Uhuru Closes Gap on Raila in Polls
Posted by Administrator on February 7, 2012
UHURU Kenyatta is continuing to close the gap on Prime Minister Raila Odinga in the opinion polls. Yesterday Ipsos-Synovate released a poll showing that 31 per cent of Kenyans would vote for him in the presidential election, compared to 24 per cent for Uhuru, 10 per cent for Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka and 6 per cent for William Ruto. This was a slight fall for Raila from his rating of 32 per cent in December and a slight jump for Uhuru from 22 per cent.
The gap between Uhuru and Raila is now just 7 per cent, the lowest it has been since March 2010 when the gap was 32 per cent. In October 2010 the gap between Raila and Uhuru reached a high of 34 per cent but has since steadily declined as Project Uhuru built up his credibility as a presidential candidate.
Conversely Raila appears to have suffered from the internal ODM dispute with William Ruto and the loss of support in the Rift Valley. Raila’s ratings on the Ipsos-Synovate polls have fallen from a high of 48 per cent in October 2010, to 42 per cent in December 2010, 38 per cent in March 2011, and to 32 per cent in July 2011. In October 2011, Raila improved to briefly 34 per cent before falling again.
Uhuru climbed from a negligible 8 per cent in March 2010, to 14 per cent in October 2010, and 18 per cent by March 2011 as he emerged as the main presidential alternative to Raila. He then peaked at 24 per cent in October 2011 before dipping slightly and coming back. “The findings of this recent survey indicate that the ICC has had little impact on the presidential ratings as indicated in the trended analysis,” Ipsos-Synovate boss Maggie Ireri said.
On January 23 the ICC confirmed charges of crimes against humanity charges against Uhuru for his role in the post-election violence. Three voters have already moved to court to try and block Uhuru and his co-accused William Ruto from running for president on grounds of integrity.
Eldoret North MP William Ruto, Uhuru’s co-accused at the ICC, has dropped in the Synovate ratings from 10 per cent last December to 6 per cent. Conversely, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka who fell behind Ruto last December has improved from 9 per cent to 10 per cent today.
Musyoka is now the third most preferred presidential aspirant after Raila and Uhuru.
Martha Karua, Narc Kenya’s torch bearer, has stagnated at 4 per cent in the last three polls.
Peter Kenneth is at 2 per cent along with Eugene Wamalwa while George Saitoti and Musalia Mudavadi are on 1 per cent.
On a positive note, 69 per cent believe the next elections will be violence-free with the highest proppertion being cfrom the Coast (81 per cent) and the lowest from Central (44 per cent) and Rift Valley (52 per cent). Ipsos-Synovate project manager in charge of opinion polling Victor Rateng told the Star that they had polled about whether Uhuru and Ruto should run for presidency despite the ICC’s confirmation of charges. “We had factored these questions and in fact we do have the results but in the light of the recent High Court gag order against public discussion of the subject matter we are unable to release them,” Rateng said.
A Strategic Research survey last week found that 61 per cent of Kenyans believed that Uhuru and Ruto should be allowed to stand. High Court judge Isaac Lenaola on the same day barred public debate on the eligibility of the two to run for presidency following the filing of a court case on the matter. The Kenya Editors Guild, Media Council of Kenya and Kituo Cha Sheria have however opposed the order.
However Ipsos-Synovate did find that 80 per cent of Kenyans supported the decision of Civil Service boss Francis Muthaura and then Finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta to resign their posts. Another 62 per cent believed that Uhuru should now resign as Deputy Prime Minister. The Strategic Research poll last week found that 58 per cent believed that Uhuru should be allowed to continue as Deputy Prime Minister. The Strategic Research poll found a larger gap of 16 per cent between Raila and Uhuru, with 37 per cent supporting Raila for president and 21 oer cent Uhuru.
The Ipsos-Synovate countrywide survey was conducted between January 27 and February 1 with 1,523 adult respondents. The sample size was distributed across the various provinces according to their population size. The margin of error attributed to sampling and other random effects of the poll’s sample size was given as plus or minus 2.5 per cent margin at 95 per cent confidence level.
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