President Uhuru Kenyatta’s public approval rating has risen significantly after his appearance at the International Criminal Court’s status conference last week.
The opinion poll by Ipsos Kenya released on Wednesday evening shows a big surge in Mr Kenyatta’s approval ratings, from 43 per cent two months ago to 71 per cent.
Also recording a significant jump were the ratings of Deputy President William Ruto and those of Cabinet Secretaries.
Some 87 per cent of the 1,669 respondents sampled said they approved the President’s decision to appearance at The Hague based court last week.
However, the results may be coloured by the fact that Jubilee supporters in the sample were nearly twice the number of Cord supporters.
Unlike previous polls, the summary made public on Wednesday did not give a regional breakdown of the sampling and the results.
It is therefore difficult to tell whether the large number of Jubilee respondents reflects skewed sampling or a surge in popularity for the governing coalition.
Mr Kenyatta flew to The Hague last week after explaining his decision through a special address in Parliament during which he also temporarily handed over power to Mr Ruto, whose rating now stands at 62 per cent.
While handing power to Mr Ruto, who became acting President for two days, Mr Kenyatta said he would be appearing in court as an individual and he would not put the sovereignty of the country on trial.
DECISION 'ATTRACTED SUPPORT'
“Definitely his decision to go to The Hague and the brief handover of power to his deputy appear to have attracted support and the built confidence among Kenyans,” said Mr Tom Wolf the Ipsos Kenya lead researcher.
The poll also showed that Cord supporters disapproved of their coalition’s order to party MPs to boycott the President’s special address to Parliament.
According to the poll results, 74 per cent of Cord supporters interviewed felt that the boycott call was unnecessary.
At the same time 67 per cent of responds said Kenya should increase its cooperation with the ICC.
Another 46 per cent said that Kenya should remain as a member of the Rome Statute even after the two cases are over.
The polling by Ipsos carried out between last Saturday and Monday this week also covered the demands by teachers, nurses and clinical offices for improved salaries, the Okoa Kenya and Pesa Mashinani campaigns, Cord leader Raila Odinga’s security and politics and political party correlations.
Mr Wolf told the Nation that the poll was entirely funded by the pollster to gauge Kenyan’s opinions on relevant topical issues.
The findings indicated a rise in confidence ratings for the Deputy President now standing at 62 per cent, up from 43 per cent two months ago, and for Attorney-General Githu Muigai whose rating stood 48 from 42 per cent.
Confidence rating for the Cabinet also rose from 17 to 19 per cent.
The President’s Jubilee Coalition enjoys 29 per cent of national support at the moment while Cord, led by Mr Odinga is supported by 13 per cent of Kenyans.
However, Mr Odinga’s ODM enjoys another 13 per cent of popularity rating compared to The National Alliance (TNA) which is supported by 12 per cent followed Mr Ruto’s URP at five per cent while other parties rated including PNU, Ford Kenya and Alliance Party of Kenya each at two per cent.
On the two referenda proposed by governors and Cord, the poll showed that the Pesa Mashinani campaign spearheaded by Bomet governor Isaac Ruto was more popular that the Okoa Kenya campaign led by Mr Odinga.
The poll also asked respondents to rate the security given to Mr Odinga and 55 per cent of those interviewed said he lacked adequate security.
The question was significant because Mr Odinga was attacked by a cane wielding man in Kwale three weeks ago.
He later said he would not press charges against the man who was freed of the assault charge last week but still faces a charge of creating a disturbance at a rally addressed by Mr Odinga.
On labour and industrial relations, 78 per cent of respondents said the clamour by teachers for higher pay was justified with only 20 per cent of those polled thinking otherwise.
On similar demands by nurses, 82 per cent said their demands for higher pay were justified with 10 per cent opposing.
Another 81 per cent said they supported doctors’ and clinical officers’ agitation for better salaries.