Morsi's popularity dips (just) below 50%

The latest poll conducted by Baseera, one of Egypt's better pollsters, illustrates the hit the Morsi administration has taken in the last two months: President Mohammed Morsi, whose approval rating reached 78% in September at its peak, is now less than 50% for the first time. The trend is clearly a downwards one, and that's in the absence of a strong alternative leader in the opposition. The National Salvation Front, on the other hand, has also taken a hit but may face a greater challenge: some 35% of those polled had never heard of it, a devastating measure of the NSF's lack of street presence (although, to be fair, the NSF's components and individual leaders may be better know.

The full press release from Baseera is after the jump.

 

Press Release on the Poll Conducted by Baseera Center on the Performance of the National Salvation Front and the President’s Approval Rating after Eight Months in Office

Magued Osman

President’s approval rating continues to decline, falling to less than 50% of Egyptians.

One third of Egyptians have not heard of the National Salvation Front, while more than 50% of those who have do not support the NSF.


The Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research "Baseera" conducted its periodic poll to track the President’s approval ratings after eight months in office. The results showed a continued decline in approval ratings. The percentage of those who approve the President’s performance reached 49% compared to 53% at the end of the seventh month, and 78% at the end of the first 100 days in office. This is the first time to observe an approval rating that is less than 50%. At the same time, the percentage of those who disapproved rose to 43% compared to 39% by the end of the seventh month in office and 15% by the end of the first 100 days. The approval rating of the President is only 35% among university graduates, compared to about 54% among those with less than intermediate education.

At the same time, the percentage of those who would re-elect President Morsi, if elections were held tomorrow, continued to decline, reaching 35% compared to 39% at the end of the seventh month and 58% at the end of the first 100 days in office.

The poll conducted this month included a number of questions about the National Salvation Front (NSF). The results show that 35% of Egyptians have not heard of the NSF at all. This percentage rises to 45% in rural areas, compared to about 24% in urban areas. The percentage of those who have never heard of the NSF is about 20% in urban governorates compared to 39% in Lower and Upper Egypt. Moreover, half of those who have less than intermediate education have not heard of the NSF, compared to 7% of university graduates.

Respondents familiar with the NSF were asked whether they support the Front. The results indicate that 35% do support it, 53% do not, and 12% are undecided or have no opinion about NSF. The percentage of supporters is higher in Lower Egypt governorates, reaching 42%, versus 35% in urban governorates, and 27% in Upper Egypt.

Respondents familiar with the NSF – supporters and opponents – were asked about their views about its performance. Around 12% evaluated its performance as good, 33% as average, and 42% as poor. The rest of the respondents were undecided. These percentages vary considerably between NSF supporters and non-supporters. The percentage of those who perceive the NSF’s performance as good is as high as 33% among supporters, compared to only 1% among opponents. Similarly, the percentage of those who see its performance as average is 58% among supporters compared to only 17% among non-supporters. The percentage of those who perceive its performance as poor was only 3% among supporters compared to 75% among non-supporters.

When respondents familiar with the NSF were asked their views about the best political figure, Amr Moussa came first (19%), followed by Hamdein Sabbahi (12%), and Mohamed El-Baradei (6%). However, 27% reported either that there was no worthy political figure or that they were all undeserving, while 29% were undecided.

Methodology:

The survey was conducted using landline and mobile telephones. The size of the probability sample was 2275 Egyptians above 18 years old. All interviews were conducted on Monday and Tuesday February 18 and 19, 2013. The response rate was approximately 74%, and the margin of error was less than 3%. Income brackets were determined based on ownership of durable goods. For more information on the detailed findings and the methodology used, please refer to our website www.baseera.com.eg

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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.