, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 27 – An Opinion poll released by Smart Octopus on Sunday places Jubilee alliance leader Uhuru Kenyatta ahead of the pack with 45 per cent support, a sharp contrast of a similar poll released last week favouring CORD’s Raila Odinga.
The Octopus poll showed that Raila is second with 32 per cent, followed by Musalia Mudavadi’s Amani coalition which was placed third with 11 per cent while Peter Kenneth’s Eagle coalition enjoys 2 per cent support. Narc Kenya’s Martha Karua and James Ole Kiyiapi have 1 per cent each.
Results of the opinion poll which drew a barrage of criticism in the social media contradicts the one released on Friday by Ipsos Synovate that placed Raila ahead with 46 per cent followed by Uhuru at 40 per cent.
“The main purpose of the survey,” the research firm’s Managing Director Samuel Chege Thiari said, “was to gauge the popularity of the presidential candidates for various alliances.”
“Majority of the respondents amounting to 45 percent said they would vote for Jubilee’s Uhuru who has teamed up with Eldoret North MP William Ruto as his running mate.
32 per cent of the respondents said they will vote for CORD’s Raila who is vying for the Presidency with Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka as his running mate.
2400 respondents were polled in the survey undertaken between January 20 and 22 through face to face and telephone interviews.
Both the IPSOS and Smart Octopus are however, unanimous that none of the top candidates will garner 50 per cent plus one vote required to win the Presidency in round one.
Similarly, the studies carried out by the two pollsters showed the highest numbers of undecided voters to be in the Western, Coastal and Eastern regions of Kenya.
“My guess is there is going to be a lot of campaigns at the Coast and Western regions in the remaining months,” Ipsos Synovate’s Tom Wolf said when he released his poll on Friday.
Smart Octopus’ study revealed that 64 percent of Kenyans will not vote for the Senatorial, Gubernatorial, National and County Assembly candidates along party lines.
“Sixty-four percent of the respondents said they would be voting for the best candidates irrespective of the party affiliation or membership to an alliance,” Thiari said.
Uhuru’s campaign got another shot in the arm with the Association of Muslim Organisations in Kenya (AMOK) declaring its support for the Jubilee Alliance which is led by Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta.
“We the umbrella body of all Muslim organisations in Kenya consulted widely and deeply on this subject matter with a view of giving political direction to the Muslim community in the March 4 general election,” the group’s Organising Secretary, Hassan Al-Amin said.
“We finally came to a conclusion that the Muslim community will be fairing on well under the Jubilee government as compared to the CORD [Coalition for Reforms and Democracy] led government,” he said, while accusing ODM of betraying them after the 2007 general election.
“Muslims largely benefitted with the Kibaki side of government than the ODM side despite the fact that 70 percent of Muslims voted for ODM,” he said.
The Muslim groups have pledged to particularly support Jubilee’s campaigns in 12 out of 47 counties they described as their strong holds.
“We finally agreed in principle, as a Muslim community to use whatever is available within our means to campaign and sell the agenda of Jubilee across the country and in specific the 12 counties which are Muslim dominated,” he pledged.
They were however, quick to add that theirs was not an attempt to curtail the individual’s right to choose but a fulfillment of their mandate as leaders to show the way.
“We shall not force our brothers and sisters into agreeing with our stand since this is only but an honest decision and a political direction to avoid political seclusion of the community in future,” he said.