By Stan Oyunga (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The loss of Democratic Party’s candidate Hillary Clinton to Republican Party’s Donald Trump in the 2016 US Presidential Elections sent shock waves in the United States and around the world. Most pre-election polls had Clinton leading hence Trump’s surprise win is considered the biggest upset in modern US election history. Although Clinton won the popular vote with 60.9 million (47.8 %) against Trump’s 60.3 million (60.3%), the latter won due to the US system of Electoral College votes, where Trump won 290 against Clinton’s 232 (minus Michigan’s 16 votes, which have yet to be decided but with Trump leading).
The pollsters got it wrong before, in “Brexit”, the referendum held in Britain in June, 2016, when a narrow majority voted to leave the European Union. Fear of immigrants (Britain no longer in control of its borders) played a large part in the decision. In the US, it was the poor rural whites having a “white-lash” against the establishment in Washington and also fear of immigrants (“white” America turning “brown” and need to build the wall along the Mexican border). Sky News had shown a documentary about the “rust-belt” states located in the north-eastern part of the US, which used to produce coal, steel, motor vehicles, etc. It was shocking to see the closed factories, run-down infrastructure and the people’s hopelessness. These “rural folks” voted for Trump and because most poll stars did not call them or they did not confirm that they were supporting Trump, the polls got it wrong. Loss of Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Michigan and Wisconsin, which Obama had won in 2008 and 2012 was fatal to Hillary. In fact had only 100,000 voters from these four “flipped” states voted for Clinton instead of Trump, then she would have been the 45th President of the US. Poor turn-out of Democratic voters in states that Barack Obama won in 2008 and 2012 was also Clinton’s undoing as 6 million did not bother to turn-up. The overall turn-out for the US 2016 elections was only 50%.
The problem with the Clinton campaign is that they paid too much attention to opinion polls and grew complacent expecting a win on 8th November, 2016. In Kenya, the supporters of newly formed Jubilee Party, which consists of 11 parties that were previously part of the Jubilee Alliance Coalition and merged in September, 2016, are also confident of winning the 2017 Presidential elections and are buoyed by opinion polls that have consistently shown Uhuru Kenyatta, the incumbent President, leading his expected opponent, Raila Odinga.
OPINION POLLS VERSES DATA PREDICTION
In under nine months from now (August 2017), Kenyans would have re-elected Uhuru Kenyatta for a second term as President or would have shown him the door and made history as the first country in East Africa to have replaced an incumbent President; or the leading Presidential candidate would have failed to garner the 50% +1 figure required to be declared elected and Kenyans would be preparing for a run-off Presidential Election for the first time. Whether it will be Uhuru Kenyatta or Raila Odinga or another person altogether who will emerge the winner is hard to predict and opinion polls have proved inaccurate in both the 2007 and 2013 Presidential Elections.
For the first time in history of Presidential elections in Kenya, a software has been developed to do just that: predict the winner of the 2017 Presidential Elections. By using past voting patterns, voter turn-out, projected voter registration and ethnic block voting data, the software has attempted to predict the winner using a baseline data of 80% voter registration and 80% voter turn-out.
Since not all counties will achieve 80% or even 90% voter turn-out, the ultimate winner will depend which candidate can attain the highest voter turn-out in his stronghold. It will also depend if the two main party/coalitions can retain their core supporters and ethnic block voters.
The Kenya Election Database Version 2.1, is an Election Data Analysis and Strategic Election Planning software that holds full results of Kenya General Elections since 1969, population census for 1999 and 2009 and population projection for 2015 and 2017. It is still the only single source of Kenya General Election Results Data in the market.
COALITION POLITICS IN KENYA
The winner of any free and fair elections in most African countries depends on certain parameters such as Ethnic group block voting, political parties/coalitions and voter turn-out. The ruling party/coalition usually emerges the winner due to the influence of the incumbency but recent elections in Zambia, Malawi and Nigeria has shown that this is not always the case, when the election is deemed to be free and fair.
Since 2002, the two party/coalition system has been evident in Kenya and has worked well except for the disastrous 2007 Presidential Elections. There is a clear pattern in Ethnic block voting and coalition politics that has created coalition strongholds since no single ethnic group has the numbers to produce a winning Presidential candidate. Refer to my blog “Road to Kenya Election 2017: Who will have the numbers in 2017?” found at www.kenyaelectiondatabase.co.ke .
The two main party/coalitions in Kenya, the Jubilee Party and the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD), control 18 and 19 counties respectively which can be considered their strongholds. 10 other counties are considered “Fifty/Fifty” (or “battle grounds”) where both coalitions are more or else equal:-
[table id=69 /]
[table id=70 /]
[table id=71 /]
There is no guarantee that the CORD coalition will hold together or evolve into the National Super Alliance (NASA), a proposed amalgamation of CORD, Musalia Mudavadi’s Amani National Congress (ANC), Gideon Moi’s KANU and Isaac Rutto’s Chama Cha Mashinani (CCMN). CORD/NASA has yet to designate its Presidential candidate to face Uhuru Kenyatta in the 2017 General Elections but any break-up of CORD/NASA will guarantee Uhuru’s re-election and even avoid a run-off election.
2017 REGISTERED VOTER PROJECTION
The first step in attempting to predict the results of the 2017 Presidential Elections is to project the number of eligible voters by County as shown in the tables above. To achieve this the software first projects each County’s population for 2017 (based on average annual growth rate of 2.4%) then calculates the number of voters at 40% of the projected population, since the average percentage of Kenyans who register to vote is 40% (equal to 80% of adult population).
