Karua boosts female aspirants' poll ratings

Azimio la Umoja presidential running mate Martha Karua

Narc Kenya leader and Azimio la Umoja presidential running mate Martha Karua.

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Women gubernatorial aspirants have gained significant traction from Raila Odinga’s decision to have Martha Karua as his running mate, survey reveals.
  • This is according to the Consortium of Researchers on Governance’s Women in Leadership: Gubernatorial Aspirants Survey whose findings were released on May 25.

Women gubernatorial aspirants have gained significant traction from Raila Odinga’s decision to have Martha Karua as his running mate, survey reveals.

According to the Consortium of Researchers on Governance’s (CoRG’s) Women in Leadership: Gubernatorial Aspirants Survey whose findings were released on May 25, more than 44 per cent of voters who considered gender as the most important factor in the gubernatorial race would vote for a female candidate.

The study was conducted between May 16 and 23, coinciding with Ms Karua’s unveiling asMr Odinga’s running mate on May 16. His choice was lauded by gender equality advocates as an important step towards increasing women’s participation in political leadership.

CoRG conducted face-to-face interviews with 2,266 respondents in Nakuru, Homa Bay, Embu and Kilifi counties. The degree of confidence was projected as 95 per cent, with a plus or minus four per cent margin of error.

Speaking in a Nairobi hotel, CoRG director Charles Mc’Olonde said the Narc Kenya leader’s candidature has provided a positive impetus for female aspirants.

According to the survey results, former Devolution Chief Administrative Secretary Gideon Mung’aro is leading in the Kilifi gubernatorial race with 43.7 per cent, while Malindi Member of Parliament Aisha Jumwa follows closely with 38.7 per cent.

Despite the fact that Mr Mung'aro is leading the polls, MP Aisha Jumwa popularity has increased by 12.4 per cent from CoRG ‘s March Survey. The director attributed the notable increase to gender mainstreaming efforts since Ms Karua was announced as Mr Odinga’s running mate.

“There is goodwill amongst voters and aspirants to vote in female aspirants. In Kilifi County, 51.5 per cent of voters who considered gender as the most crucial factor in the upcoming polls fronted Ms Jumwa as their preferred candidate,” Mr Mc’Olonde said.

Furthermore, in a poll conducted by the firm in March,Homa Bay gubernatorial aspirant Gladys Wanga was projected to garner 20.4 per cent of the vote. However, in the May survey, the woman representative is projected to garner 57.9 per cent of the vote, while former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero is estimated to pull 38.3 per cent of the vote.

Although her rise in poll ratings can be attributed to several factors such as her receiving a direct ticket during party primaries and ODM chairman John Mbadi dropping out of the race, the survey indicates that 65.1 per cent of voters in Homa Bay would vote for her based on her gender.

Other counties surveyed by the firm include Embu, where nominated Member of Parliament Cecily Mbaire is estimated to garner 32.6 per cent of the vote, while former Embu senator Lenny Kivuti remains the popular candidate with 41.2 per cent.

In Nakuru, the incumbent, Governor Lee Kinyajui, is the most popular candidate with 39.4 per cent, followed by Nakuru senator Susan Kihika with 37.5 per cent.



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