Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Friday, March 18, 2016

Analyzing the recent Iranian elections

One of Suzanne Bailey's students in Huntsville, Alabama, recommended the web site Majlis Monitor. The site was created at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto.

The main article up now offers an interpretation of the results of the Majlis election to date (there are still 69 seats for which there must be run-offs) and the Assembly of Experts election.

Complicated, but worth the effort of understanding.

Analysis: 2016 Iranian Parliamentary & Assembly of Experts Election Results
This 2016 Iranian elections saw the continuation of at least three main trends that began with the 2013 Iranian presidential elections. First, centrists and reformists, who converge on many issues but had often found themselves at odds with one another between 1997 and 2013, have continued to work together to minimize vote splitting and maximize their chances of winning. Second, traditional and hardline conservatives have continued diverging over differences on the economy and foreign policy. Finally, the Iranian electorate by and large appears to have decided to participate in the elections after speculation that a majority could choose to boycott over concerns of electoral fraud and unfairness…


While these results allow us to make some preliminary projections about the tenth parliament and fifth assembly, much still remains to be determined.

In the parliamentary elections the Hope List appears to be winning overall in the first round. However, it is unclear how Independent votes will be distributed between the Hope and Principalist lists. Furthermore, we should keep in mind that 30 out of 80 of the Hope List’s victories were in Tehran, while the Principalists List seems to have performed better outside the capital where the runoff elections will decide the allocation of the remaining 69 seats.

Can the Hope List maintain momentum and mobilize Iranians like it did in Tehran and win the runoffs, or will Principalists go on the counter-offensive? As of the time of writing the possibility of either a Hope or Principalist list majority in parliament remains open. With all of this in mind here are a number of preliminary thoughts on the election results…

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