, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – A new poll shows a steady rise in the ratings of Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and a decline for his political nemesis PM Raila Odinga, if a presidential election was to be held today.
Mr Odinga’s popularity has dropped by 16 percent from 48 percent in October 2010 while Mr Kenyatta’s approval rating has risen by seven percent in the last 10 months.
The poll conducted by Synovate Research Group shows Mr Odinga remains the most popular presidential candidate at 32 percent, closely followed by Uhuru Kenyatta at 21 percent.
Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Eldoret North MP William Ruto tie in the third position at 11 percent.
According to Synovate’s Managing Director Maggie Ireri, ODM still remains the most popular party at 32 percent followed by PNU at 23 percent despite Mr Odinga’s popularity being on the downward trend in the last three months.
Twenty three percent of those polled said they do not have close affiliation to any political party.
Ms Ireri said that task for most presidential hopefuls was to cover enough ground and ensure that they had the numbers to win the election in the first round of voting.
“If an election was to be held today, none of the presidential hopefuls will emerge winner as they do not meet the threshold of article 138(4) of the Constitution,” she explained referring to the constitutional provision that outlines the criteria to be met by the winner of a presidential election.
Article 138(4) of the Constitution provides that a candidate shall be declared President if the candidate receives more than half (over 50 percent) of all votes cast in the election and at least 25 percent of the votes cast in each of more than half of the 47 Counties.
Sixty six percent of Kenyans polled said that the cost of living had become the most serious problem in Kenya, a double percentage to the figure the pollster established three months ago.
Ms Ireri said that the other most serious problems in Kenya are corruption and unemployment.
“People who mentioned that the cost of living was their major problem are 66 percent compared to 33 percent in April; the second problem people mentioned is corruption at 10 percent and unemployment at 8 percent,” she said.
“People have been hard pressed by the cost of food prices and the effects of oil prices than by corruption though it come in second,” she explained of the 56 percent gap between the top two issues perceived problems.
The poll also revealed that 78 percent of Kenyans believe that the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC) is the institution most committed to fighting corruption ahead of the Office of the Prime Minister, the Office of the President, Parliament and the Attorney General’s office respectively.
The poll was conducted between June 30 and July 8.