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Isaac Ruto, Laboso neck-and-neck in Bomet gubernatorial race: pollster

Isaac Ruto at a recent rally/COURTESY

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 12 – A survey conducted by Infotrak Research and Consulting shows that incumbent Isaac Ruto and Deputy National Assembly Speaker Joyce Laboso are neck-and-neck in the Bomet gubernatorial race.

The two are only a point apart with 38.9 per cent of the 800 respondents surveyed saying they will vote for Ruto in the August 8 General Election while 37.7 per cent said they will vote for Laboso.

Julius Kones came in third with 7.3 per cent with 16 per cent of respondents said to be undecided.

The poll released Wednesday by Infotrak’s Senior Research Executive Mary Mburu also revealed that Ruto’s Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) was playing second fiddle to Deputy President William Ruto’s Jubilee Party which scored an impressive 74 per cent compared to CCM’s 12 per cent.

Meru Governor Peter Munya who took over from Ruto as Chairperson of the Council of Governors (CoG) ranked better than his predecessor with 41.4 per cent of 1,350 respondents sampled in the county saying they would vote for him.

His main competitor, Meru Senator Kiraitu Murungi, scored 29 per cent followed by Maendeleo Chap Chap’s (MCC) Kilemi Mwiria who managed an approval rating of 6.3 per cent.

Others trailing are Boniface Gatobu (3.4 per cent), Winnie Kaburu (0.2 per cent), Mwenda Mbijiwe (0.1 per cent). Some 19.6 per cent of respondents are yet to make up their mind on who they were going to elect as governor.

KANU Secretary General Nick Salat lags behind for the Bomet Senate to Wilfred Lesan who received backing from 24 per cent of the respondents compared to Salat’s 13.5 per cent.

The KANU Secretary General however downplayed the impact of the survey saying that he had enough time to catch up with his competitor before poll day.

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“I am happy with the 13 per cent because I have not even started campaigning but the end result is the real election,” Salat told Capital FM News on the sidelines of an event bringing together stakeholders in the electoral process Wednesday.

Interestingly, KANU appears to be less popular in Bomet than ODM which emerged as the third most popular party in the region with a score of 4.1 per cent the former settling for the forth position with 0.5 per cent.

Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua’s MCC came in fifth with 0.2 per cent beating Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper which managed 0.1 per cent.

Mithika Linturi is leading the pack in the Meru senatorial race with 35.6 per cent followed by Mugambi Imanyara (9.3 per cent) who came a distant second.

Incumbent Senator Kiraitu Murungi is third with a 3.2 per cent score in a race where 49.5 per cent of respondents said they were undecided.

Mburu however explained Kiraitu’s Senate rating to the fact that he has declared to vie for governorship and he will not therefore be defending his seat, a position acknowledged by a majority of respondents.

In Bomet, Woman Representative Alice Milgo is third in the race with 8.3 per cent behind Joyce Korir (20.7 per cent) and Cecilia Ngetich (13.2 per cent).

A whopping 42.4 per cent of respondents said they were undecided.

Also facing a fierce competition for elective seats is Meru Woman Representative Florence Kajuju who is at par with her main challenger Kawira Mwangaza, the two polling 35 and 34.9 per cent respectively.

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A total of 26 .4 per cent of those who were interviewed said they were yet to pick a candidate.

In the two counties, the likelihood of Members of Parliament getting re-elected is below 50 per cent with only 42 and 37 per cent of respondents saying they will vote for incumbent legislators in Meru and Bomet.

North Imenti MP Abdul Dawood (Jubilee – Meru) and Bomet Central MP Ronald Tonui (Jubilee – Bomet) are the most popular lawmakers in their respective regions with a 49.6 and 63.8 per cent likelihood of retaining their seats.

On party popularity in Meru, Munya’s PNU was ranked third with 8.4 per cent behind JP (55.4 per cent) and ODM (11.8 per cent).

The research firm conducted the two polls between April 7 and 8 in Bomet and March 29 and 31 in Meru with projected adult population of 427,327 and 900,860 respectively.

The poll has a 95 per cent degree of confidence in both counties.

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