Purpose – This study measures to what extent different factors including Islamic religious beliefs influenced Egyptian's voting behavior intentions in the last parliament elections, given the moderating effect of the media and its role in shaping the existence of the Islamic political brand in Egypt. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach – Qualitative research was initially conducted to modify the Newman and Sheth model to fit the Egyptian culture. A final total of 401 Muslim citizens that participated in the last parliament elections were then surveyed via face‐to‐face interviews using a structured questionnaire. Findings – Most factors related to voting for a specific candidate or party seemed to be important for voters' in their decision making, specifically personal events related to the candidate, candidate's image, current events surrounding the elections process, interest in issues and policies and religious beliefs that was added by the authors to the model. The media also had a high level of importance and influence over the relationship between some of the factors affecting voter's decision and voter's behavioral intentions. Overall, citizens demonstrated approach voting behavioral intentions towards the elections process and indicated that they would actively participate in the upcoming elections. Pearson correlations and further analysis were also run to investigate the nature of relationships between the factors understudy and voting behavioral intentions; most of which had significant relationships, as well as the significant role of the media. Some factors were excluded after running stepwise regression for testing the fitness of the model proposed. Research limitations/implications – Study covering the capital city of Egypt; Cairo only. Practical implications – It has become important for politicians and governments to understand what are the genuine needs of their societies and what are citizens looking for in political candidates and parties. Political marketing and particularly understanding voting behavior is a booming area that has become an important tool for building political brands as witnessed by this research and how it was used by Islamists to reach voter's and affect their decision making. Originality/value – This research paper sheds the light on a very contemporary area related to political marketing which is political campaigning and factors affecting voters' intentions given the significant role of candidate's religious beliefs. Furthermore, focusing on the rise of Islamic political parties that are actively becoming important members of the political landscape in the Arab region after a long time of undercover practice and struggle with previous governments before the Arab spring events.
Journal of Islamic Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 4, 2014
Keywords: Advertisements and promotions to Muslims; Islamic political parties; Political branding; Voting behavioral intentions