The software has calculated Kenya’s population in 2017 to be 48.3 million and estimated the eligible voters at 19.3 million if 80% of adult voter registration is achieved. Some counties may exceed 80% and some may be below, hence the 80% is considered average for all 47 counties.
2017 PROJECTED VOTES
The next step is to project the number of votes each coalition may receive in the 2017 Presidential Elections by County. To do this the data from the software was transferred to a spreadsheet and the projected votes was calculated as a percentage of what the coalition received in the 2013 Presidential Elections for each County. This assumes that the voting pattern in 2017 will follow that of 2013, unless there is a paradigm shift in coalition politics as explained above.
80% voter turn-out was taken as the baseline for each county considering the turn-out for the 2013 General Elections was 86%, the highest in Kenya’s history. The constituency turn-out for the 2013 Presidential Elections ranged from a high of 96% (Rangwe) to a low of 58% (Kilifi North).
For example Nairobi is expected to have a projected population of 3.9 million in 2017 and estimated voter registration of 1.5 million (40%) and voter turn-out of 1.2 million (80%). CORD’s valid vote share in 2013 was 51% while Jubilee’s was 47%, hence CORD’s projected vote in Nairobi will be 640,739 and Jubilee’s will be 590,485. This figure is on the lower side since some constituencies in Nairobi record voter registration of above 100% of adult population due to non-residence of these constituencies coming to register there (voter importation). They include Starehe, Makadara, Embakasi East and Roysambu.
The spreadsheet cell entries are as follows:-
COL H: 2017 Population Projection
COL I: 2017 Registered Voter Estimate (40% of H)
COL J: 2017 Projected Votes (80% of I)
COL K: CORD Valid Vote % in 2013
COL L: Jubilee Valid Vote % in 2013
COL M: Total Valid Vote % in 2013 (K + L)
COL N: CORD Projected Votes (K% of J)
COL O: Jubilee Projected Votes (L% of J)
COL P: Total Votes (N + O)
To obtain the projected votes for the 2017 Presidential Elections I have prepared 4 spreadsheets using the above formulae:-
REPORT-3A-COUNTIES-ELECTION-PROJECTED-VOTES-IF-TURN-OUT-80-ALL.xls (68 downloads)
REPORT-3B-COUNTIES-ELECTION-PROJECTED-VOTES-IF-TURN-OUT-80-CORD.xls (48 downloads)
REPORT-3C-COUNTIES-ELECTION-PROJECTED-VOTES-IF-TURN-OUT-80-JUBILEE.xls (47 downloads)
REPORT-3D-COUNTIES-ELECTION-PROJECTED-VOTES-IF-TURN-OUT-80-FIFTY-FIFTY.xls (41 downloads)
2017 PROJECTED RESULTS
According to the spreadsheets which are attached to this blog, if the 2017 Presidential Elections has a 80% turn-out, then the CORD/NASA candidate is projected to receive 8.7 (54.3%) million against 7.1 (44.3%) million for the Jubilee candidate, if all 47 counties record a 80% voter registration. If any coalition fails to achieve 80% voter registration and/or 80% turn-out then the projected votes will reduce accordingly or even increase if 90% or higher is achieved for both parameters.
Total projected votes for 2017 is 16 million compared to 12.3 million in 2013. Total projected registered voters will be 19.3 million compared to 14.3 million in 2013 against IEBC voter registration target of 18 million. The IEBC wants to register 8 million new voters by 2017 in order to reach its target of 23 million voters. But the software has projected that IEBC will register only 6 million new voters by the 2017 General Elections, but even this figure may be on the higher side due to voter apathy or delay in acquiring ID cards. It is estimated that 4.6 million Kenyans who will be aged 18 to 23 in 2017, will qualify to register as first time voters, out of which 2.1 million are from Jubilee strongholds and 2.5 from CORD’s (read blog “Where are Kenya’s potential youth voters found?” at www.kenyaelectiondatabase.co.ke ).
The purpose of this software and the spreadsheets is to assist Election Managers in planning the 2017 Presidential campaigns and setting targets that can assure their respective candidates’ victory. Cutting deals to lure ethnic block votes to their coalitions will be the norm.
It is also to assist Kenyans to see the importance of registering as voters and turning out to vote. CORD strongholds had more potential eligible voters then Jubilee’s but due to failure to register as voters and turn-out in large number to vote in the 2013 General Elections, CORD lost, leading to the infamous “Tyranny of Numbers”.
Overall a total of 5.6 million Kenyans in the strongholds of the 2 top candidates, did not take part in the 2013 Elections, out of which 2 million were registered to vote but did not for various reasons (no one has done any research as to why registered voters do not vote on the actual voting day), 3.6 million did not register at all for various reasons including lack of identity cards but some choose not to do so (boycott?) or lack of interest (millennials or generation y?).
Out of the 2 million registered voters who did not vote in the 2013 General Elections, 1.2 million were from CORD strongholds and over 700,000 were from Jubilee strongholds. Out of the 3.6 million eligible voters who did not register, 2.4 million were from CORD strongholds and 1.2 million were from Jubilee strongholds.
From the above analysis and data from the Kenya Election Database, Uhuru Kenyatta cannot win re-election if the CORD/NASA achieves 80% voter registration and 80% voter turn-out in its strongholds (“Double 80”).
Jubilee has no choice but to try and “flip” some CORD/NASA counties and fifty/fifty counties to Jubilee counties just as the Republicans did to Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Michigan and Wisconsin and made Trump the surprise winner of the 2016 US elections.
© 2016 STAN OYUNGA
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