High turnout, forays into Nasa strongholds pay off for Uhuru


High turnout, forays into Nasa strongholds pay off for Uhuru

The national voter turnout rate dropped by almost 10 per cent from 86 per cent in 2013 to 77 per cent.

President Uhuru Kenyatta earned himself a second term by winning several counties in opposition territory, ensuring high voter turnout in his strongholds of Central and Rift Valley regions and growing his share of votes in more counties than his challenger, Nasa leader Raila Odinga, a review of election data by Nation Newsplex reveals.

The President garnered the most votes in 26 counties, six more than in the 2013 election. They include Samburu and Garissa which he moved to his column with the narrowest of margins. The President won Samburu by a margin of 0.2 per cent or 131 votes and Garissa with 0.38 per cent or 427 votes.

The biggest upset was in Marsabit which the President won by 84 per cent of the valid votes cast increasing his share of votes by more than two-thirds over the 2013 election.

In 2013, he garnered 47 per cent of the votes cast and lost to Mr Odinga, who won with 49 per cent of the votes.

Also a surprising win was Nyamira, a county which his challenger had won with 69 per cent with him getting 29 per cent just five years ago. This time, the President garnered 53 per cent or 106, 508 votes compared to Odinga’s 46 per cent or 95,227 votes.

The other counties are Wajir in which the President got 51 per cent of the vote and Narok (52 per cent). Mr Odinga won in 21 counties. Vihiga, which went to then Amani coalition leader Musalia Mudavadi in 2013, was the only county he added to his column in 2017.

In the 2017 election, 151,14622 valid votes were cast with Uhuru Kenyatta getting 8,203,290 or 54 per cent and Raila Odinga (6,762,224 or 44 per cent). The other six candidates got less than one per cent of the total votes.

President Kenyatta saw his share of votes shrink in 24 counties in 2017 compared to 2013 but he increased his votes in 22 and maintained the same share in one.

Mr Odinga’s vote share reduced in 31 counties but increased in 11 while he maintained the same percentage of votes in five.

The national voter turnout rate dropped to 77 per cent compared to 86 per cent in 2013, a decline of almost 10 per cent.

With 86 per cent, Central region had the highest voter turnout. In second place was Rift Valley with 80 per cent and Eastern with 79 per cent. Nyanza, Mr Odinga’s stronghold, was ranked fourth with 78 per cent followed by Western (76 per cent), North Eastern (75), Nairobi (73) and Coast (65 per cent).

VOTER APATHY

There was generally increased voter apathy across the country with 45 counties recording a lower turnout rate than in 2013. Only Turkana county residents turned up to vote in larger numbers than they did the last election.

The move by President Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto to form one single party that brought together 13 existing parties from all over Kenya into one seems to have paid off, with the Jubilee Party garnering 25 gubernatorial seats, five more than the Jubilee coalition attained in 2013.

Counties invaded by the Jubilee wave at the expense of Nasa are Lamu, Kwale, Kajiado, Bomet, Garissa, Wajir and Nairobi, resulting in the fall of governors affiliated to Nasa. The governors are Issa Timamy (Lamu), Isaac Ruto (Bomet), David Nkedianye (ODM), Nathif Jama Aden (Garissa), Ahmed Abdullahi Mohamad (Wajir) and Evans Kidero (Nairobi).

Nasa also lost three Senatorial seats while the Jubilee Party gained two and KANU one. The senate seats taken from Nasa by Jubilee are Wajir, Tana River and Trans Nzoia. The West Pokot senatorial race ushered the comeback of Former Minister for Information and Communication, Samuel Poghisio, who won the Senate seat on a KANU ticket. He now joins his party chairman Gideon Moi at the Senate.

The narrowest margin of victory in gubernatorial races was in Embu County where Martin Wambora (Jubilee) beat his opponent by a margin of 0.5 per cent or  947 votes, while the widest margin of victory was in Kericho where Paul Chepkwony (Jubilee) won by a gap of 90 per cent or 265,515 votes.

Lamu County, where Anuar Loitiptip (Jubilee) won by 0.1 per cent or 58 votes was the closest of all the senatorial races. In Siaya County, James Orengo (ODM) had an easy time, winning by a margin of 97 per cent or  362,222 votes.

The narrowest margin of victory in the county women representative races was in Wajir where the gap between Fatuma Gedi Ali (Party for Development and Reform) and the runner-up was 0.5 per cent , or 266 votes. The widest gap between the winner and runner-up in the women representative races was in Kiambu where Gathoni wa Muchomba (Jubilee) led with 91.5 per cent or 890,250 votes.