, NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 25 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s approval rating has increased by 12 percent in the latest Ipsos Synovate opinion poll.
According to the research, the premier’s rating increased to 46 percent from 34 percent last month.
Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta follows him at 40 percent from a 27 percent popularity rating in December.
The pollster said that other candidates are trailing the two presidential candidates with a wide margin.
It places Musalia Mudavadi’s popularity at 5 percent with Martha Karua and Peter Kenneth at one percent each.
Research Analyst Tom Wolf said Odinga and Uhuru’s rise is due to previously undecided supporters who seem to have made up their minds.
“Clearly the dropping-out of several earlier announced candidates (who have now assumed running mate positions) accounts for much of these gains,” Wolf said.
Wolf said a presidential runoff is ‘imminent’ as the top two candidates so far have below the constitutional provision of 50 percent plus 1 support need to be declared winner.
The poll further shows that Western (23 percent) and Coast (17 percent) provinces have the highest number of undecided voters who could have a role in determining the presidential race in the first round.
“My guess is there is going to be a lot of campaigns at the Coast and Western regions in the remaining months,” Wolf explained.
Wolf says the nationwide poll was conducted between January 12 and 20 targeting 5,895 registered voters said they were not sure if the turnout in the second round of voting would be similar to round one.
“It would be interesting to know if those who voted in the first round will also vote in the second round especially if they registered to vote in a different area from where they reside. I am not sure if they will be willing to independently pay for the trip three times (having travelled to register, then for the March poll and May for the second round),” he said.