The latest Ipsos Syonovate opinion poll, based on a substantial number of respondents, 5,895 registered Kenyan votes no less, gives Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta a clear lead over other candidates in the race for the presidency but other factors in play make the eventual outcome of the election pretty much wide open with just over a month to go to polling day.
The headline results of the survey show Raila Odinga at the head of the CORD alliance on 46% of the vote; Uhuru Kenyatta and the Jubilee alliance on 40%; Musalia Mudavadi and Amani on 5%; Peter Kenneth, Martha Karua and James Kiyiapi around1% each; and 5% of respondents ‘undecided’ so far as the presidential election is concerned.
So still good news for Raila Odinga (although a 5% lower rating than the recent Infotrak poll gave him) in that he is in the lead and not bad news for Uhuru Kenyatta who is still in the game.
OTHER FACTORS IN PLAY
However, as Ipsos Synovate’s lead researcher Tom Wolf explained to journalists on Friday the findings of the poll cannot predict the election result for several reasons.
The Ipsos Synovate poll field research was carried out between the 12th and 20th of January before Musalia Mudavadi and Martha Karua had chosen their running mates and covering the period of the fractious party primaries, the aftermath of which we are still witnessing.
COALITION SPLITS AFTER PRIMARIES
The significance of the Mudavadi and Karua’s selection of running mates may not be great but as press reports this morning attest, Raila Odinga in particular faces splits from CORD over the selection of candidates for senate and governor in the Coast and Western regions, as do Kenyatta and Ruto in the Rift Valley and Central regions.
A survey quoted by the Daily Nation today suggests that the Orange Democratic Movement, Wiper and United Democratic Front faced the highest number of defections after the primaries.
THE BATTLE FOR THE ‘UNDECIDED’ VOTERS
The there is also the question of the ‘undecided’ votes, admittedly only registering 5% of registered voters but potentially significant nonetheless. Moreover, the ‘undecided’ voters are not evenly spread across the country. The Ipsos Synovate poll suggests that 23% of voters in the Coast region are undecided and 17% in Western region.
So we await the next opinion poll that might take these factors into account.
One word of caution from the Kenya Forum, however: the Ipsos Synovate poll reported that 83% of respondents were in agreement that best choice for president would be ‘a person who is most capable of leadership and development of Kenya as a whole, regardless of tribe’. Sorry to be so cynical but the Forum would contend that this just shows that on some questions people respond how they think they are meant to. Kenya will largely vote on the basis of tribe.