President Uhuru Kenyatta would be re-elected if elections were held today, according to an opinion poll released on Wednesday.
The survey by Ipsos predicts that President Kenyatta would get 50 per cent of the votes, way ahead of Cord leader Raila Odinga, who trails him in second place at 22 per cent.
The poll is likely to generate controversy especially from the opposition as it shows that Mr Kenyatta would defeat the Cord leader even in their perceived strongholds of Western, Coast and Eastern.
The poll was conducted between December 17 and 19 and sampled 1,083 respondents. It has a margin of error of error of +/- 3.1 per cent with a 95 per cent confidence level. The margin of error is attributed to sampling.
According to the survey, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka would finish third with a paltry two per cent of the total votes cast followed by Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi with one per cent. Sixteen per cent of the respondents were undecided on which presidential candidate they would vote for while another seven per cent refused to divulge their preferred candidate to the pollsters.
According to the survey, the President would triumph in the Coast region — perceived to be an Opposition zone — with 45 per cent of the support, ahead of Mr Odinga’s 24 per cent. The poll shows that Mr Musyoka would garner only get three per cent.
In Eastern, the President would garner 47 per cent of the votes ahead of Mr Odinga (23 per cent), and Mr Musyoka (nine per cent). This, in spite of Mr Musyoka’s solid support especially in lower Eastern over the last three general elections.
The poll also shows that Mr Kenyatta would carry the day in Western, another opposition zone, with 34 per cent, followed by Mr Odinga with 22 per cent and Mr Mudavadi with seven per cent.
Mr Musyoka, the poll shows, would only manage one per cent of the votes in this region.
Speaking during the release of the poll results, Ipsos lead researcher Tom Wolf was at pains to explain the sudden upsurge in Mr Kenyatta’s fortunes and the opposition’s dwindling prospects. Mr Wolf suggested that the President would benefit immensely from his incumbency status which accords him vast resources to initiate development projects across the country.
“Do not underrate the power of incumbency because it is a very powerful tool,” he said. “Mr Kenyatta has also been travelling a lot across the country launching infrastructural projects and this could be bearing fruits”.
He attributed the opposition’s dwindling fortunes to the failure to name the candidate to take on the President in the 2017 election.
“Whereas everybody knows Mr Kenyatta will be the Jubilee presidential candidate, the opposition does not have a presidential candidate as we speak and this could be the reason why the results are the way they are,” he said.