all safety measures. Hiring foreign accredited companies to supervise its vessels has been a common practice by Suez Canal.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi inaugurated the second stage of aquaculture projects in Ismailia governorate - Press Photo

The inauguration event also included the tunnel of Ismailia, situated on the west bank of the Suez Canal. The tunnel will be used in crossing Drilling machines to the east side of channel.


With the election looming, Sisi publicly called for record voter participation in an effort to boost the election's legitimacy. Turnout was moderate with relatively long queues outside polling stations, most of them elderly and female. Media outlets released several photos of women standing in lines waiting to cast their ballots. Other pictures and videos showed them dancing in front of polling stations and raising the Egyptian flag, along with pictures of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

Media figures, officials and actors have all called on Egyptians to partake in the election, calling it a national duty. Many of them went on to highlight that even if people disagree with the country’s current situation, they should look beyond their personal grievances for the country’s best interest.

Several officials and Members of Parliament said that Egyptians who did not vote would be fined LE 500.


Candidates were able to apply for nomination to stand in the presidential election between January 20 and 29, 2018. The final list of candidates approved by the National Election Authority (NEA) was announced on February 24. Candidates were allowed to spend a maximum of LE 20 million for campaigning and to accept campaign donations of up to two percent of the total allowed campaign expenditures.

Political Rights Law No. 45 of 2014, constrains the content of campaigns, including prohibitions on the use of religious slogans, calls for discrimination or threats to national unity.

Egyptians who are above the age of 18 have the right to vote; there were 59 million eligible voters for this year’s presidential election. Active members of the Armed Forces and police are not allowed to vote.

Article 2 of the Political Rights Law (Law 45/2014) bans from voting those who suffer from mental disorders or are under judicial interdiction, or who have been convicted of a felony.

The first round of voting was held for Egyptians abroad on March 16-18. Voting inside Egypt was conducted for three days on March 26-28. Polls were opened over a twelve-hour period, from 9am till 9pm (local time), except the last day as the voting was extended to 10pm.

According to the NEA, 59 million Egyptians out of a population of 104 million (including those abroad and in the country's 27 governorates) are eligible to vote.

The preliminary results of the first round of the election are scheduled for March 29, where decisions on appeals submitted by candidates, if any, will be made. The final results of the first round will be announced on April 2.

If there is a need to hold a run-off round, Egyptian expats will cast their votes again on April 19-21. Those in Egypt will cast their votes on April 24-26. The final 2018 presidential election result is expected to be announced on May 1, if a run-off round is necessary.



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