The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Raila+Wiper Would Beat Uhuru+Ruto

THE Raila-Kalonzo ticket appears to have the edge over the Uhuru-Ruto ticket in the presidential election scheduled for March 4, 2013.

The latest Ipsos Synovate poll for December still has Prime Minister Raila Odinga leading with 34 per cent of the presidential vote, up from 33 per cent in November.

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta had a solid 27 per cent, up from 26 per cent in November. However Ruto's support fell sharply to 2 per cent, down from 9 per cent in November while Kalonzo's support slipped from 8 per cent to 3 per cent.

"In the November poll both of these individuals (Ruto and Kalonzo) were still advertising themselves as presidential candidates but the perception that they are becoming running mates explains the drop in the numbers for them," explained Dr Tom Wolf, the Ipsos Synovate leader for political opinion polls.

However support for Martha Karua, who is still gunning for president, dropped from 2 percent to 1 percent. Support for Musalia Mudavadi rose from 5 to 6 per cent, and for Peter Kenneth from 4 to 5 percent.

The Ipsos survey also found that the pairing of Raila for president and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka for deputy president received 47 per cent support compared to 41 per cent for a Uhuru-Ruto pairing. Undecided voters in this case were 12 percent.

The Raila-Kalonzo team would also beat the ticket of Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi and Ruto by 48 per cent to 38 per cent. Undecided voters in this case were 14 percent.

The Ipsos poll was conducted with 1,625 respondents between December 6 and 11 and has a 2.43 percent margin of error with a 95 percent confidence level.

Raila and Kalonzo are representing CORD whose main partners are ODM, Kalonzo's Wiper Democratic Movement and Moses Wetangula's Ford.

Uhuru and Ruto are likely to run for the Jubilee Alliance composed of Uhuru's The National Alliance, Mudavadi's United Democratic Forum and Ruto's United Republican Party.

The Jubilee alliance is due to nominate its presidential candidate on Tuesday, December 18 while CORD has organized a public rally at Uhuru Park on December 22 to announce its candidate.

Raila leads in Nyanza (70 per cent), North Eastern (47 per cent), Western (43 per cent), Coast (39 per cent) and Nairobi (34 per cent). Uhuru beats Raila in Central (56 percent), Eastern (28 percent) and Rift Valley (31 per cent).

According to the constitution, a candidate must receive at least 50 percent of all votes cast plus one, as well get at least 25 percent of the votes cast in 24 counties.

The number of undecided voters for the single presidential candidate rose dramatically to 22 percent from 12 percent in November, which Dr Wolf attributed to the party hopping and alliance building that caused confusion among potential voters.

Wolf predicting the coming elections would be very expensive as the various campaign teams marketed their candidates to the undecided group.

The undecided voters are highest in the Coast at 33 per cent, which Wolf said could be because there is no local presidential aspirant.

Western region has 32 per cent undecided voters. "My guess is that the position for Western could be clarified after next Tuesday," Wolf explained.

Eighty-five per cent of the respondents spontaneously mentioned CORD when they were asked which alliances they knew while 83 percent mentioned Jubilee.

The third most well known was the Peter Kenneth-Raphael Tuju coalition with 28 per cent while only 11 percent of respondents were aware of the Pambazuka coalition of Justice Minister Eugene Wamalwa, Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo and Nicholas Biwott.

Raila supporters were happiest with the CORD setup at 93 per cent while Kalonzo's supporters were 73 per cent in favour.

On the other hand, 94 percent and 93 percent of Uhuru's and Ruto's supporters were happy with Jubilee alliance while 68 per cent of Mudavadi's supporters were behind it.

97 percent of respondents said they intended to register to vote before next week's deadline. Around 56 percent said they expected Uhuru and Ruto to go to the Hague for trial next year while 27 percent thought they would not. Another 15 percent said they did not know.

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