Steadman poll puts Raila ahead
Published on December 8, 2007, 12:00 am
By Ben Agina, Peter Opiyo and Jibril Adan
ODM presidential candidate, Mr Raila Odinga, has for the sixth time in a row led in opinion polls as President Kibaki dropped a point. In the latest Steadman popularity ratings, released on Friday, Raila opened up a four-percentage lead against Kibaki while ODM-Kenya presidential candidate, Mr Kalonzo Musyoka also went one point down.
In the last opinion polls, Raila led with 43.6 per cent compared to Kibaki’s 43.3 per cent.
However, Steadman’s lead researcher, Dr Tom Wolf, predicted if the current results are anything to go by, and every registered voter interviewed, then Raila would get 48 per cent and Kibaki would remain at 44 per cent.
Raila has also maintained a comfortable lead in six of eight provinces; with ODM still the most popular party nationally.
Although there is marginal drop by the three presidential candidates in nearly all provinces, Raila’s popularity has increased in Coast, Nairobi and Rift Valley.
In Nairobi, Raila’s tally is up by seven per cent up from the previous 40 per cent. At the Coast he has 63 per cent and Rift Valley 61 per cent.
Raila scores eight per cent in Central, Eastern six per cent, Nyanza 78 per cent, Western 69 per cent and North Eastern 65 per cent.
Kibaki stands at 41 per cent in Nairobi, Coast 35, Central 91, Rift Valley 36, Eastern 46, Nyanza 19, Western 21 and North Eastern 27 per cent.
Kalonzo got 44 per cent in Eastern Province and 10 per cent in Coast.
ODM is still the most popular, commanding 46 per cent backing from across section of Kenyans interviewed, followed by PNU at 34 per cent and ODM-Kenya with 10 per cent.
ODM is equally popular in six provinces just like its presidential candidate.
And half of Raila’s supporters intend to vote ‘three-piece’ in the General Election.
For Kibaki and Kalonzo, 75 per cent and 78 per cent of their supporters will vote in candidates from different parties.
On religious front, Raila has continued to receive backing from across the faiths.
Between early November and now Raila’s support has grown among the Muslims to 66 per cent the same percentage among Christians.
The release of the poll results was almost marred by an altercation between Steadman Managing Director, Mr George Waititu, and ODM’s Head of Research, Mr Miguna Miguna, who attended the press conference at the firm’s Riverside offices, Nairobi.
Miguna put Waititu to task to confirm or deny whether the top leadership of Steadman was “intimately” connected to the Presidents campaign team.
In the full glare of the media, Miguna asked: ” Can you confirm or deny that the top leadership of Steadman led by Roger Steadman are intimately connected to Mr George Muhoho, the de facto head of Kibaki campaign secretariat and Mr Joe Wanjui the lead trustee and strategist of PNU, to the extent that it gives us reason to question Steadman’s independence and neutrality”.
For the ownership of Steadman, Waititu said: “It is owned by Rodger Steadman, Carol Nkatha and Waititu”.
He also denied allegations that money had been paid to influence the opinion polls.
“No money has been paid to us in an attempt to alter any results,” he said.
The target population for the latest survey was 2,700 adults aged 18 and above (voting age).
Guided by voter registration
To avoid bias, the sample was distributed in all provinces and their respective districts according to voter registration.
All the interviews were conducted face to face with the systematically selected respondent at the household level.
No interviews were conducted on the streets, offices or out of home.
The pollster said the method ensured representativeness and quality control.
In the same poll, the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) gained a two-percentage point in public confidence rating.
The figure stood at 48 per cent for those having complete confidence in the electoral body compared to November’s poll that registered 46 per cent.
In the polls conducted between December 1 and 3, 41 per cent had some confidence while nine per cent had no confidence in the ECK.
Though the number having some confidence has dropped by a point, those with no confidence have reduced by three points from the previous poll. The November poll recorded 42 per cent for the former and 11 per cent for the latter.
And of the three key presidential candidates, more of President Kibaki’s supporters believe that the ECK will supervise free and fair elections compared to Raila and Kalonzo’s supporters.
The polls indicate 55 per cent of Kibaki’s supporters have complete confidence in the ECK.
Raila’s supporters recorded 40 per cent complete confidence, while 38 per cent of those backing Kalonzo believe the ECK will conduct free and fair polls.
And to illustrate the high stakes involved in this election, Steadman released an interesting finding.
A whopping Sh150 million has been spent on election advertising, translating to more than twice the amount used in the 2003 General Election.
President Kibaki’s PNU has spent the highest, 73 per cent of the colossal amount, twice more than Raila’s ODM.
The poll indicates PNU spent more than Sh110 million between October 1 and December 5, while ODM spent Sh33 million in the same period. ODM-Kenya spent Sh2.5 million and other parties used Sh3.9 million.
In the 2002 General Election, a poll showed Sh66 million was spent on political advertising, while Sh35 million was used for a similar purpose during the November 2005 referendum on a new constitution.
Radio accounts for the largest share of political adverts. The poll showed that 45 per cent of the money was spent on radio adverts.
Television accounted for 34 per cent while the print media received 21 per cent.
PNU spent most of the money in November when its expenditure on political adverts peaked at an average of Sh20 million per week. ODM was spending an average of Sh5 million per week.
ODM-Kenya spent less than a million per week in the same period.
PNU spent Sh19 million in the first five days of this month. ODM spent Sh7.5 million. ODM-Kenya spent Sh392, 000.