‘Undecided voters’ hold key to State House
With only 25 days to the General Election, at least three million Kenyans are yet to decide who to vote for to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.
An Infotrak Research and Consulting opinion poll released yesterday indicates that 16 per cent of those intending to vote on August 9 were yet to make up their mind on who they want to be the country’s fifth President.
In spite of this, Azimio-One Kenya presidential candidate Raila Odinga remains ahead in popularity with 43 per cent of those interviewed saying they will vote for him.
Deputy President William Ruto follows with 37 per cent while Roots Party candidate George Wajackoyah is a distant third with four per cent. David Mwaure of Agano party has 0.1 per cent support.
The survey, which the pollster said was the most comprehensive, was conducted between July 2 and 7 and had 9,000 respondents.
Unlike previous surveys, men are now the most undecided at 53 per cent.
The indecision has been linked to the battlegrounds where Raila and Ruto may have to focus their energies as they battle for the majority of the 22 million registered voters.
Infotrak says the battlegrounds are Mombasa, Tana River, Marsabit, Isiolo, Samburu, Nakuru, Narok, Bungoma Vihiga and Trans Nzoia counties.
Mombasa had initially been thought to be Raila’s turf but according to the pollster, a high number of undecided voters had turned it into a battleground.
Although Raila still leads there with 46 per cent, the number of the undecided stands at 20 per cent. Ruto polled 27 per cent while seven per cent of Mombasa residents prefer Wajackoyah.
In Nakuru, Ruto tops with 48 per cent, Raila is second (30 per cent), while 17 per cent are yet to make up their mind, making the county a potential toss-up.
“The number of the undecided indicate the challenge the leading candidates have to convince them to vote in their favour before the elections. The one who will convince the majority of them has a greater a chance of getting the 50 per cent plus one,” said Infotrak Chief Executive Angela Ambitho.
According to the poll, Raila enjoys bigger support in six regions, namely Coast (49 per cent), Lower Eastern (54 per cent), Northern Kenya (52 per cent), Nyanza (73 per cent), Western (46 per cent) and Nairobi (49 per cent).
Ruto enjoys the lead in Mt Kenya (55 per cent), South Rift (54 per cent) and North Rift (58 per cent).
“This is the most comprehensive poll we have ever done in this period. We tried to cover all the political and administrative units. The sampling stratification went all the way to the ward level,” said Ambitho.
The poll shows most Kenyans feel the nation is heading in the wrong direction and are hungry for a president who would chart a better course for the country.
From those polled, 75 per cent said they felt the country was heading in the wrong direction with only 12 per cent saying they were happy with the prevailing situation.
Majority of the dissatisfied identified the high cost of living as the leading reason they feel bad about the country’s direction.
Poor infrastructure, unemployment and failure to get access to clean water were the other key issues pointed out.
For those happy with the nation’s status, they said they were okay with the cost of living and the nation’s governance.
“The majority of Kenyans cannot meet basic needs. They do not know where their next meal will come from. Most are saying the high living cost is killing them,” she said.
Ambitho also defended the firm’s polls saying those questioning their credibility were only doing so because they rated low.
“They never speak badly about our findings when they rate high,” she said.