Case Analysis 27 April, 2022

A Survey of Lebanese Voters ahead of National Elections

Socio-Political Profile and Voter Intentions

Charles Harb

Professor of Psychology at Doha Institute for Graduate Studies and American University of Beirut (AUB). His research on socio-political dynamics in the Arab region focuses on intergroup relations, perceptions, and the reduction of prejudice and political violence. He has consulted on projects for the UNDP, ESCWA, UNHCR, UNESCO and other international agencies working on relief and development in the Arab region.

Introduction [*]

acrobat IconThese have been turbulent years for Lebanon: A national uprising in October of 2019 followed by an economic collapse of historic proportions, a global COVID pandemic, and an ammonium nitrate explosion destroying a portion of the capital Beirut in August of 2020. The World Bank stated that “[t]he Lebanon financial and economic crisis is likely to rank in the top 10, possibly top three, most severe crises episodes globally since the mid-nineteenth century” (Lebanon Economic Monitor 2021, p. xii). More than half of the population is below the national poverty line and the Lebanese currency lost over 90% of its value.

The nation is gearing towards national parliamentary elections, scheduled for May 15, 2022. This is the first national election since the 2019 uprising and subsequent collapse, and it will be an important milestone in Lebanon’s political history. Most analysts appear “pessimistic” about the election outcomes, predicting an overwhelming victory for main traditional parties and a symbolic representation of the opposition parties, and thus a de facto continuation of the status quo. This report does not aim to provide an analytic review of the political situation in Lebanon, nor does it aim to endorse a specific socio-political narrative or viewpoint. The report aims to provide an empirically supported description of the socio-political landscape and voters intentions ahead of the May 15, 2022 elections. The analyses are based on survey research of a representative sample of 1200 Lebanese nationals (2.8% margin of error) conducted between April 7 and April 15, 2022.

* The study was supported by a Major Research Fund (MRF05-02) from the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies and was approved by the Institute’s IRB (DI-IRB-2022-F06).