Voter Turnout and Mobilisation in Lebanon’s Local Elections: Lessons for Women Candidates

Against the background of an acute economic crisis rooted in a complete lack of trust in the political system, Lebanon faces municipal elections at some point in late 2023 or 2024 (delayed from May 2023). Despite growing mobilisation of grassroot advocacy from 2015 onwards, and the appearance of new political leaders and movements, Lebanon suffers from steadily decreasing participation in elections at all levels.

This research investigates the main drivers of low participation in local elections in Lebanon. It pays particular attention to the challenges and opportunities informing young and women voters’ decision to participate, as well as the determinants of their choice of candidates, particularly women. The research is based on six focus groups with a total of 40 voters from different socio- economic backgrounds, genders, regions and age groups, complemented with semi-structured interviews with decisionmakers, candidates for election, experts on the ground, and desk research.