Kidero, Sonko locked in a tight contest for Nairobi governor seat

Kidero, Sonko locked in a tight contest for Nairobi governor seat

A new opinion poll shows that the Nairobi gubernatorial contest is a two horse race with incumbent Governor Evans Kidero taking a marginal lead ahead of Jubilee governor nominee Mike Sonko.

According to the poll by Trends and Insights for Africa (TIFA), Kidero and Sonko are locked in a tight contest for the governor seat with a 44 per cent and 43 per cent approval rating respectively, with 8 per cent of voters still undecided.

Peter Kenneth, who is vying as an independent candidate, is trailing at 4 per cent.

Miguna Miguna performed dismally in the pecking order garnering only 1 per cent of respondents’ approval.

“Kidero and Sonko are attracting voters from various political parties. However, Senator Sonko attracts a higher portion of supporters that are not from his party as compared to Evans Kidero,” TIFA Research Ltd Director, Maggie Ireri said on Thursday.

Kidero, who is seeking a re-election on an ODM ticket, is facing a serious onslaught from Sonko, independent candidates Peter Kenneth, Miguna Miguna, Michael Mutinda, Macharia Kamau and Godfrey Wanyoike.

Ireri disclosed that a section of the respondents are keen to vote out Kidero for his failure to deliver on his campaign, lack of a development agenda and poor leadership skills.

Of those interviewed, 34 per cent feel Sonko should not be elected as he lacks the necessary expertise to manage the city of Nairobi’s stature as 16 per cent took issue with his academic qualification, terming it ‘questionable’.

Sonko graduated in 2015 from Kenya Methodist University (KEMU) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.

Nevertheless, in the senatorial race, Jubilee’s Johnstone Sakaja is leading to succeed Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko with a 39 per cent popularity rating against rival Edwin Sifuna of ODM with 28 per cent.

However, the proportion of undecided voters for the senator seat is quite high.

“The top two candidates (Sakaja and Sifuna) will need to work harder to persuade the undecided voters,” the research revealed.

In the women representative race, Businesswoman Esther Passaris is polled as the most preferred candidate with 57 per cent. Incumbent Rachel Shebesh trailed Passaris at 25per cent.

Interestingly, TIFA polled radio journalist Maina Kageni, who is not in the race because the Woman Rep’s position is exclusively for female candidates as outlined by the Constitution. Maina trails a distant third at 1 per cent.

“Esther Passaris has already garnered majority support and therefore has a lead over her competitors,” Ireri noted.

The opinion poll noted a significant number of respondents are unlikely to follow the 6 piece voting. However, the winner of the city contest will be determined by voter turnout on the actual election outcome.

“There is a need to encourage the younger group 18-30 years to vote. Civic education has a role to play in ensuring participation in the electoral process,” Ms Ireri noted

She noted, however, that last minute changes in the voting blocs could change the political platform in the city contest for both governor and senate contests.

In some instances, she said, one less popular candidate could cede ground and support one who is popular.

Overall, In Nairobi the poll found that the National Super Alliance (NASA) leads Jubilee Party in popularity in city with 56 per cent against 34 per cent.

The researchers said NASA’s popularity has been on the rise since July last year, rising from 38 per cent to 47 per cent in February this year, to the current 56 per cent.

For Jubilee, the upward trend reversed from February.

In July last year, the Uhuru Kenyatta party enjoyed the support of 38 per cent of Nairobians, rising to 42 per cent in February 2017. But the support has been in a free fall since then, settling at 34 per cent in June.

The poll was conducted between 1st and 2nd July, sampling 829 Respondents distributed across the 17 constituencies proportionate to IEBC 2017 voter register with a 3.4 per cent error margin.



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