13 February 2013

Kenya: Those Who Watched Debate Back Uhuru

Nairobi — An opinion poll done by Ipsos Synovate a day after the presidential debate shows that Uhuru Kenyatta gained 3 percent of new support, while Prime Minister Raila lost 2pc, from respondents who watched or listened to the debate.

According to the poll, 37pc of the respondents backed Kenyatta before the debate and this rose to 40pc, while Raila had the backing of 35pc and dropped to 33pc.

Synovate's social Political consultant Tom Wolf however said: "Most of the people who watched the debate and felt that their preferred candidate fared poorly, will still vote for that individual."

On performance during the debate, Kenyatta was ranked the best performer with 37pc, followed by Odinga at 23pc and Kenneth 15pc.

Martha Karua of Narc Kenya was fourth with 8pc, followed by Musalia Mudavadi and Mohammed Abduba Dida, both at 4pc.

Wolf warned that the research was not scientific and did not represent a national sample because it only targeted people who watched or listened to the debate.

"Survey findings are limited to a survey of respondents who watched or listened to the debate and agreed to be interviewed. The debate was also conducted in English thus excluding a large proportion of audiences."

"There is no basis for saying that Uhuru Kenyatta is leading Odinga in the race for the presidency, because it is possible that those who felt that their candidate did not perform well refused to be interviewed," he added.

The poll shows that Kenyatta benefited from 44pc of the undecided voters who watched the debate compared to Kenneth with 17pc and Odinga at 16pc.

However, 74pc of people who watched the debates said they will not change their minds while 24pc will be influenced by the debate.

Peter Kenneth of the Kenya National Congress was ranked best in tackling the issue of tribalism at 23pc followed by Kenyatta and Odinga who tied at 22pc.

On the issue of education, respondents ranked former Education PS James ole Kiyiapi top with 18pc closely followed by Kenyatta and Kenneth at 16 and 14pc respectively.

With regard to the issue of security and crime, Kenyatta's policies and plans were ranked best at 22pc. Odinga's policies on security were ranked second at 21pc followed by Kenneth's at 14pc.

Karua ranked highest on health policies at 27pc while Kenyatta topped on the issues to do with the International Criminal Court with 25pc. Odinga ranked highest on the matter of party politics.

The poll conducted via computer aided telephonic interviewing on Tuesday was done in 43 counties excluding Isiolo, Marsabit, Tana River and Samburu counties.

Sixty six percent of the 1,074 respondents polled watched the debate while the other 34 listened to it on radio.

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