Kenya Election: Raila Odinga still the front runner for president in New Poll

By IndepthAfrica
In Kenya
Nov 11th, 2012
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By Nzau Musau, The Star

Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga speaks at a conference to review reforms Kenya is making, in Nairobi, Kenya, Dec. 2. Khalil Senosi/AP

Raila Odinga address participants during a farewell reception of UN Habitat Executive Director Ann Tibaijuka..

THE latest opinion poll by Infotrak released yesterday showed Prime Minister Raila Odinga is still the front runner for president with 35.4 per cent support compared to 24.0 percent for Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta.

Infotrak CEO Angela Ambitho said the poll was undertaken between October 29 and November 1 with a sample size of 1500 respondents in 24 counties who represented the adult population of 19 million with a margin error of plus or minus 2.53 percent and a 95 percent degree of confidence.

Eldoret North MP William Ruto with 10.3 percent support, and then Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi with 10.0 percent, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka with 8.8 per cent and Martha Karua with 4.3 percent.

Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth had 2.0 percent, Justice minister Eugene Wamalwa 1.3 percent, Water minister Charity Ngilu 0.5 percent and Raphael Tuju 0.5 per cent.

If Uhuru, Ruto, Wamalwa and Ngilu managed to combine all their votes to support a single candidate, their combined vote would be 36.1 percent. This would put them just ahead of Raila, if he ran alone.

But if Raila teamed up with Kalonzo Musyoka, their combined support would be 44.2 percent, not far off the 50 per cent needed for victory.

The research implies that Team Uhuru may have picked the wrong partners for their alliance launched this week. Musyoka would appear to control far more Kamba votes than Ngilu, while Mudavadi appears much stronger than Wamalwa in Western.

Originally Mudavadi and Musyoka were expected to be in the Uhuru team but have apparently been passed over in preference for Wamalwa and Ngilu in recent weeks.

Raila’s popularity has dropped by 1.2 per cent since the last Infotrak survey in June while Uhuru has jumped by 2.1 per cent. The biggest gainer appears to be Mudavadi whose support has been steadily climbing since the February Infotrak survey when he had just 3.0 percent support.

Raila’s ODM remains the most popular political party with 39 percent support followed by Uhuru’s TNA ( only launched in May) at 25 percent, Ruto’s URP 11, Mudavadi’s UDF 10, Musyoka’s Wiper 7 and Karua’s Narc Kenya 3 percent.

Raila leads in four of the eight provinces: Coast, North Eastern, Nyanza and Nairobi with 60, 47, 66 and 41 percent respectively. Uhuru only leads in Central province with 66 percent.

Ruto only leads in Rift Valley with 29 percent and has the least support of top aspirants in Nairobi with 2 per cent. Mudavadi leads in Western with 44 percent while Musyoka leads in Eastern with 33 percent. However Uhuru has 32 percent support in Eastern, very close to Musyoka’s level.

Similarly in Rift Valley Raila scored 28 percent, just below Ruto’s 29 percent. Kenneth has steady support of 2 percent across all provinces.

In an index on the likability of presidential aspirants, Musalia came top with 3.58 points out of a maximum 5 points, followed by Ruto with 3.53, Raila 3.47, Uhuru 3.47, Musyoka 3.35, Karua 3.31, Kenneth 3.24 and Ngilu 3.07.

“Essentially, this was about asking the respondents whom they liked most regardless of whether they would vote for. And here Raila lost it, coming number three,” Ambitho explained.

Of the 35 per cent who said they would vote for Raila, the majority said they liked him because he is development-conscious and fights for the less fortunate. The 24 per cent who would vote for Uhuru said he is young, energetic, popular and visionary.

“Those who would vote for Ruto said he is a performer and works hard. For Mudavadi they said he is experienced and is also a performer. For Musyoka, majority said he is humble while Karua’s said she is courageous. For Kenneth, it’s all about his development consciousness,” Ambitho said.

Ambitho said there was a strong correlation between political party popularity and individual leaders. “The main question remains if these people left their parties, would the parties survive?”she asked.

Asked if Kenya is moving in the right direction, 49 percent of respondents disagreed, saying the cost of living standards has gone up, corruption has increased, and unemployment is high.

However 45 per cent said they like the direction Kenya because of the implementation of constitution, vetting of judges and reconciliation efforts.

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