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President Uhuru Kenyatta still ahead of Raila, new opinion poll reveals

President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing press at State house on 18, February 2017. PHOTO BY EDWARD KIPLIMO.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is the most popular candidate if elections were held today, a new poll has shown.

With a preference of 47 per cent from all Kenyans across 42 counties, President Kenyatta would still win the elections if they were held today, according to Ipsos Synovate.

This figure even doubles when it narrows down to political alignments as 87 per cent of Jubilee backers confessed they would vote in the incumbent leader.

This is compared to the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) led by co-principal Raila Odinga who has the support of 73 per cent from the National Super Alliance (NASA) followers.

“In partisan terms, while nearly nine-out-of-ten Jubilee supporters back Uhuru (87 per cent), somewhat fewer CORD/NASA supporters back Raila (73 per cent), though given that whereas the former is certainly the Jubilee candidate, the Opposition’s candidate remains unknown,” reads the survey in part.

While only 13 per cent of CORD supporters will vote for co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi believed to be the brains behind the new vehicle dubbed NASA garnered support from only three per cent of Opposition backers.

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Though Deputy President William Ruto has declared he will not be vying this year, if he did, he is only assured of two per cent support from Jubilee.

The rest of the candidates had less than one per cent.

Countrywide, the difference between Uhuru and Raila is 17 per cent in favour of the incumbent’s 47 per cent.

Kalonzo’s popularity stands at six per cent, three per cent for Mudavadi and less than one per cent for Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetangula. Ten per cent of Kenyans are still undecided.

“These figures have nothing to do with who will win the election. Yes, they may contain some insights on that, but in some cases – especially opposition – we are yet to know who their presidential candidate is which causes uncertainty,” said Ipsos lead researcher Tom Wolf.

Out of all the presidential candidates, Narc Kenya party leader Martha Karua stands the least of chances of ever being elected president, with 74 per cent of Kenyans citing she is ‘not likely at all’ to win.

Others are lawyer Philip Murgor (70), Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero (64), Moses Wetang’ula (59), Kalonzo Musyoka (38), DP Ruto (37) and Raila (45) with percentages of not likely at all.

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The survey further revealed even among the ‘undecided’ and supporters of no political party or coalition, Uhuru still has the upper hand.

Among those who back no political outfit, 28 per cent will vote for Uhuru as well as 24 per cent of the undecided.

For Raila, the figure of undecided individuals who will still vote for him stands at 18 per cent, while those who support no political outfit but will vote the former premier are 20 per cent.

This, however, still left a big percentage of undecided and non-supporters at 41 and 31 per cent, respectively.

Regionally, each of the two main (potential) aspirants enjoys majorities or at least pluralities in four of the eight regions.

Specifically, the distribution of currently expressed vote-preferences is as might be expected, with Uhuru’s majorities highest in Central, Rift Valley and North Eastern (86 per cent in the former and 62 per cent in both of the latter regions), and Raila’s highest in Nyanza (73 per cent) and Coast (46 per cent).

The survey shows while 84 per cent of Jubilee backers approve of Uhuru’s performance, the figure stands at 25 per cent for the Opposition.

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