The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Opinion Polls Will Mirror Final Results

editorial

GOVERNMENT spokesman Muthui Kariuki has warned pollsters that they are being watched and should follow the law. Muthui argued that opinion polls were partly responsible for the post-election violence in 2007/8.

"Opinion polls are just opinion and not anything accurate that one should be so serious about. The best poll is voting for the candidate of one's choice," he said.

Government should not intimidate the opinion poll companies who are just doing their job. Those same polls have shown the rise and rise of Uhuru Kenyatta over the last four years from a rank outsider to one of the two main presidential contenders. Raila Odinga is clinging onto a narrow 2 per cent lead, according to multiple opinion polls.

Is that so implausible? Surely it reflects a reality that we all recognise. Opinion polls are not perfect. Synovate adviser Tom Wolf recently said that 94 per cent of respondents state they are registered to vote, yet only 66 per cent of Kenyans are actually registered. That is an anomaly.

But opinion polls are conducted scientifically according the demographic breakdown of the country. They are the best indicator we have. Almost certainly the opinion polls will closely mirror the final election results.

Quote of the day: "Peace in the head, peace in the stomach." - Jean-Bertrand Aristide became Haiti's first elected president on February 7, 1991

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