Raisi holds large leads over others in opinion poll

May 2, 2021 - 17:33

TEHRAN – Presumptive presidential candidate Ayatollah Seyed Ibrahim Raisi is leading all other potential candidates in the upcoming presidential election of Iran, a recent poll showed. 

A recent poll conducted by a reliable university opinion poll center showed that Judiciary chief Ayatollah Raisi is in the lead with 42%, according to Fars News.

Other potential candidates Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Expediency Council chief Mohsen Rezaei, and former Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani received 22%, 20%, 10%, and 6% respectively. 

The poll was conducted on April 29. Respondents were asked to rate the five most prominent figures who are thought to announce presidential bids. The fifth figure is Es’haq Jahangiri, who serves as the First Vice President of Iran.

Jahangiri and Larijani received the most negative ratings, according to Fars News.

Respondents were also asked to choose between Raisi and Zarif in an imaginative contest between the two. 67% said they will elect Raisi while only 27% said they would vote for Zarif. This may indicate a sharp decline in Zarif’s perceived popularity.

Zarif’s popularity against Qalibaf also shrank to 33%. 56% of the respondents said they would choose Qalibaf in a possible contest between him and Zarif. 

The poll also showed that turnout in the upcoming election will, for now, stand at 47%.

Iran is slowly moving toward an early election fever, with several unofficial candidates privately organizing their campaign staff to prepare for one of Iran’s most consequential elections that could determine Iran’s trajectory for years to come.

So far, none of these figures, except for Rezaei, have officially announced candidacy. Ayatollah Raisi has remained silent on whether he would run for president but public calls on him to run for office have intensified. Last week, a group of 1,400 university students called on Ayatollah Raisi to consider running for president. Raisi is widely seen as a figure who can upend the election dynamics given his experience in achieving more than 15 million votes in the most recent Iranian presidential election in 2017. Some conservative politicians believe that if Raisi announces the presidential bid, all conservative blocs, also known as the Principlists, will unite behind him, and thus he is the only conservative politician who has the ability to create partisan unity.

Manouchehr Mottaki, the former foreign minister of Iran who is currently coordinating the elections efforts of the Principalists, said on Saturday that Raisi is “very likely” to announce a presidential bid. And that all political factions should encourage him to run for president.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is going to hold its 13th presidential election on June 18.

Recent polls show that Iranians attach importance to the upcoming election. A recent opinion poll conducted by the Iranian Students Polling Agency (ISPA) in the period between January 20 and February 18, showed that a remarkable portion of Iranian society still positively looks to the political changes that will be produced by the election in the next spring. The poll also showed that a large number of Iranian people hope that with the change of government, openness will be achieved in their individual and societal lives.

More than 1,500 people above the age of 18 have participated in the ISPA poll. They were asked the following question: “In your view, how much does the participation of people in the election can be effective in resolving the current problems of the country?”

More than 55% of the respondents said they believe that participation of the people in the June election will have a positive impact on resolving the current problems while less than 39% said that participation will be to no use. A breakdown of the second figure into two groups shows that 13% of respondents believe that the election will be “somehow ineffective” in changing the conditions of their lives. And 26% of respondents said the election will not be effective at all. 

The ISPA poll shows in no uncertain terms that the majority of Iranian people pin hopes on the election’s results and look forward to participating in the June election. According to the poll, those hoping the election will contribute to making their lives better have already made decision to vote.

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