The Iraqi elections

Iraq's second democratic election grows nearer. It is reasonable to suppose that there will be a higher turnout than in January - itself comparable with western elections, including the record turnout that elected George W Bush last November.

This gave me another opportunity to comment on 630 WMAL in Washington.

Apart from a higher turnout in Sunni areas, what else can we reasonably expect of the results:

The main winner last time, UAI, will slip somewhat, as four parties have broken away from its coalition.

The Kurdish Alliance will continue to dominate the North, but will have a lower percentage of the national vote, due to higher Sunni Arab turnout.

Allawi's list will gain some ground now that he has secular Sunnis as allies.

The big question hangs over the Iraqi National Congress. If Ahmed Chalabi's list makes progress it will show growing support among Shia's for a secular, liberal, alternative to the religious lists.

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