When Kenyan election results begin to twinkle in on Monday evening, all eyes (or ears) will be on western Kenya. With the leading candidates in a very close race, the outcome in this region will decide whether there is a second round or an outright winner.
The last opinion polls showed that Raila Odinga would get about 45%, Uhuru Kenyatta 44% and Musalia Mudavadi 5%. The rest of the candidates share the rest. While Musalia gets 5% nationally, he was projected to get about 40% in Western Province, his home region.
Raila's team, however, disputes this, and believe that Musalia's true share of the vote in the area will be about 20%, limited largely to his Vihiga district and a bit of Bungoma. If this were to happen, Raila's vote would be closer to 70% in Western and that would propel him to about 48-49 nationally.
To show how important this scenario is, Raila has spent the last days of the campaign in western, where he told voters that Mudavadi was still his friend, despite the fallout last year, and that they would still work together. This is partly to woe Mudavadi voters if a second round was necessary.
The other region to watch will be the Rift Valley. Home to Jubilee Alliance vice-presidential candidate William Ruto, Raila was boosted with the backing of Arap Sang. Sang, like Ruto and Uhuru Kenyatta, faces criminal charges at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
He said the Uhuru-Ruto allaince cannot be trusted as the people who took him to The Hague were in State House (allied to Kenyatta) and that a Kikuyu could not be trusted with uniting the two communities. Joining Sang have been a group of elders breaking away from Ruto and backing Raila.
Raila was projected to get about 20% of the vote in the Rift Valley. If he improves that vote to 30% plus a good showing in western, then he could win the election in the first round on Monday.
Other regions are expected to vote as projected, with Uhuru winning in Central and performing well in eastern, where he has the backing of Charity Ngilu. Raila's running-mate, Kalonzo Musyoka is from eastern, too. It could easily be shared 55-45 in favour of Raila.
Raila is also expected to win in Nairobi, the coast, north eastern and Nyanza.
The other factor to watch will be the voter turn up in central region. It has the largest number of registered voters and a high voter turn-up. It could help Uhuru wipe out losses elsewhere.
During the registration, it was only in central that the number of registered voters exceeded the projections of the electoral commission.
Others races to watch
Othaya Constituency: After more than 40 years of Kibaki, Othaya will have a new MP. The Official TNA candidate is Mary Wambui, who earlier during Kibaki's presidency caused a stir by saying she had close links to State House, and to prove it, she got VIP protection.
Kibaki was forced to come out and state that he had only one wife, Lucy. The president is backing her rival Mugambi Gichuki, who lost to her in the TNA primaries.
Nairobi City: ODM's Evans Kidero is up against TNA's Ferdinand Waititu and businessman Jimnah Mbaru for Governor. TNA's Senate candidate Mbuvi Sonko and Woman Rep. Rachael Shebesh caused a stir when they briefly backed Mbaru, but were whipped backed into line by Uhuru. Kidero leads in the polls, but Sonko and Shebesh also lead.
Kenyans will vote six times on Monday in general elections, including in presidential and parliamentary polls, for a special women's list and in senatorial, gubernatorial and local council elections.
President: Eight candidates are vying to replace Mwai Kibaki, who is stepping down after two terms in power. To win, candidates must win an absolute majority of 50% plus one vote, and take at least 25% of votes in 24 of 47 counties. If not, the top two proceed to a second round run-off.
Parliament: Kenya's lower house will have 350 seats, with 290 directly elected MPs, an increase from the 222 in the previous Parliament.
In addition, voters will also choose from a women's list to elect 47 women, one from each county.
Senate: A total of 68 senators will make up the upper house, including 47 elected to represent Kenya's 47 counties.
Governor: According to the 2010 Constitution, governors head the executive in charge of Kenya's 47 counties.
County Assembly: Kenyans will also vote for county councillors.
Who will take the key to Kenya's state house?
A son of Kenya's first Vice-President, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, he will be going for the presidency for the third time and hoping that he will be lucky this time.
