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Analysing the Campaigns in Light of Their Professionalisation

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Campaign Professionalism during Egypt’s 2012 Presidential Election

Part of the book series: Political Campaigning and Communication ((PCC))

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This chapter aims to analyse the five studied election campaigns by comparing and analysing their structure (hardware) and strategies (software) based on the professionalisation index which was applied separately to each campaign in the previous chapter. By analysing the campaigns’ professionalism, the chapter explores which campaigns were more professional and tries to answer the question: did professionalisation play a role in determining the election results. In other words, was there a direct relationship between campaigns’ professionalism and the election results? The chapter argues that professionalisation played a significant role in the first round of elections which left both Morsi and Shafiq as the top two front runners, giving them the chance to compete again in the second round of elections. However, professionalisation did not play the same role in determining the result of the second round of elections, as there were other determinant factors such as voters resorting to punitive voting.

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  1. 1.

    This is interview with Mohamed Al-Shahawy. Aboul Foutouh’s campaign manager.

  2. 2.

    Egypt is divided, for administrative purposes, into 27 governorates. These governorates are either fully ‘urban’ or else a mixture of ‘urban’ and ‘rural’, depending on its second tier division whether it’s divided to Markaz and Qesm or Qesm and districts.

  3. 3.

    Interview with Yara Khalaf, Amr Moussa’s campaign, Campaign’s media team.

  4. 4.

    Interview with Hossam Moeness. Sabahy’s campaign manager.

  5. 5.

    Public opinion polls were another main feature of this election. Several centres were keen to conduct public opinion polls. Some were conducted by governmental centres such as the information and decision support centre, others were conducted by research centres affiliated with state-owned newspapers such as Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies (ACPSS), others were conducted by partnership between independent newspapers and independent research centres such as those conducted by Baseera centre and Al-Masry Al-Youm newspapers.

    Most of these polls put Amr Moussa and Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh as the front-running candidates. It also reported accelerated progress in the popularity of other candidates such as Morsi and Shafiq over time. However, these polls were not proven to be accurate in comparison to the election results. For example, Moussa, who was reported as the top candidate, came fifth in the election results. And Morsi, who was not a top candidate in these polls, came as a top candidate in the results.

    These inaccurate results led some to accuse the polls of bias or being pseudo polls, to the extent that some presidential candidates such as Abdul Ezz Al-Hariri, Hamdeen Sabahi, and Hisham Bastawisi filed lawsuit against the head of the Shura Council, head of press supreme council and chairman of newspapers and poll centres that conducted polls accusing polls of directing the voters to vote for specific candidates (Ahram gate 27/5/2012).

    Several reasons were given to explain the polls’ inaccuracy such as ignoring some segments in the Egyptian societies such as housewives, illiterate citizens, and some border governorates. Majed Othman, head of Baseera, argued that this inaccuracy was mainly because of undecided voters, as 33% of the sample had not decided yet at the time of polls (Aswat Masryia 24/5/2014). In addition was the difficulty of getting the governmental permissions required to conduct face-to-face polls, which make some centres conduct telephone interviews, which lead to inaccuracy as it depends on mobile phones, making verifying identities and details very difficult. But others argued that this inaccuracy was mainly due to a lack of experience, lack of access to lower classes, and lack of access to remote locations (Al-Fagr 22/5/2012).

  6. 6.

    In 2012, one GDP was equal to approximately 10 LE.

  7. 7.

    PEC website

  8. 8.

    Interview with Mohamed Aboul Gheit, Aboul Foutouh campaign’s in Asyout governorate.

  9. 9.

    El-Khoreiby’s study was conducted a sample of 228 respondents. Only 126 of them responded to the second phase of questions. Phillips’s study was conducted on a sample of 393 respondents. Thus, both were very limited to represent the 50,403,717 registered voters.

  10. 10.

    Mahmoud Ibrahim, Internet and Social Media Manager in Shafiq’s campaign.

  11. 11.

    Interview with Yehia Hamed, Morsi’s campaign spokesperson and former investment minister during Morsi’s term in presidency.

  12. 12.

    Interview conducted with Abdel-Galil El-Sharnoby in October 2016. El-Sharnoby held several official positions in the Muslim Brotherhood such as: Head of media unit which was responsible for all the governorates, deputy head of the Brotherhood’s media unit, member of the weekly newsletter committee, ex editor in chief of Ikhwan online website.

  13. 13.

    According to the theory, ideologically right-wing parties are supposed to be more professional. Right wing refers to the conservative or reactionary section of a political party or system. In the Egyptian case, conservative and not right wing best describe both the Muslim Brotherhood and the dismantled NDP, since they are not reactionary.

  14. 14.

    For full results in each governorate, see HEC website on:

  15. 15.

    People’s assembly elections were conducted on three stages from 28 November 2011 till 11 January 2012. First parliamentary session started on 23 January 2012.

  16. 16.

    Average voter turnout in governorates was 47%. In some governorates, such as Port Said, voter turnout was 60%.

  17. 17.

    The five governorates are Dakahlia, Mounifia, Sharqia, Gharbia, and Qalyubia.

  18. 18.

    Number of void votes was 843,257 votes. The number was nearly equal to the difference of votes between Morsi and Shafiq which was 882,751 votes.

  19. 19.

    During Mubarak’s era, arguments explaining winning in parliamentary elections were almost the same, revolving around patronage, clientelism, organisational strength and ideology. For a detailed review on elections during this era and its implications on the nature of future elections, see Blaydes 2001. For a detailed analysis of all arguments explaining Brotherhood victories in the past 30 years, see Masoud 2014. For a detailed analysis of the role of clientelism during Mubarak’s era, see El Tarouty 2015.

  20. 20.

    The idea of the ‘deep state’ was first used to describe the political structure of Turkey, which has a democratic government, but also a powerful military that has the authority to intervene. It was used during the Egyptian transitional period to refer to a set of institutions and bodies believed to be involved in running the country either in the form of secret manipulation or in having control of government policy. These include bureaucratic institutions, intelligence service, military, judiciary institution, and the media. Due to the long period of their existence, they develop patterns of behaviour and rules in the administration that cannot be easily changed even after revolution (for more, see Abdel Meguid 2014).


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Elsheikh, D. (2018). Analysing the Campaigns in Light of Their Professionalisation. In: Campaign Professionalism during Egypt’s 2012 Presidential Election. Political Campaigning and Communication. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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