43pc intend not to vote in Msambweni by-elections: Survey

Written By: Claire Wanja

“What is the main reason why you are not intending to vote?”

With just two weeks to the Msambweni constituency by-elections, a survey conducted by Tifa Research shows that 43 percent of registered voters intend not to vote saying they believe the outcome of the by-election will not make a difference to them or their lives.

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Out of the 320 respondents, another 42 percent said they shall be away or too busy, with another 7 percent saying the results or election will be rigged or incorrect.

” Every survey has a margin-of-error and in this case +/- 5.7% for those intending to vote.”

The number of registered voters in the constituency is 68,621. In 2017, the voter turnout was 42,350 which was 62%.

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According to the survey, because Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has not conducted any voter registration campaign since the 2017 election, all those now aged 18-20 are unable to vote in this by-election and therefore could not have been included in this survey since it was limited to only those stating that they are registered voters.

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At least six candidates are in the race for the seat that fell vacant after the death of area MP Suleiman Dori in March. The ODM MP succumbed to cancer.

They are Omar Boga -ODM, Feisal Bader – independent candidate, Marere Wamwachai (National Vision Party), Ali Hassan Mwakulonda (Party of Economic Democracy), Shee Mahmoud (Wiper Party) and Khamis Mwakaonje Liganje (United Green Movement).

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In the survey, the respondents were interviewed face-to-face between the 29th November to 1st December 2020 with a margin error of +/- 5.47%.

Tifa says the results might differ from those of December 15 because some voters registered in Msambweni may live elsewhere and come home to vote on December 15; and that they could not have been among the survey respondents who were limited to Msambweni residents.

They also noted that some of the 92% of respondents who stated they will vote may not do so as voter turnout is impossible to predict but based on previous election in Coast, by-election turnout is lower than this self-reported figure and that as active campaigns are still underway with nearly two weeks remaining until the by-election itself, and as the data show, “campaign promises” are identified as a major factor in influencing voters’ choices.

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On the issue of BBI report, 79% of the respondents said they know nothing of the report.

Q. “How much would you say you know about the BBI report that was recently made public?”

82% of the respondents also cited employment as the most pressing problem facing residents. Other major problems were poverty, land issues, crime/insecurity, lack of water and poor quality education.

IEBC said the by-election which was postponed in April will be held under strict COVID-19 regulations.

By-elections of Ward representatives for Kahawa Wendani, Kisumu North, Dabaso, Wundanyi and Lake View Ward in Nakuru will also be held on December 15.

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