'If undecided voters abstain, Raila Odinga will win presidency in round one'

Raila Odinga speaks during a campaign rally at Bukhungu Stadium on August 3, 2022. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

If elections were held today and the undecided voters estimated at two million abstain, there would be no runoff, a new opinion poll shows.

According to the survey by Trends and Insights for Africa (TIFA) which was released on August 3, 2022, should the registered but undecided voters – represented by 8 per cent – fail to cast their votes, Azimio la Umoja coalition party flag bearer Raila Odinga would clinch victory in the first round.

The projections show Raila would garner 53 per cent while his main rival Deputy President William Ruto of the Kenya Kwanza Alliance, would score 45 per cent. Roots Party leader George Wajackoyah is placed a distant third with 2 per cent and 0.2 per cent for Agano party’s David Mwaure.

Should the above factors not apply, then neither Ruto nor Raila would achieve the required 50 per cent plus one victory in next Tuesday’s vote, necessitating a repeat election. Raila would, however, be close at 49 per cent compared to Ruto’s 42 per cent.

The poll conducted between July 31 and August 1, 2022, also showed Kenyans do not anticipate violence between today and voting day. The opinion poll also indicated majority of Kenyans expect a peaceful election. Eighty per cent of the respondents felt there would be no violence while only 9 per cent were concerned with possibility of pre-election chaos. Eight per cent were somewhat concerned, but 3 per cent were not sure.

During the election day, 79 per cent of voters expressed optimism that there would be no violence while only 7 per cent were concerned. Ten per cent were somewhat concerned while 4 per cent are not sure. Supporters of Ruto and his running mate Rigathi Gachagua were also confident that there would be no pre-poll chaos, which was represented by 84 per cent.

This was also the case with those supporting Raila-Martha Karua ticket who were represented by 76 per cent. Upon the announcement of the results by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, 66 per cent of respondents from 47 counties were optimistic that there would be no chaos, but 13 per cent were very concerned about post-poll chaos.

In terms of the nine sub-regions, voters in the South Rift region were the most confident at 78 per cent that there would be no violence after the announcement of results, followed by Mt Kenya (77 per cent), Coast (73 per cent), Central Rift (71 per cent), Western (67 per cent), Lower Eastern (66 per cent), Northern (62 per cent), Nyanza (52 per cent) and Nairobi (51 per cent).