The Importance of the Kenyan Elections for Kenya and East Africa
General elections were held in Kenya on 8 August 2017 to elect the President, members of Parliament and devolved governments. The reported results indicated that incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Jubilee Party were re-elected with 54% of the vote.
- Category: Kenya
Two tight opinion polls on the frontrunners of the 2017 Kenyan presidential election, just weeks prior to the 8 August vote, made it clear how potentially contentious the outcome could be.1 For the first time since campaigns began, one poll had the leading opposition candidate, Raila Odinga of the National Super Alliance (NASA), ahead of incumbent president, Uhuru Kenyatta of the Jubilee Party. The Infotrak Harris opinion poll conducted on 16-22 July put Mr Odinga ahead of Mr Kenyatta by one point, with the former rising in popularity to 47 percent, a 3-point gain from about 2 weeks before.2 Mr Odinga’s improved chances stemmed from holding on to his key support base, as well as securing new supporters from what used to be the Rift Valley and North Eastern provinces (now a couple of counties), strongholds of the ruling Jubilee Party. Another poll, that by Ipsos, taken on 2-12 July, put both leading contenders at a tie at 45 percent. The Ipsos survey was probably behind the curve considering its earlier date. Judging from how the media initially under-reported Mr Odinga’s gains, the establishment was clearly shocked.3
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