Odinga's first attempt at the presidency was in 1997, where he came third. An astute politician and avid campaigner known to move crowds using parables and football commentary, Mr Odinga has been the MP for Africa's biggest slum, Kibera in Nairobi, uninterrupted for the last 20 years.
His struggle against one-party dictatorship saw him detained twice (from 1982 to 1988 and 1989 to 1991) and he holds the record of being Kenya's longest-serving detainee.
Odinga, who celebrated his 68th birthday on January 7, became Kenya's prime minister under a power-sharing deal to end the post-election violence in 2008.
His strongest following is among his Luo community in Nyanza in south-west Kenya, where he was born and went to school.
But he is loathed by his opponents for his populist tactics. Former Vice-President Michael Kijana Wamalwa once described Odinga's supporters as suffering from 'Railamania' and those who hated him as suffering from 'Railaphobia'.
After qualifying as a mechanical engineer in the former East Germany, Odinga had a short stint as a lecturer at the University of Nairobi.
His first entry in parliament in 1992 was through his father's party, Ford-Kenya.
Following his father's death later that year, Odinga changed parties to launch his National Development Party (NDP), which he used to run for president and MP.
Come 2002, he had ditched NDP and was a member of the Liberal Democratic Party, which formed the umbrella National Rainbow Coalition (NARC). In 2007, he was the flag-bearer for ODM. He did not succeed in his presidential bid, as Kibaki was declared the winner.
Such is their faith in him that Odinga's supporters call him Agwambo (Act of God). A wealthy man by Kenyan standards, Odonga has interests in liquid gas cylinder manufacturer, the East Africa Spectre, and ethanol production through the Kisumu Molasses Plan.
He is the only Kenyan politician who has changed political parties each time he has been a candidate. His critics believe he does not believe in party politics. This time, he has named his alliance the Coalition of Reforms and Democracy (CORD).
Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta
He is the son of revered Kenya's founding President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.
This is his second bid at the presidency, following an unsuccessful 2002 attempt after being anointed by former President Danial Arap Moi.
The Deputy Prime Minister is among four Kenyans facing trial at The Hague-based International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity for alleged role in the violence which erupted after the 2007 disputed presidential elections.
Many thought the ICC charges, which he denies, would destroy his bid for the presidency.
But on the contrary, it is fast becoming clear that the ICC has only helped to galvanise support for Kenyatta and his running mate, William Ruto, among those who see the charges as foreign interference in domestic matters.
Bizarrely, the two men are accused of organising attacks on each other's supporters after the previous poll. Coming from the independence First Family, he rides high on the big name that evokes nostalgia in some quarters and apprehension elsewhere.
Kenyatta, 51, was plunged into politics by Moi who encouraged him to contest Gatundu South parliamentary seat in 1997 on Kanu ticket and lost.
Still, Moi was to nominate him to Parliament, propelled him to Cabinet, and then anointed him as his successor in a move that sparked a bitter fall out in Kanu, ahead of 2002 elections.
Kenyatta's career in politics has been marked by 'political friendships' that hardly last. Under the Moi era, he was in the Raila-Ruto-Mudavadi axis that enabled him to ascend to one of the four Kanu vice-chairmen's position.
This collapsed with the anointment, then resurrected in the failed 2005 new Constitutions that brought them together in Orange campaign.
It fell apart again when Mudavadi and Ruto abandoned him in Kanu to join Odinga. He shifted friendship to Kibaki ahead of 2007 elections. His party, The National Alliance in the Jubilee Coalition; sympathy generated by the pending ICC case; and, the big voting bloc of his Central Kenya origins makes Uhuru a formidable candidate.
Kenyatta went to one of the best schools in Nairobi, before attending Amherst College in the US, where he studied Political Science and Economics. He has twice held the Local Government portfolio; the finance ministry and controls the vast Kenyatta family business empire.
He is ranked by Forbes Magazine as the 23rd richest person in Africa, with an estimated fortune of $500m (about sh1,323b).
