Nasa flag-bearer Raila Odinga has closed in on President Uhuru Kenyatta’s lead in a general election matchup, although the latter still commands a favourable margin over the former.
This is it emerged majority of both Jubilee and Nasa supporters feel the country is headed toward the wrong direction at 71 per cent.
Figures released by pollster, Ipsos shows Uhuru is poised to win with 47 per cent against Riala’s 42 per cent if elections were held today.
Ipsos lead researcher Tom Wolf attributed Raila’s gain to political alignment that saw Amani leader Musalia Mudavadi join his camp.
“Looking at the longer trend, and leaving out if those claiming to be “undecided” together with those stating they “will not vote” and who refused to reveal their vote-intentions (RTA), he has roughly halved the gap between himself and Kenyatta (from 9 per cent to 5 per cent),” said Wolf.
He said it will be a delicate balancing act for either candidate to achieve a 50+1 votes needed for round one victory in the general elections.
Raila has jumped 12 per cent from 30 per cent he polled in January this year, in what has tightened the race to State House.
Eight per cent of voters are still undecided over which candidate to vote for — with the undecided likely to tilt the outcome of the elections.
Peripheral presidential candidates like Ekuru Aukot are likely to push to election to a runoff if they managed to garner enough votes.
“If they get over 7 per cent then there is likely to be a runoff,” said Wolf.
On public confidence in presidential candidates, President Uhuru Kenyatta leads with 40 per cent, William Ruto second at 31 per cent, Raila Odinga 25 per cent and Kalonzo Musyoka 12 per cent.
As a presidential candidate Musyoka enjoys the least with 39 per cent compared to other leaders.
The Ipsos survey showed 71 per cent of Kenyans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed.
This figure is more among Nasa supporters at 91 per cent compared to Jubilee’s 52 per cent.
Kenyans have linked their sentiments to escalating cost of living, with inflation having hit 11 per cent.
Nonetheless, Jubilee supporters even those that were unsatisfied with the direction of the country said they will vote for the president.
Wolf said ultimately, ethnic mathematics is what will win the poll, with performance or lack of it unlikely to tilt the scale.
Overall, Kenyans appear evenly divided as to whether they approve or disapprove of the President’s performance over the last three months, with almost equal proportions saying they “approve” and “disapprove” (46 per and 49 per cent, respectively).
However, such a split masks a profound contrast in partisan terms, with almost equal numbers of Jubilee supporters giving him their approval (74 per cent) and do those of NASA taking the opposite (and negative) position (79 per cent).