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Gubernatorial race: Ruto, Laboso in tight race as Munya leads

Isaac Ruto

Bomet County could witness a neck and neck competition for the governor’s position between the incumbent Isaac Ruto and National Assembly Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso. 

This is according to an opinion poll released Wednesday, that also shows Governor Peter Munya would beat Senator Kiraitu Murungi in the race to head Meru County.

According to the poll by Infotrak, Ruto, the Chama Cha Mashinani leader, would have to sweat it out to retain the seat, with Laboso of Jubilee Party closely trailing him.

Slight lead

The results showed Ruto in a slight lead at 38.9 per cent against Laboso’s 37.7 per cent.

ehkfjkxurwvkz3fc58ee778ed51f3 Gubernatorial race: Ruto, Laboso in tight race as Munya leads
Joyce Laboso

The results should worry Ruto even more as among those who were polled, 7.3 per cent revealed they would vote for another Jubilee aspirant Dr Julius Kones.

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Kones will be fighting it out with Laboso for the Jubilee ticket in the nominations slated for April 21.

But the contest could be far from being won as, according to the poll, 16 per cent revealed that they had not yet decided who to vote for.

“Laboso and Kones will go for nominations which means that there is still time to create changes especially among the undecided voters,” said Research Executive at Infotrak Mary Njoki.

According to the poll, Jubilee Party (JP) is the voter’s favourite political outfit, winning the support of 73 per cent of respondents, while 12 per cent say they were close to Ruto’s Chama Cha Mashinani. ODM appealed to four percent of the respondents while one per cent would opt for Kanu.

Incumbent Senator Wilfred Lesan is still popular among respondents at 24 per cent, while Nick Salat of Kanu had 13 per cent, closely followed by Christopher Langat with 11 per cent. Three percent of the respondents said they would vote for Stacey Langat while Goefrrey Korir, Robinson Kigen and Joel Kosgei each had two per cent votes from respondents.

But the contest for the seat could also go to any of the candidates as 39.7 per cent said they were yet to decide on who they would support.

When asked who they would vote for as their Woman Representative, 20 per cent said they would vote for Joyce Korir to dethrone Cecilia Ngetich who polled 13 per cent. Alice Milgo managed eight per cent and three per cent for both Cecilia Mutai and Beatrice Chebomui.

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In Meru, the poll gives Munya, the Party of National Unity (PNU) leader, an edge over Murungi, the JP flag bearer, with the incumbent enjoying a 12 per cent point lead if the elections were held today. The poll gives Munya a 41.4 per cent rating against Murungi’s 29.0 per cent.

The research was conducted among 1,350 respondents drawn from all the sub-counties of Meru.

Former Assistant Minister Kilemi Mwiria comes third with six per cent, Boniface Kinoti at three per cent, while Winnie Kaburi and Mwenda Mbijiwe would be picked by less than one per cent of the respondents.

Njoki said the three leading candidates are likely to be on the ballot box on August 8, as they are unlikely to face off in the nominations.

Closely contested

Igembe South MP Mithika Linturi, a close ally of Kiraitu under their political formation of KiKaLi, acronym for Kiraitu, Kajuju (Florence) and Linturi, has a commanding lead in the race for the senator’s position, polling 35.6 per cent, followed by Munya’s ally Mugambi Imanyara at 9.3 per cent.

The position of woman representative, which is closely contested between incumbent Florence Kajuju and Kawira Mwangaza, is also an open race with 26.4 per cent of those polled saying they were still undecided who to support.

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But as it stands, Kajuju narrowly leads in the race garnering 35 per cent to Kawira’s 34.9 per cent.

Elizabeth Kailemia comes a distant third at three per cent while Mary Mwiti and Betty Kinya both polled below one per cent.

The survey was conducted at the end of March from respondents in nine sub-counties.

Over 40 per cent of the respondents said that they would not re-elect their current MPs.

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