Poll predicts presidential runoff

April 15, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya Apr 15 – The latest opinion poll by Synovate shows that a presidential runoff would be necessary to decide Kenya\’s fourth president if elections were to be held today.

Researcher Tom Wolf says that the combined ratings of the political alliance between Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka equals that of Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Musalia Mudavadi.

He said that he expects the figure to change as the country nears the next elections.

"Does that mean that if those three people unite and back one candidate as they have been saying in the rallies, that all of their supporters will follow their wishes 100pc and support the one that remains?" he posed.

"How many of the first round failures will keep quiet and not tell their supporters even if they are four percent among the two groups – instead of saying please vote for so and so; this will be important for the election politics."

According to the poll, Mr Kenyatta, Mr Kalonzo and Mr Ruto individually attract 18 percent, 13percent and 8 percent respectively, which amounts to 39 percent. The ODM pair of Mr Odinga and his Deputy each have a rating of 38 percent and one percent respectively adding up to 39 percent.

Read the full poll here.

Both alliances will however miss the 50 percent + 1 constitutional requirement required for one to be declared winner of a presidential election.

According to the poll which was conducted between March 22 and April 1, Mr Odinga dropped 10 points from the last poll in October while Mr Kenyatta gained four percentage points to stand at 18 percent.

The Prime Minister has lately been on the receiving end from Mr Ruto and Mr Kenyatta and their allies, who believe he wants them fixed them at the International Criminal Case at The Hague to pursue his presidential ambitions without a challenge.

Last Friday, the PM played down politics and the animosity towards him, saying he is ready to sacrifice his presidential ambition for someone else.

The PM in a surprise announcement said he was not in the race for personal gains. "I am not in this because I want to be president. I am in it because I want change. If anyone can, then I am willing to support them," Mr Odinga said at the time.

Mr Wolf further said that The Hague process could be a blessing or curse in the suspects\’ careers as either way it has been able to gain some support among a section of Kenyans.

He said the suspects\’ rating might be on the rise due to the \’sympathy\’ that some Kenyans might be feeling. "President Mandela, Mzee Kenyatta were very popular especially after they were held by the colonialists," Mr Wolf said.

Mr Kenyatta, Mr Ruto and Mr Musyoka have embarked on a similar process which is best captured by the flurry of activities around them. Mr Ruto and Mr Kenyatta, in particular, have been hosting a series of delegations of grassroots leaders, including community elders, councillors and chiefs.

However Mr Odinga still remains the crucial factor in all the current political calculations.

The analyst says the entire PNU strategy and related political alliances largely revolve around neutralising or outwitting the Prime Minister.

At the same time 33 percent of Kenyans who were interviewed feel that cost of living, high food and fuel prices as their main challenges in life.

The Media (88 percent) and Speaker of the National Assembly (83 percent) are still the most trusted institution while The Premier and President Kibaki tie at 5th place with 73 percent rating after Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (82 percent) and Kofi Annan (79 percent).  The courts, MPs, local authority score the least at 48 percent, 43 percent and 41percent respectively.

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