Nairobi — Prime Minister Raila Odinga and his main rival for the presidency Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta are fast pulling away from the rest of the aspirants.
The two have both gained four points in the popularity ratings to stand at 42 percent and 22 percent respectively, the latest opinion polls released by Infotrak Harris indicate. A similar poll released in February placed Raila at 38 percent and Uhuru 18 percent.
Infotrak CEO Angela Ambitho attributes the changes to intensified campaigns. "A trend analysis indicates that some hopefuls have lost ground while others have gained popularity since February this year. This can be attributed to their intensified campaigns over the last few months," she said. The Infotrak survey shows Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has gained two points to rise from 7 to 9 percent as Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi who has been campaigning across Kenya for the ODM ticket rose from 3 to 5 percent.
Mudavadi ties with Eldoret North MP William Ruto and Gichugu MP Martha Karua at 5 percent. Ruto has however dropped two points while Karua has maintained her rating in the latest poll. The poll places former Foreign Affairs minister Raphael Tuju at 2 percent, Peter Kenneth 2 percent, George Saitoti 1 percent, Eugene Wamalwa at 1 percent while 5 percent are undecided on whom to support.
Again, the survey indicates that a Raila-Uhuru runoff will be too close to call as the PM will garner 52.5 percent with Uhuru at 47.5 percent. "If the presidential elections resulted into a two-horse race, Raila Odinga would beat all the preferential hopefuls with Uhuru Kenyatta coming close at 47.5 percent," Ambitho added. Raila would get 61 percent of the vote against Kalonzo's 39 percent while a Raila versus Mudavadi contest would result in 59.4 percent in favour of the PM and 40.6 percent for Mudavadi. A Raila vs Ruto race would place him at 64.8 percent against Ruto's 35.2 percent.
In yet another scenario, Uhuru would score a landslide at 67.3 percent against Ruto's 32.7 percent if the two friends faced each other. Uhuru would beat Kalonzo at 58.3 against 41.7 percent. The survey shows the PM would score over a quarter of all votes in six of the eight provinces with his highest rating coming from Nyanza at 81 percent followed by Coast at 67 percent. Western follows with 62 percent, North Eastern 61 percent, Nairobi 50 percent, Rift Valley 37 percent, Eastern 19 percent and Central 11 percent.
Uhuru would only manage two provinces with Central leading at 61 percent and Nairobi 25 percent. The poll indicates that Uhuru would score less than a quarter of the votes in the rest of the country with 21 percent in Rift Valley, 20 percent in Easten and 16 percent in North Eastern. Kalonzo would take more than a quarter of votes only in Eastern (43 percent) while Ruto would get 26 percent in Rift Valley.
The constitution requires that for one to be declared a presidential winner he/she must garner 50 percent plus one of the total vote in addiction to receiving 25 percent votes from at least half of the 47 counties. The Infotrak Harris poll shows Raila's ODM has gained ten points in the past month to stand at 54 percent as the country's most popular party.
In the February poll, ODM stood at 44 percent. Ambitho attributes the steady rise to the heightened presidential campaigns between Raila and Musalia and the confusion in other parties. Despite fears that the contest between Raila and Mudavadi is dividing the party supporters, the poll indicates that it has instead gained heavily. "The fact that the PM and the DMP have all gone out to campaign, and the ODM is hitting news, is interestingly working positively to the popularity of ODM," Ambitho added.
She said ODM was further gaining from the confusion of other rival parties such as PNU with its supporters confused between PNU and PNU Alliance. ODM's popularity is trailed by Saitoti's PNU at 22 percent, Kalonzo's Wiper at 7 percent, Kanu at 3 percent, UDM at 2 percent and Narc Kenya at 1 percent. The survey carried out between 11 to 13 March 2012, was done through a face to face interview of 2,400 respondents spread across the country to represent 19 million voters.
It shows that 91 percent of registered voters are wiling to cast their votes in the next election as opposed to 7 percent who said they will not vote while another 2 percent are not sure whether they will vote or not. The determined to vote have increased over the last few months from 78 percent in July 2011, 89 percent in October 2011 to the current 91 percent.
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