In Tanta, a city of more than 400,000 in the heart of Egypt's lush Nile Delta, post-revolution politics still largely depends on personal relationships and solving local problems, rather than ideology.
Young revolutionary independents face an uphill battle with little money and organisation behind them.
As a result, candidates such as Amal Abdoul Yazid, who has run unsuccessfully for parliament five times as an independent, have joined up with parties such as the 92-year-old Wafd to boost their campaigns.
But like all the others, Yazid will have to convince the community she can solve their problems.
Egyptians are used to decades of rule by the ousted government's National Democratic Party, and outside of Cairo and Alexandria, the concept of political pluralism is novel.
In Tanta, where much of the population farms for a living, they have a diminishing Nile and old, broken agricultural policies with which to contend.
Al Jazeera's Jane Arraf reports from Tanta.