The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Mudavadi Exit Hurts Uhuru, Helps Raila

MUSALIA Mudavadi's departure from Jubilee has boosted Raila Odinga and hurt Uhuru Kenyatta.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka's Cord ticket would get 51 percent of the vote, according to a poll by Infotrak Research & Consulting released yesterday.

The Jubilee team of Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto has 39 percent, according to Infotrak.

It is therefore possible that Raila could become president on the first round of the election on March 4, if the Infotrak poll translated into votes.

The last opinion poll by Strategic PR on December 21 showed Raila and Kalonzo with 49 percent support compared to 43 percent for Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru and his running mate Eldoret North MP William Ruto. Crucially at the time of that survey, Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi was expelled from the Jubilee Alliance the same day that the poll came out.

It would therefore appear the exit of Mudavadi may have been enough to hand a first round victory to Raila.

Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi and UDF now has 3 per cent support, according to Infotrak. The Eagle ticket of Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth and former minister Raphael Tuju has 3 percent; Martha Karua 0.3 percent; and James Kiyiapi 0.1 percent.

"The exit of Mudavadi appears to have changed numbers in both sides," Infotrak boss Angela Ambitho said while presenting the findings yesterday.

The face-to-face Infotrak survey was conducted on 1,500 respondents from 25 counties between December 28 and January 2using Samsung Galaxy GPS enabled phones. The margin of error was given as plus or minus 2.5 at 95 percent confidence levels.

"Numbers do not lie," Ambitho said while dismissing claims that Infotrak favours one side.

In Mudavadi's Western heartland, Cord still leads comfortably with 61 per cent against Mudavadi's own UDF 23 percent and Jubilee's meagre 3 percent.

UDF got either nothing or 1 percent in all other regions except Nairobi where it scored 2 percent.

Even in Kakamega which is Mudavadi's backyard, Cord leads with 47 percent against UDF's 44 percent. In Bungoma, Cord takes 69 percent, Jubilee 9 and others 14 percent. Cord dominates Busia Cord with 89 percent support.

Overall, Cord leads in six regions- Nairobi, Nyanza, North Eastern, Western, Coast and Eastern. Jubilee leads in only two regions- Central and Rift Valley but is a contender in Coast and Nairobi.

In Coast, Cord has 56 per cent support and Jubilee 34. In Nairobi, Cord has 54 per cent and Jubilee 37. In Central and Rift Valley, Jubilee leads Cord with 85 percent to 12, and 52 percent to 36 respectively. In North Eastern (Garissa only), Cord leads Jubilee with 85 percent to 15, in Eastern with 61 to 28, and in Nyanza with 82 to 16 percent.

"The question after looking at the figures is whether this contest is a two horse race, or whether the third horse will make significant impact. We leave that to your analysis," Ambitho said.

If Mudavadi, Karua, Kenneth, Tuju and Kiyiapi dropped out of the race, Cord would be the main beneficiary. Around 42 percent of Mudavadi supporters would go to Cord while only 7 percent would go to Jubilee. Around 40 percent of Karua's supporters would go to Cord and none would go to Jubilee while 31 percent of Kenneth's support would go to Cord and only 10 percent would go to Jubilee.

Although Cord leads in Nairobi, Ambitho predicted that the capital would be split once campaigns pick up.

According to Infotrak, the popularity of the coalitions and the presidential tickets are slightly different. For example, Cord has 49 percent compared to 51 percent for the Raila-Kalonzo ticket.

"The minor differences between the results of the two set of questions lies in respondent's preferences for particular set of circumstances. Some have little regard for coalitions while some mind more about the candidates. However, the difference is not very significant," Ambitho said.

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