Amani leader Musalia Mudavadi warns Kenyans to treat opinion polls whose source of funding and methodology is undisclosed with caution.
While congratulating the UK Prime Minister David Cameron for winning elections Mudavadi said opinion polls with links to global sources of funding have proved suspect in most recent times and their intensions are suspect. In statement today, Mudavadi praised the UK elections and the sense of maturity of leaders of various parties.
“The elections were fought on issues which pollsters missed leading to false predictions. The leaders displayed a high sense of integrity by interrogating their own party weaknesses rather than crying foul. Their system is not perfect but self-reflection has resulted in resignation of party leaders”, he said.
He said Kenyan political parties need to re-think “the façade of convenient coalitions that was exposed in UK. The partnership between Labour party and Scottish nationalist party (SNP) fell apart. We must learn the lesson that the Liberals were wiped out by coalition partners. It shows coalitions are delicate and you cannot sleep with all your eyes closed”.
Following crushing defeat Labour party Ed Miliband, Liberal democrats Nick Clegg and UK Independent Party (UKIP) leaders resigned all sighting need to rebuild their parties under new leadership. Pollsters had predicted a close election that was not to be with the Conservative party romping to majority victory against all predictions.
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“It is curious and embarrassing that opinion polls predicted a close election in the UK and even in Israel that fell way off the mark given the opposite outcome”, he said adding that polls in Kenya are designed to sway public opinion rather than reflect the reality.
“Elections in Kenya are fought on euphoric platforms that have nothing to do with issues. Yet pollsters consistently promote this incredible deficiency,” saying the UK elections were about the economy, devolution and the EU.
Mudavadi said pollsters in Kenya are affiliates of global networks and wondered what their agenda was in Kenya. “The influence global networks exert on public opinion in electoral outcomes is suspect. The public deserve honest information”, he said.
He claimed that local poll content is “when we are sometimes asked to buy token questions meant to legitimise deception in the overall actual agenda”.
“You must wonder what informs the strategy of piecemeal release of poll results on topical issues in Kenya. How readily were they predicted to coincide with public debate that whenever every other issue pops up, there is a ready poll released? Is this a coincidence? Obviously no. It is a case where pollsters are initiating and promoting debate to support their results. It’s a public relations execution,” he wondered.