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Latest opinion poll shows neither Ruto nor Raila will win presidency in first round

by Amos Khaemba

The latest opinion poll by TIFA shows that the ODM leader Raila Odinga is likely to lose the August 9 presidential election to deputy president William Ruto but there will be a re-run.

According to the poll released on Thursday, February 17, Deputy President William Ruto remains the most preferred presidential candidate among Kenyans at 38 percent with the former prime minister having a popularity rating of 27 percent.

According to the poll, DP Ruto popularity has remained unchanged compared to the former prime minister who has gained 4 percent since the last poll in November.

According to the constitution, a presidential candidate must garner more than half of all votes cast in an election or 51% to be declared winner in the first round.

The candidate also has to win in more than half of all the 47 counties to be considered the outright winner in the first round.

In the TIFFA poll, the United Democratic Alliance party of William Ruto emerged as the most popular party with 35 percent followed closely by ODM at 24 percent.

“Largely reflecting the figures for political party popularity, DP Ruto currently attracts rather more support than former PM Odinga but both far out-score anyone else,” the poll report stated.

The Deputy President is ahead of the ODM leader in six regions out of the nine voting blocs.

In Central Rift Valley Ruto is at 61 %, Mt Kenya at 49 %, Northern at 44%, South rift at 39 %, Coast at 34 %, with Raila trailing at 14% , 16% , 30% ,32%, 30% in those regions respectively.

On the other hand, the former prime minister is more popular in three regions, of Western, Nyanza and Nairobi at 31 %, 48%, 38%, DP Ruto is at 28, 23 and 21 % in Western Nyanza and Nairobi respectively.

According to the polls, the Western region and Coastal regions are currently the tightest potential contest areas, with a marginal lead for Raila in the former by 3% and Ruto in the latter by 4%.

The poll says that it’s early to conclusively decide on the outright candidate as 20 percent of the respondents remain undecided on their preferred candidate.

“However, with one-fifth of all the respondent’s undecided about their preferred next-president and with six months remaining until the casting of actual ballots, there is no way of knowing how much these figures might change,” the poll stated.

The survey was conducted between Febraury 3 and 9, after two major political events happened in the last three months.

Raila announced he would contest the presidency in August and after Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetangula joined forces with Ruto.

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