The Moorish Wanderer

Tangier By-Election

Posted in Flash News, Intikhabates-Elections, Morocco by Zouhair ABH on October 8, 2012

So results from the Tangier and Marrakesh by-elections are up; PJD holds on to these, but the 25/11 effect has most likely waned out.

First off, let us just make sure to point out some summary statistics about the Tangiers-Assilah district; there are 407,042 eligible adults for registration (computed from the 2004 Census) and only 269,000 to 299,000 registered voters. When it comes to the overall weight the PJD vote carries up North, about 1 adult in 9 voted PJD in November, and only 1 in 15 during this by-election. So clearly, just as it was the case for last November 25th, actual majority votes are not registered anywhere, and certainly not in the Tangier-Tetuan region.

These figures are too aggregated to allow for any meaningful, detailed analysis of the local political landscape, and certainly are not detailed enough to provide input for a ‘mid-term’ assessment of PJD’s electoral popularity; yet it looks as though this is some high watermark many observers have been looking for, though I would wait for the local elections (presumably scheduled for 2013) to make that judgement; but from what looks to be final results, there has been a swing of 15% against PJD and in favour of its nearest competitor. In absolute terms, while PJD maintains its hegemony as the main party, its lead over the second competitor narrows down from 33,000 to 14,800 – though there has been a swap between UC and PAM. In terms of electoral coefficient, the swing has been weakly more moderate – about 12.5%, which translated into losing one seat, thus gaining only two of the three opened slots.

In absolute numbers, PJD has undoubtedly lost votes: they had 43,000 in 2011, now they managed only 26,000. In relative contribution to turnout decline, smaller and other non-competing parties account for almost half the 41,030 shortfall in voters; on the other hand, PJD’s own vote decline accounts for 40%; when only those parties with more than 6% threshold are considered, about 84% of the overall turnout decline can be attributed to the sole PJD electoral performance. In short, this means the fall in turnout from last year is due to disaffected PJD supporters, who did not bother to turnout to polling station.

A lower 6% threshold should have guaranteed all seats for PJD, but because their turnout was weaker than aggregate results, they failed to do so.

One last comment: because smaller parties decided to get out of the race this year, the competition over the district suddenly the relative performances of the main parties (PJD, UC, PAM) becomes more prominent, as measures of concentration attest to that. It is getting less competitive in terms of number of competing parties, but the margin of victory (so to speak) has significantly narrowed for PJD in a reputed stronghold.


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