Iran election roundup, 27 May 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sixteen days left.

The candidates:

Ahmadinejad (top left) - you all know him, he wants a second term
Rezaei (bottom left) - he's a former commander of the Revolutionary Guard, and even more of a hardliner than Ahmadinejad. His role will be to take hardliner votes away from those disappointed in Ahmadinejad.
Mousavi (top right) - the other main contender, he was endorsed by former president Khatami and has reformist tendencies. He was prime minister in the 1980s.
Karroubi (bottom right) - reformist, and also the only cleric running for office. Says he'll support Mousavi in the second ballot if there is a runoff. It's also possible that he might drop out earlier to support Mousavi.
First of all, some stats. Yesterday's post noted that internet users in Iran have grown to 23 million from 7.5 million last election, and mobile phone usage has naturally grown as well. According to this site, mobile phone ownership has increased from 40% in 2005 (last election) to 65% in 2007, so maybe around 75% right now.

We can also use Google Trends to gauge the online interest in each candidate. Here they are matched up against each other - note that this is for searches in Persian; the English names have been added by me.

You can see that Mousavi is well ahead of the others in terms of online interest, Ahmadinejad and Karroubi are nearly equal (and don't forget Ahmadinejad gets a lot of free publicity simply for being president), while Rezai is down there at the bottom.

Another way to gauge the online interest in the four candidates is to check their Twitter traffic. An easy way to do this is to check to see how long it takes each candidate to fill up x number of pages of search terms on Twitter. Let's see how long it takes each one to fill up three pages.

Mousavi: 9 hours
Ahmadinejad: 12 hours
Karroubi: 11 hours
Rezaei: slightly over a day




  • Huffington Post - Rezaei open to talks with the West on Iran's nuclear program, calls Obama's election victory a significant change in American policy towards Iran, says Ahmadinejad's questioning of the Holocaust "not useful" for Iran's standing on the world stage
  • Rezaei explains policies for a youthful Iran



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