A recent field study indicates that the number of Egyptians opposed to the overthrow of Dr Mohammed Morsi as President has risen to 69 per cent. Only around 25 per cent of Egyptians support his current detention, while six per cent prefer to keep their opinion to themselves.
The study conducted by the Egyptian Centre for Media Studies and the public opinion group Integrating Egypt is the second of its kind to be conducted since General Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, and various political and religious factions collaborated to depose Morsi in a military coup last month.
The aim of the study was to examine the critical group in opposition to President Morsi's detention and the trajectory of the level of support for the 2011 Constitution (approximately 78 per cent) if the current political situation continues. It shows the qualitative distribution of those in opposition to Morsi's isolation, only around 19 per cent of whom are Muslim Brotherhood supporters. Thirty-nine per cent of those opposed to his detention are affiliated with other Islamic factions whereas 36 per cent do not affiliate with any political movements. The liberal bloc and Christians constitute 6 per cent and 2 per cent of the study respectively.
In terms of the qualitative distribution of those who support President Morsi's overthrow, the study indicates that 55 per cent were affiliated with the disgraced Mubarak regime. Nineteen per cent belong to the Liberal movement, 17 per cent are Christian and six per cent affiliate with the Leftist bloc; three per cent do not affiliate with any political movement.
The qualitative distribution of those who prefer not to express an opinion on the political situation shows that 91 per cent affiliate themselves with the Nour party or some religious schools of thought whereas nine per cent do not have any political affiliations. The study was conducted on August 1 and 2 by selecting 3,911 individuals at random from different denominations and sects in Egyptian society.
The study showed an increase in the number of those opposed to deposing President Morsi, from July's 63 per cent to 69 per cent. The number of those in favour of keeping the president in isolation went down slightly, from 26 per cent in July to 25 per cent; those who preferred to remain silent dropped from 11 per cent to six per cent. The study shows a 10 per cent increase in the number of those opposed to removing President Morsi from his post over the course of the previous month. It is noticeable that the opposition is roughly equal to the proportions of the voting bloc alliances in the previous parliament, which included the Freedom and Justice Party and the Nour Party coalition. It is likely that the opposition and the supporters of the 2011 constitution (roughly 78 per cent) will be targeted.
With a 4 per cent decrease in supporter for President Morsi's isolation over the last month, the number of those who support his removal is approaching 25 per cent and the proportion of those opposed to amending the 2011 Constitution is approximately 22 per cent. These figures could become a reality in two months' time if the political situation continues in the same vein.
The qualitative distribution of the 69 per cent of Egyptians opposed to overthrowing President Morsi according to political orientation is broken down as follows:
- 19 per cent are affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood or its political branch, the Freedom and Justice Party, and its political ideology. Many live in Lower Egypt and Greater Cairo.
- 39 per cent belong to Islamic political movements with ideologies and schools of thought aside from the Muslim Brotherhood. Many of these individuals live in the North or South of Upper Egypt.
- 6 per cent are liberals and practice independent professions such as medicine, law, accountancy and business. The majority live in the provinces of Upper and Lower Egypt and Greater Cairo.
- 36 per cent do not align themselves with any political parties, either organisationally or ideologically. Many were born into Islam and are by default practicing Muslims. They inhabit numerous Egyptian provinces and live in villages and hamlets.
- 2 per cent are Christians and belong to the Evangelical Church. The majority are highly educated.
The qualitative distribution of the 25 per cent of Egyptians in favour of overthrowing President Morsi according to political orientation is as follows:
- 55 per cent are supporters of Hosni Mubarak and the former regime. Many of them work in government or occupy government jobs. The majority live in Cairo and other provincial capitals.
- 19 per cent belong to liberal blocs and parties with liberal ideologies in general. Many live in Cairo and other provincial capitals.
- 17 per cent are Coptic Christians belonging to the Orthodox Church. This study considers them to be a political movement after many Egyptian Church leaders participated in removing President Morsi from office. They mostly live in Cairo, Minya, Beni Suef, Asslut, Sohag, Luxor, Alexandria, and Menouflia.
- 6 per cent belong to left-wing blocs and/or parties with leftist ideology. They mostly live in Cairo and other provincial capitals.
- 3 per cent do not align themselves with any political movements and live in all provinces.
Note that of the individuals who support the removal of Morsi from his post as President of the Republic, 97 per cent have political and organisational affiliations. Seventy-two per cent of them are Christian or support the former Mubarak Regime, which reflects the same alliance between these two currents during the period of Mubarak's 30-year rule.
The qualitative distribution of those who prefer to remain silent on the isolation of President Morsi, according to political orientation, is as follows:
- 91 per cent are affiliated to the Nour Party or agree intellectually with the ideological philosophy of the Nour Party. Many of these individuals live in Alexandria and the central and western Delta, while the rest live in various provinces around Egypt.
- 9 per cent do not belong to any political movement and are distributed among Egypt's numerous provinces, and live in a state of ennui and despair in regards to political life.
It should be noted that one month after the first field study in July, in which the figure for those who preferred to remain silent was 11 per cent, the Nour Party and its Salafist sources lost many of its supporters and political authority. One of the main reasons for this was that the Salafist political ideology opposed the overthrow of Mohammed Morsi. Their bias towards the current political situation was formed after many protesters were praying when they were killed and injured by the security forces; the many attacks on mosques have also been an influence. Moreover, their stance came about as a response to the media blackout of opposition voices and in solidarity with the steadfastness of Morsi's supporters since the coup.
Report prepared and analysed by Mustafa Khodary from the Egyptian Centre for Media Studies and Public Opinion.