Opinion polls played an important role in the runup to the Kenyan elections of December 2007. A number of institutes published results on the presidential candidates. Nation Media employed the Kenyan Steadman market information company to conduct regular polls, which thus received the widest attention.
Polls are a new instrument on the Kenyan political scene. Recent elections had seen some results published which met, however, with widespread scepticism.
The publication of polls in 2007 generated large interest and controversy as they were alternatively welcomed or condemned by parties and observers on the national scene and frequently criticised as having been manipulated by one or the other side.
Generally polls showed in early stages a lead for President Mwai Kibaki and a strong showing of Kalonzo Musyoka on the opposition side.
After realignments in the opposition Raila Odinga had managed to get the support of regional leaders from a multi-tribal background and Musyoka looked largely reduced to his Kamba hometurf. This showed in the polls with Odinga surging ahead.
After re-formation on the president’s side criticism at Odinga became more pointed and this message seems to have had effect in narrowing the difference between the leading presidential contestants.
7 December 2007
|# of wins
Opinion polls in late October put support for Odinga at 50%, with Kibaki at 39%, and Musyoka at 8%. A poll released in early November put Odinga at 45%, Kibaki at 41% and Musyoka at 11%, while on 23 November a poll placed Odinga and Kibaki at about the same level, with 43.6% and 43.3% respectively.
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