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Uhuru could win in first round, opinion poll reveals

James Momanyi and Robin Obino @PeopleDailyKe

With just a fortnight to the August 8 General Election, the latest opinion poll by Ipsos Kenya shows Jubilee presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta could win in the first round, beating main rival Raila Odinga with four per cent.

While Uhuru and his deputy William Ruto bid has dropped one point from the last poll, to stand at 47 per cent, the Raila and running mate Kalonzo Musyoka bid has gained by the same margin to manage 43 per cent support, as the two rival parties intensify their campaigns for the home stretch.

But if the voters had the choice of picking individual presidential candidates without the deputies, President Uhuru is still the higher favourite at 52 per cent followed by Raila at 48 per cent.

According to the poll, five per cent of the more than 19 million voters have not decided who they will vote for while only one per cent will not vote. One per cent said they will vote for five of the other six candidates in the race.

Uhuru’s and Ruto’s largest support base is in Central Kenya (88 per cent), Rift Valley (65 per cent) and North Eastern (62 per cent). Surprisingly, Jubilee has also gained some foothold in the Coast region where 24 per cent said they would vote for the duo, a big leap to their poor returns in 2013.

Raila and Kalonzo ticket has the biggest support in Nyanza (76 per cent), Nairobi (64 per cent) and Western (56 per cent). The poll conducted between July 3 and 12, this month, also rates Jubilee Party as the more popular at 44 per cent, closely followed by Nasa coalition at 42 per cent. Kanu trails in third position at one per cent, same as Maendeleo Chap Chap of Machakos governor Alfred Mutua.

Other presidential candidates who would share one per cent include Cyrus Jirongo (United Democratic Party), Ekuru Aukot (Thirdway Alliance), Abduba Dida (Alliance for Real Change) and Independents Joseph Nyagah, Michael Wainaina and Japheth Kavinga.

The poll also shows 61 per cent of Kenyans feel the country is heading in the wrong direction while only 27 percent believe the country is headed in the right direction. Nine per cent are undecided on the direction the country is taking while 2 per cent are not sure.

Of those who feel the country is headed in the right direction, 48 per cent are Jubilee supporters while 87 per cent of Nasa supporters think the country is headed in the wrong direction. 38 per cent of Jubilee supporters think the county has taken a wrong path while only seven per cent of Nasa supporters think the country is headed in the right direction.

Kenyans from Central (56 per cent), North Eastern (45 per cent) and Rift Valley (38 per cent) regions think the country is going in the right direction while their counterparts from Coast (84 per cent), Nyanza (83 per cent), Western (72 per cent) and Nairobi (69 per cent) feel the country is headed in the wrong direction.

Those who think the country is headed in the right path identified infrastructure (39 per cent), leadership (17 per cent), and the cost of living (12 per cent) as the three key things the government is doing right.

While on the flip-side, those who think the country is headed in the wrong direction picked cost of living (53 per cent), leadership (12 per cent and corruption (10 per cent) as their main contention against the ruling government.

Meanwhile, Infotrak Research and Consulting that had shelved its findings last week after it drew criticism over leaked details, yesterday released the results showing Nasa candidate Raila at 47 per cent ahead of Uhuru with 46 per cent. Infotrak chief executive Angela Ambitho said the duel for State House would be between Uhuru and Raila.

“Statistically, this is a tie and it points to a two-horse race,” she said. The findings were a bog leap for Raila who had emerged five points behind Uhuru in Infotrak’s poll a month ago, with 43 per cent (Raila) and 48 per cent (Uhuru).

The poll showed seven per cent of the electorate still undecided two weeks to the elections. On Monday, last week, after Infotrak issued a notice to release the findings, Jubilee Party claimed opinion polling firm was planning to release findings to show Uhuru and Raila were a headed for a tie that would lead to a run-off in the presidential election.

Jubilee leaders claimed the poll was fake and meant to buttress Nasa claims that there was a rigging plot, in case the outcome was different. However, Ambitho has denied the claims.

Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wa claimed Ambitho had met a relative of a Coast ODM politician last week and had been given the information for the fake poll which leaked to the media before it was officially released. “What we are really questioning is the credibility of these opinion polls especially those where there are undeclared interests,” said Ichung’wa.

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