President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition chief Raila Odinga. (Photo: Courtesy)
President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition chief Raila Odinga are in a tight race for the presidency with a new poll suggesting that the two front runners are separated by just five percentage points.
The Infotrak poll shows Kenyatta could win by 48 per cent against Odinga’s 43 per cent if elections are held today. This will push voting to a second round unless one of them convinces the 8 per cent of the voters who are still undecided with just 38 days left to the General Election.
Tunza Coalition’s Abduba Dida is third with a 0.5 per cent score while Third-way Alliance candidate Ekuru Aukot, Joe Nyagah and Cyrus Jirongo following with a 0.1 per cent score each. The poll conducted between June 24 and 25 shows half of Kenyans (50 per cent) feel the country is headed in the wrong direction while 45 per cent think it is headed the right direction.
“A sample of 2,000 respondents was interviewed to represent the Kenyan voting population of about 19.6 million as per the 2017 IEBC voter register, translating into a margin of error of 2.2 at 95 per cent degree of confidence,” said the pollster in a statement.
“Central and North Eastern regions had the highest proportion of Kenyans who think the country is headed in the right direction. On the other hand, Nyanza and Coast regions had the highest percentage of those who think the country is headed the wrong direction,” said the pollster.
Interestingly, 49 per cent of the people in Rift Valley think the country is headed the wrong direction compared to 48 per cent who think it is headed in the right direction. The region is a Jubilee stronghold where 54 per cent of the respondents said the party is their favourite compared to 34 per cent who ascribe to NASA.
Overall, Jubilee remains the most popular party (47 per cent) while the National Super Alliance (NASA) is a favourite among 43 per cent of Kenyans.
However, this is an improvement for both parties since a similar survey by the same pollster in March placed Jubilee’s popularity at 40 per cent and Nasa at 32 per cent. At that time, the number of undecided voters was 28 per cent.
The survey divided the country into eight regions based on the former provinces. In those regions, Jubilee and Nasa share the spoils equally in terms of popularity and the outcome of the election if it was held today. Jubilee is popular in Central (88 per cent), North Eastern (73 per cent), Eastern (56 per cent) and Rift Valley (54 per cent).
NASA on the other hand is popular in Nairobi (50 per cent), Coast (58 per cent), Western (54 per cent) and Nyanza (83 per cent).
In terms of the popularity of the top two candidates, Kenyatta would emerge victorious in North Eastern with 75 per cent of the votes cast, Eastern (58 per cent), Central (90 per cent) and Rift Valley (56 per cent).
Odinga will win at the Coast with 61 per cent of the votes cast, Western (53 per cent), Nyanza (83 per cent) and Nairobi (51 per cent). During the 2013 elections, Odinga beat Kenyatta in five out of the eight former provinces apart from Central and Rift Valley.
Top on the list of issues that voters want addressed by the next government is the high cost of living which 27 per cent of those polled said is their biggest priority. Infotrack has been criticised previously with critics saying many of its predictions during the political primaries were off the mark.