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Most Egyptians Believe Continued Protests Are Bad for Country

Egyptians were growing less optimistic about their lives post-Mubarak before Monday's vote

by Ahmed Younis and Mohamed Younis

LOS ANGELES -- The recent resurgence of protests in Egypt leading up to Monday's elections is likely not something most Egyptians want to see, even though they may share overall frustrations with the pace of change in their country. In September, 84% of Egyptians said continued protests were a bad thing for the country, echoing the clear majority sentiment Gallup has measured since June.

Good thing or bad thing? Continued protests in Egypt

The high level of negativity toward continued protests contrasts the high level of support for the initial protests in January that led to the overthrow of former President Hosni Mubarak. In September, 75% of Egyptians said they supported protesters who called for Mubarak's resignation, down slightly from 83% who said so in March, but still a significant majority.

Support protesters Mubarak's resignation

While Egyptians did not see the benefit of continued protests when polled in September, they still wanted Mubarak held accountable for corruption despite the current focus on the Tahrir protesters and their rejection of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). Seventy-five percent of Egyptians believed Mubarak should be put on trial for corruption, compared with 81% in August and 76% in June.

Mubarak on trial for corruption?

With the resignation of Essam Sharaf, interim Prime Minister of Egypt, and his full cabinet last week, the tension between protesters in Tahrir Square and the SCAF reached a zenith. Many Egyptians voting Monday may be less optimistic about their future in the new Egypt than they were just after the revolution. In September, 51% of Egyptians expected their lives to improve in post-Mubarak Egypt, down sharply from 72% in June.

Conditions for yourself improve or decline?


Until the most recent wave of violence between security forces and protesters in Tahrir, Egyptians saw a path to stability for the country. Initial accounts suggest a sizable turnout for parliamentary elections currently underway, which the vast majority of Egyptians expected to be fair and honest. Yet despite passion at the ballot box, fewer Egyptians see their lives as improving in post-Mubarak Egypt. Egyptians still face many challenges such as education, jobs, the cost of food, and others as they chart a course for progress. With the failure of the first interim government and the future of a newly appointed one unclear, many are watching as events unfold.

For complete data sets or custom research from the more than 150 countries Gallup continually surveys, please contact or call 202.715.3030.

Survey Methods

Results are based on face-to-face interviews with 1,049 adults, aged 15 and older, conducted Sept. 16-23, 2011, in Egypt. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3.4 percentage points. Earlier surveys are based on face-to-face interviews with approximately 1,000 adults, aged 15 and older, in Egypt. For results based on the total sample of national adults in these surveys, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error ranges from ±3.3 to ±3.5 percentage points.

The margin of error reflects the influence of data weighting. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

For more complete methodology and specific survey dates, please review Gallup's Country Data Set details.


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