Kenyan opinion poll points to possible presidential vote tie

By IndepthAfrica
In East Africa
Feb 22nd, 2013

Nairobi, Kenya – Kenyan presidential contenders, Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga, are headed for a tie in the Presidential election with a slight Kenyatta lead, needing a runoff to produce a possible Odinga victory, an opinion poll showed Friday.

The first ever opinion poll to return a Kenyatta victory, showed that voters preferred him for his ability to turn around the economy while those choosing Odinga preferred his style in enhancing good governance.

Kenyatta emerged tops of the latest opinion polls with a 45.8% of the vote, compared to 44.4% for Odinga, while the third contender, Musalia Mudavadi, a former Odinga ally, garnered 5.2% of those polled.

The opinion polls showed that 33% of those polled picked Kenyatta on the economy while 31% chose Odinga on governance principles.

In all the 47 counties where the Presidential winner is required to garner at least 27, Kenyatta was seen to have 20 with Odinga having 19. There were four other battle-ground counties and another four contested ones.

The figures also showed that after eight weeks of intense polling, 90% of the voters have not changed their mind on who they would vote for despite tough campaigning.

Margaret Ireri, the Managing Director of the Ipsos Synovate, who conducted the polls, said in the four counties, there were differences between two strong candidates of each party.

Political analysts see the minority tribes as having the eventual say on who wins the elections on 4 March, the first under a new constitution, which requires the winner to get 51% of the vote.

The opinion polls also show that in the runoff vote, Odinga stood a chance of winning the vote at 29% compared to 12% of those favoring a Kenyatta win. Some 37% of the voters remained undecided on the winner.

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