Iranians have hit the polls on Friday May 19 to vote in the country's 12th presidential election with results due to be announced on Saturday May 20. Given that the field of candidates has narrowed in recent weeks, it is not expected that a second round of voting will be needed.

However, if no candidate is able to secure a majority, a final round will take place on May 26. Voters will also choose members of Iran's City and Village Councils in separate elections on Friday.


Two out of the six Presidential contenders have since dropped out, leaving a field consisting of President Hassan Rouhani, who is the seventh and current President of Iran since 2013. Ebrahim Raisi, who has served in various roles at the Iranian Judiciary, Mostafa Aqa-Mirsalim, an existing member of Iran's Expedience Council and former vice president Mostafa Hashemi-Taba.


Historical data especially from 2013 election which saw Rouhani sweeping to victory with nearly 51 percent of the vote have demonstrated that reformists stand a better chance of winning. In reality, the vote is expected to boil down to a two-horse race between Rouhani and Raisi, with the former representing the more pro-reform camp and his rival standing on behalf of hardliners.


President Rouhani is viewed as a pragmatic and moderate reformist and likely to secure the majority of the votes from progressives and the middle class. Raisi is said to be backed by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as well as the likely pick of the country's powerful Revolutionary Guards and clergy.


As many as 56 million voters can cast their votes in the ongoing Iranian presidential election. Though, media reports and eyewitnesses said the election is witnessing a weak turnout as calls for boycotting the polls have widely spread in Iran.