News / Africa

Poll Shows Kenyan PM Holds Small Lead in Presidential Race

Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga addresses the foreign journalists in Nairobi, Kenya, June 12, 2012.
Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga addresses the foreign journalists in Nairobi, Kenya, June 12, 2012.
Gabe Joselow
A new poll shows Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga holding a narrow lead over his rivals in the country’s presidential race.  With five  months to go until the election, it is still anybody’s race.

The newest survey from the U.S.-based polling agency Gallup shows 28.6 percent of Kenyans over the age of 18 support Prime Minister Odinga in his bid for the presidency.  His closest rival, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta has 21.5 percent support.

Gallup Regional Research Director Bob Tortora, speaking in Nairobi Friday, said among more likely voters, the race is even tighter.

“But what happens if you now restrict it to those Kenyans who are telling us that they are registered to vote now?  Then the picture changes a little bit and the prime minister and the deputy prime minister are statistically tied,” said Tortora.

In third place is member of parliament William Ruto, who has the support of 14 percent of eligible and registered voters.

Both Ruto and Kenyatta are facing trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of instigating the violence that followed the disputed presidential election in 2007, in which over one thousand people were killed.

The poll found that 69 percent of Kenyans who are aware of the ICC approve of using the court to investigate the post-election violence, though there was no mention of what impact, if any, that perception will have on the election.

The poll also found that one out of every four Kenyans believes there will be a repeat of violence after next year’s vote.

Looking beyond politics, Gallup also surveyed Kenyans on something called Life Evaluation, asking participants to rank their well-being from a scale of one to ten, with ten being what they imagine to be the best possible life.

The survey showed Kenyans ranked their well-being at 4.3, up from 4.0 in 2006.

Respondents were also asked to rank how they expect to feel about their lives in five years time - a measure of hope. Kenyans ranked their hope at about 6.6.

Tortola said rankings for Life Evaluation and Hope are similar across the continent.

“If you look at Africa in general and begin to compare that to the rest of the world, Africa has a fairly low life evaluation when you look at other regions of the world.  Northern Europe has the highest life evaluation around the world.  And if you look at hope - there is a lot of hope in Africa,” he said.

Gallup’s polling is based on face-to-face interviews with 2,400 Kenyans across the country over the course of three weeks, ending in August.

The survey was funded by a research institution called the East Africa Index.  Gallup plans to conduct three more surveys before the election.

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Comment Sorting
by: Paul Gesimba from: Nairobi
October 08, 2012 10:50 AM
The major question is if the local courts will allow the two closest challengers to run or vie for the forthcoming polls Since the new constitution has set up a very high bar for leadership and integrity and will they team up against the main challenger .What if there will be a run -Off those are the key questions at the heart and mind of every Kenyan who has the interests of the Country at heart

by: James Ruei Majok from: Unity state Bentiu
October 05, 2012 12:30 PM
Let kenya do whatever they want but let them do it peacefully with out death like 2008 election .Iam afeeling to kenya Authority to take care with life of is people in kenya

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