Miquel Pellicer and Eva
Wegner, "Socio-economic voter profile and motives for
Islamist support in Morocco," Party Politics, 20
(January 2014), 116-133. [Available at http://ppq.sagepub.com/content/vol20/issue1/
The nature of Islamist political parties is at the core of
debates about the political future of the Middle East and
North Africa (MENA). The relevance of these debates has
increased as strong popular pressure for democratization has
ousted some MENA regimes and brought others to enact
political reforms. Indeed, Islamist parties are the likely
beneficiaries of such reforms. Yet, little is known about
the sources behind the strength of Islamist political
parties. Who votes for Islamist parties and why? To which
electorate do Islamist parties respond? In fact, there have
been as many surprise victories as surprise failures of
Islamist parties in recent years. For lack of data on
Islamist voters, most explanations offered are directly
drawn from studies on Islamist movement organizations, such
as the Muslim Brotherhoods in Egypt and Jordan. Movement
organizations and parties, however, are two different
entities; they operate in different spheres, they obey
different logics, and, over time, they might develop
different objectives (Wegner, 2011; Wegner and Pellicer,
2009). Similarly, activists--whether of the party or the
movement organizations--are different from a larger pool of
sympathizers: sympathizers are receptive to the ideas of the
party or movement but are not sufficiently mobilized to
engage directly in political action. In short, it is a long
way from the profile of an activist inside an Islamist
movement organization to one of a voter of an Islamist
- Figures and
- Table 1. Profiles of potential Islamist voters.
- Table 2. Summary of variables.
- Figure 1. Density of PJD votes 2002 and 2007.
- Table 3. Profile of districts with different levels
of PJD support.
- Figure 2. Relation between literacy and PJD votes
2002 (left panel) and 2007 (right panel).
- Table 4. Regression PJD vote-share on urbanization
- Table 5. Bivariate correlations between literacy,
turnout, null votes and party votes.
- Figure 3. Percent of literacy and public employees
- Table 6. PJD results by education and inclusion.
- Figure 4. Percent of literacy and satellite dishes
- Table 7. PJD results by education and resources
- Table 8. OLS regressions of PJD votes on literacy and
public employees and resources
- Table 9. The grievance profile of the Party of
- Figure 5. Level of education and PJD support in
- Figure 6. Level of education and PJD support in
- Table 10. OLS regressions of PJD votes on education
and social class in 2002 and 2007.
(first paragraph of conclusion) This article studied
patterns of electoral support for the Moroccan Islamist
party in 2002 and 2007. The key commonality found across
time was that voters did not support the PJD for
clientelistic reasons: PJD voters were too highly educated
to vote for such motives. Besides, the profile of PJD voters
was changing between 2002 and 2007, in tandem with the
party's mobilization decisions. Whereas the party initially
attracted grievance voters, interested in voicing their
disaffection with the system and the elites sustaining and
benefiting from it, it ceased to do so once it adopted a
tamer attitude towards the regime. Instead, the party
attracted a middle class type of voter interested in
incremental change. Grievances were then voiced either by
abstaining or by casting null votes.