NAIROBI, Kenya, May 30 – A recent survey by IPSOS Kenya shows that 58 percent of Kenyans believe that voters will not have confidence in the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to manage the 2017 General Election.
The study shows that 42 per cent are however, convinced that voters will trust the electoral commission which came under sharp criticism after the last General Election in conducting the polls.
Majority of those with confidence with the electoral body are Jubilee supporters at 61 percent compared to 21 percent of CORD supporters.
“Overall, only about one-in-four (42%) think that they do, though here a major partisan divide emerges, with nearly three times as many Jubilee supporters positive on this issue as compared with CORD’s (61% vs. 21%). Such a split is evident in regional terms as well, with almost the same contrast between respondents in Central and Nyanza (60% vs. 22%),” a statement by the pollster summarizing the results states in part.
The poll further indicated that 35 percent of Kenyans living in urban areas support IEBC as compared to 46 percent in the rural areas.
The study has also established that 64 percent of Kenyans support the change of election date from August to December 2017.
“Indeed, the fact that no partisan divide emerges in these figures suggests however, much this proposal is being scrutinized by politicians in terms of potential advantages or disadvantages based on who manages the next election, the public so far is judging this primarily in terms of such criteria as personal convenience, impact on the school term-calendar, or other factors,” the report went on to state.
Last year a substantial number of MPs proposed that the date of the next election be moved from August to December, 2017.
Yet due to the fact that this date is set by the constitution, robust (two-thirds) majorities in both the National Assembly and the Senate would be required to change it.
Initially, most support for this change came from the CORD side, described by commentators as a strategy to ensure that the most senior members of IEBC in whom CORD has less than full confidence will have vacated office, as their terms expire in November of that year.
According to the results from this survey 20% percent of Kenyans are aware of voter registration in their locality over the past two years.
The data however reveal that somewhat more men than women are among those aware at 22 and 17 percents respectively which suggest that even within the same areas not everyone is aware of voter registration.
“Whether this reality explains the fairly large gaps in such awareness across the regions – ranging from highs in North Eastern and Central (37% and 27%, respectively) to lows in Eastern and Western (15% and 10%, respectively), or whether such differences reflect the actual levels of IEBC engagement on the ground, is unclear (though both factors could be at work in determining such awareness-figures),” the statement adds.
The target population for this survey was Kenyans aged 18 years and above, of which 1,964 live in urban and rural areas were interviewed.
The margin-of-error attributed to sampling and other random effects of this poll sample size is +/- 2.2 with a 95% confidence level.
The fieldwork for this survey was conducted between 28th March and 7th April 2015. Data was collected through face-to-face interviews using hand held devices (smart phones).