The latest Ipsos/Synovate opinion poll holds some good news for Raila Odinga, his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka and their Coalitions of Reforms and Democracy (CORD) but the figures suggest it is all still to play for in the race for Kenya’s presidency with under three months to go to polling day.
ODINGA-MUSYOKA vs KENYATTA/RUTO
The Ipsos poll carried by phone across 1,625 respondents between December 6 and 11 suggests that if the election had been held at the time the Odinga/Musyoka ticket would have garnered 47 per cent of the vote against Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto’s 41 per cent, with 12 per cent of the electorate ‘undecided’.
With a margin of error in the poll of +/- 2.43 per cent and more than 1-in-10 voters yet to make up their mind as to who they will vote for, the result is still very much in the balance and it still looks more than probable that the election will go to two rounds as no one candidate seems likely to reach the 50 per cent + 1 threshold required for victory in the first round.
ODINGA-MUSYOKA vs RUTO-MUDAVADI
Should the current candidate alliances change for whatever reason, the figures still look better for Odinga and Kalonzo. Pitched against Ruto and Musalia Mudavadi, for example, the Ipsos poll suggests Raila’s team would win the first round of the election by 48 per cent to 38 per cent, with 14 per cent of voters remaining ‘undecided’ on that alignment of candidates.
The figures for individual presidential aspirants however, show little change for the leading figures from the November poll. Raila Odinga
has some 34 per cent support (up from 33 per cent) and Uhuru Kenyatta 27 per cent (up from 26 per cent).
Kalonzo and Ruto’s personal ratings have taken a dive, with Kalonzo now registering three per cent support (down from eight per cent) and Ruto two per cent (down from nine per cent) but that may not be very significant since between the sampling for the two polls both have declared as running mates.
Some movement in the polling figures can be expected as the electorate becomes more aware of the final teams for the election. Odinga’s CORD look set to formally announce their team on 22 December at a rally due in Uhuru Park, whilst Kenyatta’s Jubilee alliance say they will formally announce their team on December 18.
SUNDAY NATION: “I AM AS FIT AS A FIDDLE” SAYS ODINGA
It is yet possible that Kenyatta and Ruto may not be able to run for election because of the slight matter of proceeding at the ICC in The Hague, whilst speculation as to Raila Odinga’s state of health question his ability to run for office.
On the latter point, Prime Minister Odinga has publicly declared his fitness to run in a news report in this weekend’s the Sunday Nation.
Odinga was responding to a front page news report in The People on Saturday that said he had been admitted to Nairobi Hospital on Friday following a campaign trip to Narok. In June 2010 69 year-old Odinga underwent an operation to remove ‘fluid on the brain’.
However, the Sunday Nation reports Odinga declaring, “You can see me and attest that I am in good health and fit as a fiddle” and described The People’s report as ‘malicious propaganda’.