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Kidero, Sonko neck-and-neck in Nairobi gubernatorial race – poll

The poll by TIFA Research Company shows that Peter Kenneth who is vying as an independent candidate is trailing at 4 per cent/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 6 – A new poll released Thursday morning shows that Evans Kidero and Mike Sonko are neck and neck in the Nairobi gubernatorial race with their popularity rate at 44 and 43 percent respectively.

The poll by TIFA research company showed that Peter Kenneth who is vying as an independent candidate is trailing at 4 per cent.

“Evans Kidero basically is in the lead because of the NASA supporters but Mike Sonko although the Jubilee Party supporters are fewer is able to attract supporters from other parties,” While releasing the study TIFA Director Maggie Ireri said.

The poll further revealed 39 per cent NASA supporters and three percent of Jubilee’s would allow Kidero a second term in office.

Twenty seven per cent of supporters in the ruling coalition would vote for Sonko, compared to 12 percent in the National Super Alliance.

Eight per cent of city residents were undecided.

“Of the two leading contestants from various political parties, Sonko attracts a high proportion of NASA supporters as compared to Kidero,” she said.

This is a deviation from a poll in March by this firm that found Kenneth had overtaken Sonko.

While releasing the study TIFA Director Maggie Ireri further revealed that Jubilee Party’s Johnson Sakaja enjoys 39 per cent in the senatorial race followed by ODM’s Edwin Sifuna at 28 per cent.

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“The support levels for NASA in Nairobi is 56 percent but you can see Edwin Sifuna has 28 percent so you can see basically that Sifuna is underperforming relative to his political party while Johnson Sakaja is performing slightly above his party’s popularity,” she said.

Twenty four per cent Jubilee supporters would vote for Sakaja and two percent for Sifuna. Among Opposition backers, 12 percent would choose Sakaja and 25 percent Sifuna.

Sifuna was followed by Ramesh Gorasia, Suzanne Lenge and Zacharia Momanyi who were rated at one percent each. Twenty nine percent of the population was undecided.

Ireri stated that in the woman rep race, Esther Passaris of ODM is ahead with 57 percent, followed by Rachael Shebesh of Jubilee at 25 percent.

“Already, according to this study, Esther Passaris is above fifty. So even if the undecided voters decide to support Shebesh, she is already in the lead,” she said.

Interestingly, the research company has even polled Maina Kageni who is not in the race because the woman rep’s position is exclusively for female candidates as outlined by the Constitution.

Others who followed were Nadya Khan, Rahab Ndabuki at one percent each.

Fifteen percent residents have not made up their minds.

Some 42 percent of NASA supporters would vote Passaris while four percent would opt for Shebesh.

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“So for Esther Passaris, 42 percent of her supporters indicate they are NASA supporters, 11 percent say they are Jubilee Party supporters and then 4 percent are other parties. For Shebesh, majority of them 19 percent are Jubilee Party supporters and only 4 percent are NASA supporters.”

According to the poll, 97 per cent city residents will vote on August 8.

“Of these, 57 per cent feel closer to NASA as compared to 34 per cent who feel closer to Jubilee,” the research firm stated.

The poll also noted that a significant number of respondents are unlikely to follow the six-piece voting pattern.

“This is an indication that they evaluate candidates on attributes apart from political party affiliation,” the poll report reads in part.

The survey was conducted on July 1 and 2 in 17 sub-counties and data was collected from 829 people through face-to-face interviews.

The poll financed by TIFA had a margin error of +/-3.4% and a 95 percent confidence level.

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