Prime Minister Raila Odinga remains the most popular presidential candidate with 34 per cent of Kenyans indicating that they would vote for him.
According to results of the survey conducted by Ipsos-Synovate between October 15th-23rd, however, there would be no outright winner in the first round of presidential elections, if the elections were held today.
And neither will there be anyone eligible to be sworn as president, if the elections were held today.
The polls show Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta would beat Prime Minister Raila Odinga albeit by a slim margin in the popular vote, if the elections were held today and there is a run-off but neither will meet the minimum percentage of the popular vote margin mandated by the Constitution.
“Slightly more Kenyans (44 per cent) would vote for Uhuru and 41 per cent would vote for Raila in a run off,” read the results of the poll released on Friday by Ipsos-Synovate Managing Director, Maggie Ireri.
The new constitution mandates that a candidate shall be declared president if he/she receives more than half (over 50 per cent plus one vote) of all votes cast in an election.
It also requires that a presidential candidate garner 25 per cent of votes in each of the 47 counties.
We have no idea how these numbers breakdown by county as Ipsos-Synovate did not bother to find that out or they did but have chosen not share the data.
All we can tell is, the results of the survey released by the research firm indicated the probability of a run off. If you wish to know what probability, then you’ll have to figure that on your own as that’s not germane to our story line.
We also for this reason, namely, our story line, must say the study found out that a run off between the two would be contentious.
One editorial staff member suggested we use “very competitive” instead of “contentious” but he was shouted down and told to retreat back to his cubicle because saying things like that do not help in getting our paper off the stands or visits to our online version.
None of the eight presidential candidates who were sampled during the opinion poll that targeted 2, 000 respondents was able to garner 50 per cent plus of votes cast, which means if the elections were held today with all these people running, we will not have a winner, even in a run-off.
Don’t worry, though, because the elections will not be held today or tomorrow; rather, by the time we go to elections, a lot would have happened and many of these candidates would have either been bought off by those performing better than them but desperate, or they would happily and without money consideration throw their support behind those doing better than they are but who they genuinely believe in their cause and quest for the presidency.
The poll indicates that 34% of respondents will vote for Raila, 24 per cent of respondents would vote for Uhuru and Eldoret North MP William Ruto would get 10 per cent of the votes.
Other presidential aspirants such as Peter Kenneth, Raphael Tuju and others would garner less than two percent of the votes, the survey show.
On the run off, the opinion poll indicated that Raila would beat Ruto by 46 per cent to 29 per cent, while a contest between the PM and Kalonzo would end up with Raila getting 44 per cent against the VP’s 37 per cent.
Ireri observed that a large number of respondents (15 per cent) remained undecided about whom they would vote for in the run off.
“This proportion of undecided voters would be enough to tilt the win either way. Our experience over the last nine years of conducting political opinion poll surveys has proven that the undecided proportion has to be less than five per cent for any survey results to be conclusive,” she noted.
We have no idea who these 15% undecided are but doubt very seriously they are undecided as they claim.
Chances are these are supporters of one of the candidates who cannot bring themselves to say they’ll support him or her but know for certain they are going to quietly and happily cast the vote for him or her.
Imaginations are running wild in our editorial Boardroom as to who these are and we think we know exactly who it is, but we’ll not spoil the fun in outing them; we’ll just let you do your own imagination and we shall compare notes after the elections.
But it could also emerge these are people deliberately not included in the survey to reach a desired outcome.
Either way, we shall find out who these really are for they shall of course tilt the scales when it’s all said and done.
The results show if there were to be a run-off today, Uhuru’s support will come mainly come from Central and Eastern with some from Rift Valley Provinces, an indication that playing the tribal card with the help of members of the G7 alliance has yielded some tribal fruits.
It also emerged that Raila’s support was predominately from his stronghold of Nyanza, Western and Coast provinces, as well as from the Rift Valley where he is doing and continues to do better than expected.
These results must be good news for the G7 alliance that has been toying with the idea of either fielding a single presidential candidate against Raila or all the four presidential aspirants –Uhuru, Ruto, Kalonzo and Wamalwa go to 2012 polls then force a run off.
The only thing standing in the way of this G7 scheme, are Kenyans who believe elections for such an important office cannot be entirely and wholly based on stopping someone from being elected merely because he is singly better than everyone else running, singly or collectively.
The other little detail in the way of this G7 scheme, is a ruling by The Hague based International Criminal Court to commit to trial or set free any of the presidential aspirants on the “Ocampo six’ list which will certainly disrupt this G7 scheme and change the political platform in the country.
The Ipsos-Synovate opinion poll survey further indicated that 49 per cent of those who voted for President Kibaki in 2007 were most likely to vote for Uhuru in the 2012 elections while 11 per cent would vote for Raila, which means that Raila will likely get about 11% of the votes from the former Central province, 49% to Uhuru and the rest to be shared among the remaining candidates.
This distribution will be a significant shift in the voting pattern in the area and, in fact, will be a welcome improvement over the past when nearly 100% of the vote went to one person.
It will also be an improvement for Raila from 2007 when he made a good showing in the area, counting only genuinely cast votes.
As for Raila and his support from the last elections, 62 per cent of the respondents who voted for him in 2007 would still vote for him while 16 per cent were for Ruto, which means the much talked about Ruto playmaker advantage does not exist.
The study shows that Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka will get nine per cent, Gichugu MP Martha Karua five percent and Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa two per cent.
The question everyone is asking here is, who are these 2% saying they’ll vote for Eugine?
“Your guess is as good as mine,” said Eugene when contacted by our resident Western reporter Mwana wa Ingo, adding, “I don’t even think there are that many people supporting me for re-election in my own constituency!”
At least another intellectually honest politician from a class where most, if not nearly all are not.
We need more of intellectually honest politicians to save our country from going further down the path of lies, distortions and innuendo that explains why Raila is not running off with this thing even as we speak because there is little doubt the man lost some ground due to these unfortunate and reckless tactics.
Fortunately for him and the country, however, there is plenty of time between now and elections to continue regaining the lost ground and build on more support across the country to outright win the elections on the first ballot or trounce his opponent in the event we have a run-off and be sworn as president.
Peace, Love and Unity
***The foregoing is a parody of a story appearing on Standard Online***