Electoral Lab

Expatriates voting analysis - 2022 Lebanese Parliamentary Elections

- by Ibrahim Jouhari

The expatriates’ (expats) vote in the 2022 Lebanese parliamentary elections has been a frequently discussed topic, with respect to its impact on the results and the role it played helping the Change Movement and independent groups secure additional seats. As part of a series of in-depth research papers on the 2022 parliamentary elections, the Electoral Lab at IFI drew an analysis of the voting trends of the Lebanese Expats or the Out of Country Vote (OCV) and developed important findings and conclusions, detailed in this paper.

Insights of numbers and data presented in this paper have been produced by the Data Liberation Project (DLP) to convert, reorganize and cross-link the 2022, 2018, 2009, 2005, 2000 and 1996 Lebanese elections’ results, into a machine-friendly and open excel format, thus making the data easily, freely and publicly available.

This paper starts with an overview of the registration and turnout numbers, followed by an analysis of the general population numbers, with particular focus on the expatriates using two different frameworks: the OCV per country of origin and OCV per local districts.

The third section tackles the percentages of white and voided ballots. It includes an analysis of the general numbers of expats and explains why they changed along the different regions.

The fourth part discusses how the OCV was divided among the different forces and political parties, the impact of these votes, and whether they changed the result favoring a specific group or not.

The fifth part focuses on answering the topical question of which method of expat voting is more advantageous for the new emerging parties. Would it have been the one limiting the expats' votes to only 6 MPs representing expats or the one that was used (in 2018 and 2022) based on voting for all 128 MPs, each according to their district of origin? The paper ends with lessons learned and recommendations that could be adopted in future elections.