5m voters outside Cord, Jubilee bases to determine poll winner
Posted Saturday, December 29 2012 at 22:00
- Rival camps crunch the numbers as the battle for State House shifts to regions seen to be neutral
These regions combined with the Kisii and Nyamira tally of registered voters of 634,109 come to a total of 4,690,624 votes.
However, the TNA-URP advantage in their strongholds would be wiped out by the close to 5 million votes in the more neutral counties where the election will be won or lost.
An ODM insider who did not want to be named discussing strategy dismissed the TNA analysis as wishful thinking.
He said polls consistently showed that ODM was the most popular party across the country and Mr Odinga would comfortably win the biggest tally of votes in the counties which will determine the election.
He said ODM also expects to fight to get a sizeable slice of the Rift Valley vote and will be competitive in the Mt Kenya East counties of Meru, Embu and Tharaka Nithi.
Nairobi University lecturer Adams Oloo says the election is evenly poised. Like Prof Mitullah, Dr Oloo said the election would still revolve around the issue of ethnicity despite the fact it will be the first under the new Constitution.
“The Constitution is still young, and we haven’t de-ethnicised the presidency yet. All the presidential candidates come from the big five communities. That’s why candidates like Prof James ole Kiyiapi barely get noticed.”
Dr Oloo said Cord will frame the election around the question of which team can be trusted to faithfully implement the Constitution. They will also focus on the economy and the contention they can propel the country to a higher plane than witnessed in the Kibaki years. Historical injustices, too, he argued, will feature prominently.
The lecturer said the Jubilee Alliance is casting the election as a generational battle and portray themselves as a fresh alternative to their Cord rivals. They say they would be best placed to steer the economy, and Dr Oloo expects them to argue their team was made up of “performers”, borrowing from Mr Ruto’s campaign platform.
“Cord will go all out to lock in Western. Their argument will be that Mudavadi doesn’t stand a chance, and there is no need to waste votes on him. Jubilee will try to lock out Mt Kenya and Kalenjinland. I don’t expect a lot of fight in Luoland, where Cord will triumph. Kisii will be a battleground but I expect Cord to have an advantage there.”
He said the closeness of the race means every vote will be fought for.
“Ukambani is likely to go the Cord way but I expect Charity Ngilu will be dispatched by Jubilee to try and see what she can get, although I don’t expect her to be successful. There will be quite a battle in North Eastern Province.
“Neither side has very strong kingpins there. It will be an issue of who reaches the elders first. I expect a battle in Coast although Cord will have an advantage.
“Meru will be interesting and much will depend on which side the Alliance Party of Kenya backs. In Turkana and West Pokot, expect a close battle because both sides have strong point-men (Samuel Poghisio and Ekwee Ethuro for Jubilee and Josphat Nanok and John Munyes for Cord).”