A large majority of Iranians, 78 percent, had favorable views of President Ebrahim Raisi, according to a new poll by the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM) and IranPoll.com. Many Iranians, however, were critical of how the June 2021 election was conducted. Some 44 percent of Iranians were "not at all" or "not very satisfied" with the final list of candidates, who were approved to run by the powerful Guardian Council. Some 58 percent thought that the election law should be changed -- notably to simplify the vetting of candidates.
Iranians provided a range of explanations for not voting in the 2021 election. The turnout, according to official tallies, was only 48.8 percent, the lowest in 13 presidential elections since the 1979 revolution. The reasons included dissatisfaction with presidents not keeping their promises, concerns about contracting COVID-19 at polling stations, wanting to protest economic conditions, and feeling that the winner was obvious from the start of the campaign.
Compared to previous elections, the low turnout reflected widespread apathy about both the candidates and the future of the revolution. An unprecedented percentage of voters, 12.9 percent, turned in blank or invalid ballots, according to the Interior Ministry. The number of spoiled ballots, which exceeded votes for the runner-up, suggested that many of them were protest votes.
IranPoll surveyed a nationally representative sample of about 1,000 Iranians from Aug. 30, 2021 to Sept. 9, 2021. The margin of error was 3.1 percent. The following are key results.
On Raisi and Other Public Figures
- Ebrahim Raisi is the president.
- Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf is the speaker of parliament.
- Mohammad Javad Zarif served as foreign minister from 2013 to 2021 under former President Hassan Rouhani.
- Mohammad Khatami was president from 1997 to 2005.
- Alireza Zakani is the mayor of Tehran and a former member of parliament.
- Saeed Jalili is a member of the Supreme National Security Council (secretary from 2007 to 2013; supreme leader’s representative from 2014 to present).
- Hassan Rouhani was president from 2013 to 2021.
- Ali Larijani was the speaker of parliament from 2008 to 2020.
On the 2021 Presidential Election
The Guardian Council is responsible for vetting and approving candidates.
For whom did you vote?
- Ebrahim Raisi: 66 percent
- Mohsen Rezaei: 12.1 percent
- Abdolnaser Hemmati: 7.9 percent
- Amir Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi: 3.0 percent
- or did you cast a blank or an invalid ballot? 8.9 percent
- DK/NA: 2.1
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