16 February 2013

Kenya: Raila Hangs On to Small Lead On Poll

Internal Security Permanent Secretary, Mutea Iringo, has denied allegations of a plan by the government to rig the March 4th presidential polls in ... ( Resource: Kenya Denies Rigging Allegations )

KENYA is still in a tight presidential race even after Jubilee candidate Uhuru Kenyatta apparently beat Raila Odinga in the first TV debate on Monday.

Infotrak Research yesterday released an opinion poll showing that the Cord ticket of Raila and Kalonzo Musyoka has 46 percent support, a narrow lead over Uhuru and his running mate William Ruto who have 43 percent support.Cord has a support base of 45 percent compared to Jubilee which has 43 percent.

Musalia Mudavadi and his running mate Jeremiah Kioni had 4.7 per cent support; Peter Kenneth and Ronnie Osumba jumped to 4.4 per cent; Martha Karua and Augustine Lotodo had 1.3 percent; Abuda Dida and Odongo Onono had 0.4 percent; Ole Kiyiapi and Winnie Kaburu had 0.1 percent; and Paul Muite and Shem Ochuodho had 0.1 per cent suport.

Mudavadi's Amani had 5 percent support, Kenneth's Eagle 4 percent, Karua's Narc K had 1, ARC 0.5, RBK 0.2, and Safina 0.1.The sample of 1,650 respondents was interviewed representing 14,337,399 registered voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.4 percent at a 95 percent degree of confidence. The survey was conducted after the Monday debate on February 12 and 13 in 29 out of 47 counties.

Yesterday Infotrak CEO Angela Ambitho said that with a margin of error made the election to close to call for either Jubilee or Cord."From the numbers, even though some people are not happy when we say it, this is clearly a two horse race between Cord and Jubilee. There is likely to be no change with this scenario even with the second debate on February 25," Ambitho said.

The survey indicated that only 11.1 per cent of those surveyed said that the presidential debate had affected their choice of party or candidate

"Most of those who indicated the presidential debate affected the choice of the political party/alliance they supported previously were from North Eastern region at 17.9 per cent with Nairobi recording the lowest number of those who indicated the presidential debate did not affect their choice of the political party/alliance they supported previously at 6.9 per cent," Ambitho said.

The Infotrak poll appeared to support the Synovate snap poll released on Wednesday that showed that 40 per cent of those who watched the TV debate on Monday supported Uhuru, compared to 33 per cent for Raila.

Infotrak split out those who said they were 'not influenced by the presidential debate' and those who said they were 'influenced'.Infotrak found that 46.4 per cent of those 'not influenced' supported Raila but only 30.9 percent of those who were 'influenced' backed him. Raila therefore appeared to be the big loser in the TV debate.

By contrast of those 'not influenced' by the debate only 3.2 percent supported Peter Kenneth while 14.2 percent of those 'influenced' supported him. Kenneth was therefore the big winner in the TV debate.

Martha Karua also had a big jump, 4.8 percent among the 'influenced' compared to 0.9 percent among the 'not influenced'. Abuda Dida went up to 1.9 percent from 0.2 percent.

Out of those who said they were influenced by the debate, Infotrak found that 38 percent support now support Jubilee while only 33 per cent support CORD. It also shows that 46 per cent of CORD supporters did not change their mind while 44 per cent of Jubilee supporters maintained their stand.

According to the poll, Raila is more popular in Coast, North Eastern, Eastern, Western, Nyanza and Nairobi while Uhuru's popularity is highest in Central and Rift Valley.

Musalia has zero support of those polled in Coast, Eastern, North Eastern and Nyanza and Raila beats him in his own Western Kenya backyard where he scored 38 percent as compared to the PM's 50 per cent.

Unlike the Synovate poll releases on Tuesday, the Infotrak poll did not rate the performance of the presidential candidates in the debate. It merely asked the present affiliation of those who said they had been influenced by the TV debate.

Ambitho recommending limiting the number of candidates in future TV debates.

"It was not helpful to have eight candidates and giving them two minutes to comment on an issue. This time is definitely not adequate. Even in the US, debates are for those who score more than 15 per cent in opinion polls," Ambitho said.

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