William Ruto's raids in Raila strongholds helped him clinch narrow victory

The ability of the Ruto team to turn out their base to vote, said constitutional lawyer Bob Mkangi, was accentuated by the kind of messaging and tactics that they employed.

"I don't think either of the sides succeeded in overwhelming the other. But the winner managed to slightly convince more of their voters to come out and vote," said Mr Mkangi.

Some of Ruto's strongholds where people turned out in droves to vote included the North Rift counties of Bomet, West Pokot, Kericho and Elgeyo Marakwet.

These regions had a voter turnout of between 78 and 80 per cent, meaning for every five registered voters, only one did not show up at a polling station to vote on August 9.

While voters in Raila's strongholds of Luo Nyanza also turned out to vote, the numbers were not as high like in the four Rift Valley counties.

In the Luo Nyanza counties of Migori, Homa Bay, Kisumu and Siaya where Raila got over 95 per cent of the votes, the turnout stood at 74.5, 73.7, 71.4 and 70.9 per cent, respectively.

Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Coalition, said Mkangi, may have scored an own goal by giving their supporters the impression the election was in the bag.

President-elect William Ruto at the Bomas of Kenya, August 15, 2022. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

While Raila made some incursion in Mount Kenya counties, it is Ruto who made a major raid in Raila's strongholds, sharing votes cast almost equally with Raila in rich-vote counties such as Nairobi, and even flipping Bungoma to yellow.

In the three Ukambani counties of Kitui, Machackos and Makueni, Ruto outperformed President Uhuru Kenyatta in the 2017 elections.

In 2017, Uhuru got 18 per cent of the votes in Machackos and Kitui, and only eight per cent in Makueni.

However, five years later, Ruto garnered 25 per cent of the votes cast in Machackos, 27 per cent in Kitui and 20 per cent in Makueni.

In 2017, Raila squared off with Uhuru who threw his weight behind the former premier in this year's elections.

But, perhaps the hallmark of Ruto's incursion into Raila's stronghold was how he beat the ex-PM in Bungoma, a region where the opposition leader beat Uhuru in 2013 and 2017.

Many observers reckon this might have been the fatal blow in Raila's fifth stab at the presidency. Some critics also think the loss had something to do with hubris on the part of Azimio leaders.

During campaigns, Raila expressed disappointment after polls showed that he was trailing Ruto who scored 60 per cent against the former premier's 40 per cent. When the final tally was in, Ruto got 255,966 votes against Raila's 145,280, or 35.9 per cent of valid votes.