Nairobi — Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi will likely become Kenya's fourth president if endorsed to contest under the TNA, UDF and URP coalition with Eldoret North MP William Ruto as his running mate, according to a new poll by Strategic Insight International.
The firm's founding partner and researcher Fazul Mahamed said the poll had revealed that a Mudavadi-Ruto ticket will get 49 percent of the vote compared to 41 percent for a CORD ticket with Prime Minister Raila Odinga as the presidential candidate.
"If Mudavadi is given the ticket to stand on behalf of the Jubilee alliance, then he will automatically take the presidency," Mahamed said when he released the poll results at a Nairobi hotel on Sunday.
The poll targeting 1874 respondents was conducted over three days following the Tuesday announcements of the two coalitions.
The opinion poll was conducted on seven political regions that include Mombasa, Machakos, Nairobi, Garrisa, Nakuru, Kisumu and Kakamega.
"Chances of there being a run off if Mudavadi is given the ticket were almost nil," Mahamed said, "If somebody like Mudavadi runs as president, he will consolidate the Western votes, in coast people don't have a problem with him and he doesn't have any sort of tribal tagging."
In Nairobi, 292 people were interviewed and 43 percent of correspondents said they were supporting the CORD pact, 41 percent said they were supporting the TNA, URP, UDF pact, 5 percent said they are behind Narc Kenya's Martha Karua while 9 percent said they back the Peter Kenneth-Raphael Tuju pact.
2 percent of those interviewed said they were undecided.
Uhuru has assured that the Jubilee coalition nomination process will be fair and vowed to respect its outcome, even as a section of Central Kenya MP's in his TNA party threatened to pull out if he does not vie for the Presidency.
If Kalonzo was to get the CORD pact nomination for president, 24 percent of those polled said they will support him, while 72 percent of correspondents said they will support a Raila contest. Most of those interviewed said Kalonzo is best placed to be Raila's running mate.
Raila was on Friday endorsed by the ODM national delegates conference to contest the presidency.
Mahamed however, argues that it's still very early in the campaign process and future alliances may shift the advantage from coalition to coalition, especially along tribal lines.
"Eugene will have some serious impact, not because he has numbers, but because of the perception," he said.
"If Eugene decides to go to the Raila wing of the pact, then that wing will capture a lot of Luhya votes because of the public perception," he added.
Mahamed said that they also polled people on how they felt about retaining the provincial administration.
"68 percent of the correspondents support the retaining of the provincial administration, 30 percent of the correspondents didn't see the reason why they should be retained yet there are going to be governors and 2 percent are undecided," he said.
"80 percent of them supported restructuring of their roles in the new devolved system while 20 percent stated that their current role should remain as it is," he added.
When asked about the security of the county, Mahamed noted that 63 percent of those polled preferred the county commissioners to be in charge, 28 percent preferred the governor and 8 percent didn't care who was in charge.
Those who preferred county commissioners to be in charge of security cited political interference as a concern if an elected person is left in charge.