, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 16 – A new opinion poll by Strategic Research on the upcoming referendum indicates that 62 percent of Kenyans would vote Yes if the vote was held today.
The poll, conducted early this month, indicates that 20 percent of registered voters will choose No while 18 percent were still undecided. Interestingly 63 percent of those interviewed believe that the new draft is a good document that needs amendments.
“When we ask them why they vote Yes yet they want amendments they say the draft is better than the current Constitution,” said Strategic Chief Executive Officer Caesar Handa while releasing the polls.
The document is most popular in Nyanza Province where it enjoys 84 percent approval followed by North Eastern at 78 percent while Western is at 73 percent acceptance.
The No camp has most of their support in Rift Valley and Eastern Provinces although relatively low at 32 percent and 30 percent respectively.
“These two provinces have high percentages of undecided voters at 21 percent for Eastern and 17 percent for Rift Valley,” said Mr Handa.
A poll commissioned by South Consulting, an organisation that works with the Panel of Eminent Persons released late last month showed that 49 percent would vote for the proposed Constitution, while 22 percent indicated they would vote No. the team noted that a decrease for the Yes vote had switched to the 22 percent who were "undecided".
Another survey by Synovate showed that 57 percent would vote Yes — down by seven percentage points since April. 20 percent said they were against the draft constitution and 19 percent were still undecided.
The No camp has consistently disputed the polls saying they are skewed to favour the Yes team. Following the release of the Friday polls, National Council of Churches of Kenya General Secretary Canon Peter Karanja disputed them saying they have remained suspicious over time.
The latest survey indicates that clauses on abortion, Kadhis Courts and the Chapter on Land remain the most discussed and divisive in the ongoing debate.
The poll, gives a big impetus to President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga who have already hit the campaign trail in support of the proposed law.
Following reports that Yes was losing ground in June, Green camp leaders have upped their campaigns often conducting aggressive rallies in their backyard. President Mwai Kibaki has been to Nyeri, Embu and Murang’a while Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has met leaders from his Ukambani region.
Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta also met grassroots leaders from the Mount Kenya region in an attempt to consolidate support and tame the rising No popularity.