Presidential Election Polls Projections

Dr. S. Okechukwu Mezu

Writing in Sun Newspapers (Nigeria) Peter Orji’s in an article “Straw poll of March 28 presidential election,”, estimates that in the forthcoming presidential election of March 28, 2015, Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will receive about 11,000,000 votes while General Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) will get an estimated 15,400,000 votes to win the election.


In an article “Jonathan vs Buhari: How they stand in 36 States” Punch, Sunday, March 22, 2015, Dr. Orji of the Na­tional Think Tank Group sees ten (10) states leaning to President Jonathan, seventeen states (17) leaning towards Buhari while ten  (9) states are too close to call.


In Dr. Orji’s opinion:  “The president [Jonathan] was a player in three zones but the votes secured from the three zones failed to match the Buhari votes secured from the other three zones, that have heavy number of voters. The president’s calculations failed him woefully in North Central, a zone he had assumed, would support him massively. Voters fatigue and apathy cost him a lot of votes in the South East and South South, both zones complaining that the president did not properly serviced those two zones considering the mas­sive support the two zones gave him in 2011.

The South East, in particular has taken the position that both the PDP and the president are taking their votes for granted and many voters in the zone will simply stay at home on the voting day and will surely troop out two weeks later to cast their votes in the governorship and House of Assembly elections. In spite of the voters’ apathy in the South East, the president will still carry all the states in that zone and will also, with the exception of Edo State, will carry all the states in South South. The APC candidate will carry all the states in North West and North East and will win marginally in North Central. The margin of victory for Gen. Buhari is a staggering 4. 4million votes and it is impossible for President Jonathan to close such a margin.

Considering these factors – (1) Voter turnout since 1999 elec­tions shows the following: 1999 (52%); 2003 (69%); 2007 (57%) and 2011 (54%) and the straw polls used 55 per cent for 2015 elections. In the two zones where President Jonathan is considered most likely to win i.e. South South and South East, voter turn­out in the 2015 election cycle is experiencing voter apathy due to already expressed reasons.

(2) In 2011 presidential polls the following turnouts were in­dicated: North East, 56%; North West, 56%; North Central, 49%; South East, 63%; South South, 62% and South West, 32%. Again, the turnout in the North East, North West and South West are likely to increase while the turnout in the South East and South South are likely to decrease. The simple explanation is that the North East, North West and South West zones feel that their sons, Buhari and Osinbajo, are in the APC ticket. Consider­ing the number accruing of voters to the three zones, Jonathan will find it absolutely impossible to fill the gap. These numbers must have also been considered by the president’s team, which explains the near panic actions the presi­dent has taken in the South West of late.”

For C. Don Adinuba writing in the Guardian (Nigeria) the election is all over: “The March 28, 2015, presidential vote has all along been presented in both local and foreign media as a battle of titans, a tough war. This is in keeping with media’s penchant for histrionics and drama. It also enables the media to be seen as balanced, and not partisan. We live in a world where objectivity and balance are often confused with an inability to call a spade by its true name. Consequently, long after the Nigerian presidential election has for all practical purposes been lost and won, the media continues with the prevarication that the result is too close to call. But perceptive journalists know better.

They, like diplomats, tell you the truth in private.   The way the shark smells blood far away is the way politicians see electoral victory even before votes are cast. They consequently move in the direction of victory in very large numbers, all the more so in a typical developing environment where ideology is of little relevance; strange bedfellows are not left out in the unidirectional movement. A fundamental shift has all but been completed in Nigerian politics. For the first time in our national history, prominent members of a ruling party have been moving to the major opposition party in droves.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has since Wednesday, January 15, become the majority in the House of Representatives; it has 179 members while the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has 162. The situation would probably have been the same in the Senate but for a well-calculated court action since February, 2014, designed to stop PDP senators from moving en masse to the APC …. Therefore, the postponement of the presidential vote by six weeks from February has been unable to change the electoral permutations.  The country’s demography is not too charitable to Jonathan.  Lagos, with 5.8 million, has the highest number of registered voters out of the country’s 68.8 million, followed by Kano which has 4.9 million. Both are APC controlled. The president’s home state of Bayelsa has the lowest figure of 610,000. The international community is likely to be pleased with the election outcome.”

Whereas the Presidential election portends a landslide victory for General Buhari, and because of that APC has a very good chance of controlling both Houses of the National Assembly, the State Assembly and Gubernatorial elections two weeks later will be more keenly contested with a closer distribution of States between PDP and APC.