عنوان مقاله [English]
Electoral geography discusses geographical aspects of elections and referendums, organization of such events (particularly their results), and cultural and economic conditions at different local, regional, and national levels (Moyer, 2000: 225). The most important issues in electoral geography include spatial organization of elections, spatial diversity in voting patterns and the relationship between demographic indexes, the effect of environmental and spatial factors on the voters’ decisions, spatial patterns of representation, and the role of such components as power and politics in voting patterns (Kavianirad, 2013: 34). An extensive spectrum of situational and geographical factors influences electoral decisions, and, in general, each study discusses only one aspect of this spectrum. Spatial analysis of election results can, in addition to better identifying the effective factors as well as the fields and factors that can affect the voting process, present a specific spatial perspective to determine the approach of each constituency towards the candidates as well as the elections (Zarqani & Raqzavinejad, 20143:54). The 11th Iranian presidential election was held in 2013 with a favorable participation of Iranian people. The present study analyzes the spatial distribution of the candidates’ voting and identifies the voting patterns governing this election.
Th The research is applied in terms of its purpose and is a descriptive-analytic in terms of its nature. The library and field finding method will be used for collecting the required data. Since all the electoral votes are counted in this research, sampling is not considered. GIS and Excel are used for classification as well as analysis of data. Geographic Choropleth map is used to show the results using the natural breakpoints model.
Various factors and variables are involved in people’s decision for voting in favor of one or more candidates. Some of these variables are related to the voter personality. For example, personal characteristics such as age, gender, education, religious beliefs, ethnicity, and spatial attachment play role in the person’s decision for voting in favor of a certain candidate. Other effective variables are dependent on the personal characteristics of the candidate. And, finally, political, economic, ideological, cultural, and social variables – in both macro and micro scales –influence citizens’ electoral behavior.
In the 11th Iranian presidential elections, the neighborhood variable played an effective role in the voting basket of all the candidates, particularly Rezai, Ghalibaf and Rouhani’s votes. Qarazi obtained the most votes from residents of Isfahan. Jalili’s voting pattern was influenced most by the support he received from the Steadfast Front in Qum Province. In other words, the ideological factor was the most important variable in Jalili’s voting pattern. Through his “Geographical Justice and Supporting Distribution of Power and Wealth among all Iranian Ethnic Groups” motto, Rezai managed to attract a great number of votes in Iran’s southwestern provinces where different ethnicities reside. Apparently, Qalibaf’s activities as Mayor of Tehran were evaluated as positive by many citizens in Tehran since, after Khorasan Razavi and Northern Khorasan Provinces (where he was born), the most votes in favor of Qalibaf came from Tehran Province. The spatial distribution of votes in favor of Rouhani as a reformist candidate at the provincial level indicated that the greatest number of votes in his favor came from the border provinces as well as provinces with large ethnic and religious minorities including Sistan and Baluchistan, Kurdistan, Western Azerbaijan, and Kermanshah. In fact, the religious-ethnic variable definitely plays prominent role in Rouhani’s voting basket. This is not unprecedented in the more recent history of Iranian presidential elections since reformist candidates - with their mottos promoting equal economic and political opportunities for all and supporting the rights of religious-ethnic minorities – have always scored high voted in these regions. In addition, Rouhani obtained about 50% of all his votes in Semnan, his birth place. This indicates the effective role of the neighborhood and the birthplace variables in Rouhani’s voting basket. Accordingly, we can conclude that Rouhani’s spatial voting pattern simultaneously benefitted from the neighborhood, religious-ethnic, and political economy variables as well as the hierarchical needs voting pattern.
The results show that different personal, social, economic, cultural, and political factors and variables at both macro as micro levels affect the electoral behavior of people. Analysis of spatial voting patterns of candidates can greatly assist in the study and identification of these variables. The following factors influence Iranian people’s electoral behavior, ultimately leading to formation of different voting patterns for the candidates; ethnicity and ethnic groups’ behavior; religious and ideological variables; the neighborhood variable and the effect of birthplace; the economic variable and type of economic base; and personal and personality traits of both the voters and the candidates.