9 November 2012

Kenya: Poll Shows Uhuru, Mudavadi Closing in on PM

The latest opinion poll by research firm Infortrak Harris indicates that Prime Minister Raila Odinga remains the man to beat in the 2013 presidential ... ( Resource: Kenya's Prime Minister Leads in Presidential Opinion Polls )

Nairobi — Raila Odinga's popularity rating has registered a drop, while Uhuru Kenyatta and Musalia Mudavadi are becoming more popular, according to the latest poll by Infotrak Harris Research and Consulting.

Infotrak's Chief Executive Officer Angela Ambitho said Odinga nonetheless remains the preferred choice for president at a percentage of 35 of Kenyans polled, followed by Kenyatta at 24 percent.

United Republican Party's William Ruto is the third most popular candidate at 10.3 percent, Mudavadi polled 10 percent; followed Kalonzo Musyoka (8.8 percent), Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua (7 percent).

Peter Kenneth who launched his presidential campaign last weekend has a two percent rating.

"Trend analysis indicates that Mudavadi and Kenyatta are the main gainers since February this year at 7 percent and 6 percent respectively. On the other hand, Odinga's popularity declined by 2.6 percent since February this year when we started tracking them," Ambitho explained.

Others mentioned who had less than one percent include; Raphael Tuju, Charity Ngilu, Moses Wetangula, and James ole Kiyiapi.

One percent of those sampled are currently undecided on who to vote for. Ambitho attributes this to the heightened political activity by the various candidates between February and now when they started tracking them.

These latest figures are pointing to the possibility of a run-off between Odinga and Kenyatta and Ambitho explained that no presidential hopeful seems likely to meet the 50 percent plus one vote in the first round as required by the Constitution although several candidates have gained commanding support in certain regions.

"Voters are not voting specifically because they are driven by the party, they are voting because their man is the man running, and having been in the field I can tell you for a fact that people will without batting an eyelid tell you who their presidential candidate of choice is, especially because that person happens to come from their tribe," she said.

Odinga's main strongholds are Nyanza (66 percent), Coast (60 percent), North Eastern (47 percent), Nairobi (41 percent) and Western (29 percent).

Kenyatta is the most preferred presidential candidate in Central (66 percent) and Eastern (32 percent), while Ruto is the man to beat in Rift Valley.

Ambitho says that Kenyatta's The National Alliance party seems to have eaten into the VP's Eastern base after he got the backing of the Party of National Unity (PNU) and the Kiraitu Murungi-led Alliance Party of Kenya (APK).

Mudavadi's political star seems to be rising in the Western region (44 percent) and Musyoka is certainly the most preferred candidate in Eastern (33 percent).

The Constitution requires that a presidential candidate must garner no less than 25 percent of votes cast in at least 24 of the 47 counties.

The poll which was conducted from a sample of 1,500 people showed that ODM is the most popular party followed by TNA and then URP.

The poll also showed that a significant number of Kenyans are displeased with the situation in the country with 49 percent stating that Kenya is moving in the wrong direction.

Top among the complaints was high taxes and increased cost of living, followed by corruption and unemployment.

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