Wycliffe Musalia Mudavadi
Deputy prime minister Wycliffe Musalia Mudavadi was born in September 1960 in Sabatia, Western Province. He is running under the United Democratic Forum Party in the Amani alliance, with Jeremiah Kioni, a lawmaker from the Ndaragwa Constituency.
Mudavadi holds a bachelor's degree in land economics from the University of Nairobi. After graduating, he worked at the National Housing Corporation. He then moved on to real estate firm, Tysons.
Mudavadi became an MP of Sabatia in 1989, taking over from his father, Moses Mudavadi, who had died.
In 2002, he lost his seat, but was appointed vice-president by Daniel arap Moi. He held the position for two months. He was Uhuru Kenyatta's running mate in the 2002.
Afterwards, Mudavadi helped found the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and vied for its presidency in 2007, but lost to Raila Odinga.
Since then, has served as a member of the World Bank's board of governors and as a member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Review of the Constitution.
In 2012, Mudavadi left the ODM to join the United Democratic Front. He briefly joined Uhuru Kenyatta's Jubilee Alliance, but decided to split in December, after the alliance disagreed on who would be the flag-bearer.
James Ole Kiyiapi
James Kiyiapi was born in May 1961 in Osupuko, Rift Valley Province. A former permanent secretary in multiple ministries, Kiyiapi resigned in 2012 to run for presidency under the Restore and Build Kenya Party. His running-mate is businesswoman Winnie Kaburu.
The advocate against tribal politics said his first priority, if elected, would be to focus on youth unemployment, which he called a national disaster. His government, he said, would initiate work to settle land disputes with utmost care and transparency, and would improve agricultural production.
Kiyiapi has a master's degree from Moi University and a doctorate from the University of Toronto in Canada, both in forestry.
Martha Wangari Karua
Martha Karua, was born in September 1957 in Kirinyaga, Central Province. The outgoing MP for Gichugu, is running under the National Rainbow Coalition with former East African Legislative Assembly member Augustine Lotodo as her running mate.
Karua has a law degree from the University of Nairobi and masters degree from the United States International University, Nairobi.
From 1981 to 1987, Karua worked in the judiciary, rising from district magistrate to senior resident magistrate. She then had a private practice until 2002. In 1992, Karua was elected MP for Gichugu.
In 2008, Karua was appointed justice and constitutional affairs minister, having served in the same position in the water resources ministry.
In 2009, Karua resigned from her ministerial position, citing frustrations in executing her duties.
Mohammed Abduba Dida
Mohammed Abduba Dida was born in Kenya's Wajir District in 1975. A former teacher, Dida is competing for the presidency with the Alliance for Real Change. His running mate, Joshua Odongo Onono, is also a former teacher.
He holds a bachelor's degree in education from Kenyatta University and is currently pursuing a master's in religious studies from the University of Nairobi.
Dida has taught at English Literature and religion at Daadab SS in the refugee complex and later at Lenana School.
He resigned from teaching in 2009, to start a job placement agency, but he said that venture did not work out due to government corruption.
Paul Kibugi Muite
Paul Muite was born in April 1945. He is a former MP from Kabete and a founding member and the party leader of Safina. He is running with Shem Ochuodho, a former minister of energy and MP from Rangwe.
Muite, a human rights lawyer, was a prominent figure in ending Kenya's single party system in the 1990s, which had been established by the Kenya African National Union in 1982.
He served three five-year terms as MP from 1992 to 2002.
Peter Kenneth was born in November 1965 in Bahati, Nairobi. He is seeking the presidency under the Kenya National Congress party, with running mate Ronald Osumba, a former senior manager at Safaricom.
Kenneth holds a bachelors and masters in law from the University of Nairobi, with post-graduate in Lausanne, Switzerland.
He is a banker by profession.
In his political life, Kenneth was first elected as MP for the Gatanga seat in 2002.
From 2003 to 2005, he served as assistant minister, Co-operative Development and Marketing, then as assistant minister in the finance ministry, until 2007.
Since 2008, he has been assistant minister, planning, national development and Vision 2030.