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February 02, 2021 | 61 Pages | English | Georgia Dagher
The 2018 Lebanese Parliamentary Elections: What Do the Numbers Say? South 3 Electoral District: Bint Jbeil, Marjayoun-Hasbaya, and Nabatiyeh

In the Lebanese parliamentary elections of 2018, the electoral race in the districts of Bint Jbeil, Marjayoun-Hasbaya, and Nabatiyeh (South 3) was highly uncompetitive, with all incumbents—members of Hezbollah, Amal, and their allies—being reelected. These parties succeeded in mobilizing their main constituents, Shia voters, who were significantly more likely to vote compared to other confessional groups, and gave nearly all of their votes to the list. Most of the remaining votes were received by an electoral list backed by the Free Patriotic Movement, Future Movement, and Lebanese Democratic Party, which relied on the Christian, Sunni, and Druze vote—the communities each of these sectarian parties has traditionally represented. South 3 saw variations between the behavior of women and men voters: In each of the three electoral districts, women were significantly more likely to vote compared to men. Moreover, in Marjayoun-Hasbaya, where voters had the option to cast their preferential vote for a candidate from their own confession or a different one, women from all confessional groups were significantly more likely to vote for a co-sectarian candidate. Another notable difference across genders was the support for women candidates: South 3 was one of the very few districts in which men were more likely to vote for a woman candidate, compared to women voters. In line with the lack of competitiveness in the race, the Kulluna Watani list, formed by anti-establishment and emerging political groups, received one of its worst results in South 3. However, the analysis shows geographical variations in its performance: Kulluna Watani was more successful in more confessionally mixed cadasters, as well as cadasters that recorded lower turnout rates, which suggests that sectarian parties may have had lower interest in targeting voters in more heterogeneous areas, and, potentially, that Kulluna Watani’s support was obtained from voters who were not specifically mobilized by these parties. Finally, the analysis of the results in South 3 shows some signs of electoral fraud that benefited candidates on the Hezbollah and Amal list. First, the list generally performed better in polling stations that recorded a lower share of invalid votes; and second, the list’s number of votes across polling stations were distributed in an irregular, non-uniform pattern—both of which suggest vote rigging.

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