Nairobi — With 10 days to the elections, the latest opinion poll released by Ipsos Synovate has for the first time placed Jubilee Alliance presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta ahead with 44.8 percent, followed closely by Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) Raila Odinga at 44.4 percent.
The poll further shows Jubilee has overtaken CORD in popularity at a rating of 45 percent against 44 percent.
According to the poll, those opposed to Kenyatta base it on the International Criminal Court issue while those against Odinga say he promotes violence.
Thirty-three percent of respondents said they will vote for Kenyatta because of economic growth, while 31 percent will vote for Odinga because of governance promises.
According to the research, 48 percent of those polled said statements by foreign diplomats on Kenyatta and Ruto will change their minds about voting for them.
The Ipsos Synovate Poll shows that Odinga's strongholds are in 19 counties while Kenyatta enjoys support in 20 counties. It lists Kajiado, Nairobi, Kakamega and Samburu as battle grounds for CORD and Jubilee, where they have less than 10 percent control.
The pollster said the country should brace for a run off as none of the top two candidates can garner the constitutionally required 50 percent plus one threshold for a clear round one win.
The poll predicts CORD will win the run-off with Odinga polling 29 percent, Kenyatta 12 percent while undecided are at 37 percent and others 21 percent.
The poll shows that if elections were to be held today, Amani Coalition's Musalia Mudavadi will emerge third with 5.2 percent.
Eagle Alliance's Peter Kenneth would trail fourth with 1.6 percent with Narc Kenya's Martha Karua coming fifth with 0.8 percent.