Sakaja, Sifuna, Passaris lead in latest Tifa opinion poll

From left to right: Nairobi gubernatorial candidates Polycarp Igathe (Azimio) and Johnson Sakaja (UDA), and Azimio Woman Rep candidate Esther Passaris.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Kenya Kwanza’s Nairobi gubernatorial candidate Johnson Sakaja is the most preferred governor contender at 40 percent, ahead of Jubilee Party candidate Polycarp Igathe who comes second with 32 percent.

This is according to the latest Tifa Research poll, which was released on Tuesday.

Mr Sakaja, currently serving as the Nairobi Senator, also has more female supporters at 41 percent, compared to Mr Igathe’s 24 percent with Tifa not observing any major differences in their support bases by age group.

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party and Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition are more popular political formations in the capital city, with each garnering 30 percent and 46 percent respectively, followed by the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) at 22 percent and Kenya Kwanza Alliance at 24 percent. The Jubilee party came a distant third with only 5 percent.

Despite Jubilee’s dismal support in Nairobi, Mr Igathe still enjoys 32 percent support a fact that Tifa noted saying it suggested that a party’s identity is of little importance to many would-be voters.

For the Senatorial bid, ODM’s Edwin Sifuna’s popularity rating of 27 percent is three times that of UDA’s Bishop Margaret Wanjiru who polled 9 percent.  

Undecided on this race

However, with nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) of Nairobi voters undecided on this race, Tifa noted that it is “too early to know what the eventual outcome will be”.

Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris of ODM stands a chance of retaining her seat with the polls showing her popularity standing at 32 percent, which is almost double that of UDA candidate Millicent Omanga who polled 19 percent.

Ms Passaris’s lead among men is considerably higher (39 percent) than among women (19 percent) compared to Ms Omanga’s 24 percent among men and 20 percent among women.

There is also a clear-popularity gap in the support distribution for the main presidential candidates with Azimio’s Raila Odinga polling 50 percent, double the level of confidence in UDA’s William Ruto who has 25 percent support.

The poll also conducted research on the perceived validity of Senator Sakaja’s degree, which showed that 36 percent of Nairobians believed that the UDA gubernatorial candidate has a valid university degree from Team University in Uganda, as opposed to 29 percent who believe otherwise.

Revoked its recognition

Despite his woes with the Commission of University Education that revoked its recognition of his university degree, 53 percent of supporters willing to vote for Sakaja believe his university degree was valid with another 20 percent believing it is fake, but will still vote for him.

“(This is) a clear sign of the strength of their support for him (Sakaja) for whatever other reasons,” Tifa noted.

Interestingly, 61 percent of DP Ruto’s supporters in Nairobi believe Mr Sakaja’s university degree is valid compared to 14 percent of Raila Odinga’s supporters. The gap remains also high among supporters of the two presidential candidates with a paltry 14 percent of Dr Ruto’s supporters saying Mr Sakaja’s degree is not valid compared to Mr Odinga’s 54 percent.

The poll, conducted on June 20, involved 632 respondents from Nairobi’s 17 constituencies who were interviewed by 80 call centre staff for an average of seven minutes each.

The findings have a margin error of plus or minus 3.8 percent.