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Iran’s Youth Key to Elections

Which Iranian presidential candidate will capture the urban and youth votes?
EDITORS' NOTE: Reuters and other foreign media are subject to Iranian restrictions on leaving the office to report, film or take pictures in Tehran.
Two Iranian women talk at a corner of a square in northern Tehran February 26, 2012. Picture taken on February 26, 2012. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl (IRAN - Tags: SOCIETY) - RTR2YMKO

Experts agree that Iran has witnessed a socio-economic transformation in the past two decades. This transformation is not just seen in simple quantitative aspects (such as population growth and urbanization), but also some structural and value-based realities that will have an impact on the future of Iranian society. Some of the value shifts will have an impact on the voting behavior as well as expectations of the next government.

In the upcoming election on June 14, some 50.5 million Iranians will be eligible to vote. While the number of eligible voters increases, the composition of the electorate is also shifting as a result of demographic and other socio-economic trends. For example, based on the census data from October 2011 (the latest census in Iran), it can be estimated that the age group of 18 to 35 will make up about 50% of the electorate. In other words, the candidates that can attract the younger groups will be in a better position to score results. It is therefore no coincidence that some of the candidates are focusing on the younger generation and their concerns, such as job creation and cultural freedoms.

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