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RCD poll predicts win for Sadr Movement

A nationwide opinion poll conducted by the Baghdad-based al-Rafidain Center for Dialogue (RCD) predicts the Shiite Sadr Movement to win the Iraqi election, followed by the Fatah Alliance, its rival Shiite bloc headed by Hadi al-Amiri.

The survey, conducted across the 18 provinces in Iraq between Sept. 25 and Oct. 5, 2021 shows Sadr Movement is to win 47 seats. The opinion poll calculated the best, medium and worst-case scenarios for all the political parties. Sadr’s Sairoon coalition is expected to win 53, 47 and 43 seats in each category, respectively.

Sairoon – then a coalition of the Sadr Movement, the Iraqi communist party and some smaller Iraqi entities – won the last Iraqi election with 54 secured seats.

The poll surveyed 5,700 people across the provinces with 300 questionnaire sheets except for Baghdad, which has 69 seats up for grabs and received 600 forms.

The RCD said that Saladin, Baghdad and Nineveh have the highest numbers of candidates per electoral district, with 64.3 candidates per district. Kurdistan Region’s provinces have the least number of candidates per an electoral district, with Duhok numbering just eight candidates per district.

The center states that the high number of the candidates in the rest of Iraq might “shatter the votes,” whereas the situation in the Kurdistan Region means that candidates might receive a higher share of the votes.

The poll results slate the Kurdistan Democratic Party, the largest Kurdish party in the Kurdistan Region, to win 32 seats in a best-case scenario or 24 in a worst-case scenario. The KDP has said that they will maintain or increase their votes in the upcoming election.

Of those surveyed, 37.2 percent indicated their intention to take part in the election, 50.5 responded they would not and 12.3 were undecided.

According to the survey, public trust in the transparency of the election is almost even, 41.6 percent responded the election will be transparent and clean, and 42.1 percent did not have any trust at all.

Of the respondents, 70 percent said they would not trust the candidates to follow up on promises they made during the election campaign. In Dhi Qar, a southern province where it witnessed one of the bloodiest protests that led to the resignation of the former Iraqi cabinet in late 2019, only 17 percent believed the candidates will meet their promises. Anbar and Erbil with 77.8 and 56 percent, respectively, scored the highest trust in their candidates.