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Latest Poll By Iran State TV Puts Turnout At Just 32% In Presidential Election

A poll conducted by Iran’s state-controlled broadcasting network and published this week says only 32 percent of eligible voters will take part in the June presidential election. According to the survey, 51 percent said they will definitely not take part in the upcoming presidential election in June.

The state TV poll was conducted less than two months before the election. A pollster on the Iranian TV said that comparing the figure for those who said they would definitely vote two months ahead of the elections in 2017 and 2021, their numbers has decreased from 52 percent in 2017 to 32 percent in April 2021.

Although the state TV argued that 70 percent of the decline in interest in voting was due to the fear of COVID-19 pandemic by 70 percent, it contradicts Iranian state TV's own footage showing extremely busy streets full of people going out and about with or without a mask.

An ISNA poll conducted by the agency's polling agency ISPA a few weeks before the state TV's poll indicated that 48 percent said they would certainly vote in the election and 26.6 percent said they are still undecided about taking part in the election.

According to ISPA, 28.6 percent of those taking part in the poll said they believe voting in the presidential election will have a positive impact on solving the country's problems. This comes while 26.7 percent believed their vote will have no impact at all.

The Iranian state television's polling center used to be one of the leading pollsters in Iran up to early 2000s. After 2005, when populist President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected, everything, including the poll centers and the general idea of polls and opinion surveys changed for good.

Until a decade ago, the most important polling centers in Iran belonged to the Intelligence Ministry, the state TV, ISNA news agency, and the Culture Ministry. The four offered a more or less accurate estimate of the way things were going and trends were moving, only if you took all the results into account.

During the past decade, several other polling agencies including those operated by the Revolutionary Guards and the Basij militia entered the scene, blurring the border between fact and fallacy by fabricating figures or conducting research based on dubious methodology.

In many poll results, it is not clear how many individuals took part from which parts of the society, what was their age group, gender and level of education as well as their geolocation.

Less than seven weeks before the election, Iran watchers, political analysts in Iran and abroad, as well as Iranians on social media say they do not see the usual election rigor that overwhelmed Iran at election times. Even some of the many candidates who have come forward so far are not that passionate about the election. Conservative website Tabnak wrote recently that many of them are eying smaller posts in the new government, hoping that their candidacy will provide the necessary public exposure for those posts.

The extremely low turnout (around 26 percent in Tehran) in the Parliamentary election in February 2020 alerted the officials about a possible low turnout in the presidential elections. However, conservative figures have clearly said many times during the past year that they do not mind a low turnout because this is traditionally an indication of a conservative victory.

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