20 November 2012

Kenya: Raila Still the Man to Beat Despite Drop in Ratings

Nairobi — A survey released by research firm Ipsos Synovate on Tuesday shows that presidential aspirants Raila Odinga, Musalia Mudavadi and Uhuru Kenyatta's ratings have dropped by between three and four percent since September.

On the other hand, the study conducted between November 10 and 16 indicated that William Ruto and Kalonzo Musyoka have gained support by three percent each.

"The runners have dropped three percent for Odinga from 36 in September, Kenyatta from 30 to 26, and Mudavadi from seven to four percent," the study indicated.

Synovate Consultant Tom Wolf said Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth who launched his presidential bid on November 4, improved from one percent to three percent while Martha Karua's popularity dropped by one percent from three percent.

In case of a runoff, the poll revealed that Kenyatta would be the most preferred candidate followed by Odinga.

However, Wolf clarified that the predictions may be different from the outcome of the elections since there are many political uncertainties before March 2013.

He said as the country moves closer to the elections, political alliances and the International Criminal Court (ICC) cases including the completion of the voter registration process will be determinant factors.

"The political alliances are yet to be finalised by December 4 deadline; the outcome of voter registration process (and) how close to the 18 million target will be reached (as well as) the ICC and the High Court judgment on Section 6″ were likely to sway support for the candidates, according to the research analyst.

According to Wolf, the rising insecurity incidences in the country will also affect who Kenyans will support in the general election as a presidential candidate.

On ICC matters, the survey showed that 46 percent of Kenyans were against Kenyatta and Ruto running while 39 percent wanted them to contest but resign if the ICC finds them guilty. Twenty percent of the 2,000 respondents said they should ignore the ICC cases.

Interestingly, 56 percent of Kenyans believe the two accused will show up for the trial and only 17 percent think the two will not show up even though Ruto and Kenyatta have always promised to be present for the trials scheduled for April 10 and 11.

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