After the Coup: Egyptian Public Opinion

In the final weeks of June 2013, millions of protesters amassed in Cairo and all across Egypt to protest the government of Muhammed Mursi. Within days, the armed forces arrested the president, suspended the constitution, and presented a “road map” to a new political future for Egypt. While a coterie of military, civilian, and religious figures appeared on television to bless the July 3rd coup, public support was evident from broadcasted images of the celebrating crowds around Egypt.

The events of summer 2013 underlined the rising significance of public opinion in post-Mubarak Egypt. Even as Egypt’s political transition has taken sharp and sometimes unexpected turns, public opinion has continually informed the decisions of Egypt’s political and military leadership, before and after July 3rd. This paper examines the views of Egypt’s population in the days leading up to and the days following the July 3rd coup. D3 Systems investigates the political attitudes of Egyptians across a wide cross-section of demographic variables – including geography, age, education level, income, and occupational status – to analyze who supported and who opposed the actions taken by the armed forces in July 2013.

This analysis utilizes data from a nationally representative CATI survey of 1,001 Egyptians commissioned by D3 Systems, Inc. The first half of fieldwork for the survey was conducted from June 27th to July 1st, while the second half was completed from July 5th to July 8th. The timing of the fieldwork thus allows for pre- and post-coup comparisons of Egyptians’ political opinions.

Key Findings:

  • A majority of the Egyptian population supported the coup both before and after it occurred (Pre-coup: 70% in favor; Post-coup: 73% in favor).
  • There was a 180-degree shift in public opinion regarding the direction the country is going (Pre-coup: 37% believed the country was headed in the right direction, while 58% believed it was heading in the wrong direction; Post-coup: 67% believed the country was headed in the right direction, while 30% believed it was heading in the wrong direction).
  • Perceptions of corruption remained unchanged (Pre-coup: 76% report corruption is a very serious problem; Post-coup: 70% report corruption is a very serious problem).
  • Following the coup, there was a general increased favorability towards leaders, parties and institutions that were in support of the coup.

For more in-depth results, download the full presentation.

Samuel Solomon and Alex Brezinski of D3 Systems presented these findings at the 69th annual American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) Conference in Annaheim, California from May 15th – May 18th, 2014.  They also presented their findings at the DC AAPOR summer conference in Washington, DC on July 23rd, 2014 and at the 48th annual Middle East Studies Association (MESA) conference in Washington, DC from November 22nd – November 25th, 2014.



Disclaimer: The photograph Protest Face Paint is owned by Ahmad Hammoud.  D3 Systems, Inc. does not own the rights to this image, nor has it made any alterations to it.  The license for the photograph can be obtained here, and the original can be accessed by visiting this site.