Monday, August 16, 2010
Poll results don't make sense, the issue is that President Museveni should have left office if the Constitution was not manipulated
By Vision reporter
MORE than half of Ugandans say President Yoweri Museveni is the best candidate to solve their most pressing problems if re-elected, according to a New Vision opinion poll. They also rate his ruling NRM party highly, saying like Museveni, it will deal with their issues.
Heath, transport, education, children and employment are the top problems that Ugandans want candidates for next years’ elections to address, the countrywide poll revealed. Also on the list of 19 most pressing problems are personal security, agriculture, poverty alleviation and water and sanitation.
Overall, 52.72% said Museveni was the most capable. The other politicians mentioned each had less than 20%.
However, 18.41%, a significant portion of the electorate, is still undecided on who is the most capable candidate. It would appear that the candidate who addresses the most pressing needs could win the vote.
The respondents were asked to name a presidential candidate without being given alternatives to choose from.
“Museveni is doing his best; how¬ever, in most cases he is let down by his ministers and other people sup¬posed to implement decisions,” said a respondent from Butembe in Jinja.
This is the biggest survey under¬taken by a media house in Uganda. A total of 10,097 Ugandans of voting age, randomly selected in 67 counties, were asked to state their most pressing problems and who they thought would adequately provide solutions to them. The poll was conducted from June 21 to July 23 by New Vision in-house researchers.
Respondents were asked three questions. The first was about issues they wanted politicians to address during the campaigns. The other two were the political party and presidential candidate they thought would competently address the issues in the campaign and tackle them if elected.
Museveni, who is likely to be the ruling party flag-bearer of the NRM in the 2011 elections, was chosen by more than 50% of respondents as the best person to deliver on all the priority problems. The Forum for Democartic Change leader, Dr. Kizza Besigye, came second with 16.06%. Similarly, his party was second to the NRM.
It emerged that the contest was be¬tween the two leaders and their par¬ties. The other political parties and presidential candidates got between one and six percent, indicating the level of confidence in them is little. The DP boss, Norbert Mao, got 5.41% followed by Olara Otunnu of the UPC with 3.14%. Bidandi Ssali of the Peo¬ple’s Progressive Party got 1%. Support given to Besigye and the other politicians was 34.31%, leaving Museveni in a comfortable lead.
Overall confidence in Museveni was highest in western Uganda at 64.63%. This was followed by eastern Uganda at 54.05%, northern with 48.16% and central 44.94%. Even in central where Museveni scored least, he still beat Besigye by 26 percentage points.
Besigye’s best region was northern Uganda, where about 19% thought he would be the best candidate. This was followed by central at 18.68%, eastern, 16.77% and western with 9.92%. But even in the north, he was behind Mu¬seveni by 29 percentage points.
Museveni’s highest rating was on national security. Some 55% of the respondents said Museveni would be the best candidate to deal with nation¬al security. In all regions, more than half of respondents approved him for security. Such confidence was high¬est in western and eastern, at 65.2% and 55.3% respectively. In northern region, where peace has returned after over two decades of war, about 50% chose him for security.
This could mean the return to peace there might win Museveni votes in next year’s elections. But it was surprising that in central, which has been largely secure, only 50.4% said Museveni would handle national security. The survey took place before the bomb blasts in Kampala recently.
Museveni’s next best scores were on education 53%, roads 53.6%, personal security 53.2% and energy use 53%. Besigye’s highest score was on service delivery related to business, at 16.5%. Even then, Museveni was better on business, at 52.4%.
About 52% nationwide said Musev¬eni was the man who would deliver on traditional leaders, while only 15.5% said Besigye would improve the rela¬tionship between the Government and traditional leaders. Mao and Otuunu scored 5.9% and 2.9% respectively in this area.
Within central Uganda, Museveni had more support on dealing with traditional leaders at 43.6% as op¬posed to Besigye’s 17.9%. On political parities, more Ugandans had confidence in the NRM. About 53% said it would address their problems during the campaign and deal with them if elected. The rating for other political parties was 16.5% for FDC, 6.3% for DP, 3.4% for UPC and IPC had 1.4% IPC. The rest scored below 1%.
NRM gains in north slides in central
HALF of Ugandans are likely to vote for the NRM because they believe it can solve their problems. A New Vision poll gave the party 52.7%, while other parties combined managed 35.6%, leaving about 17% undecided.
Only 16.5% picked FDC, the party that has positioned itself as the immediate alternative to the NRM, which has been in power since 1986. Other main opposition parties like the DP and UPC did not attract much attention.
DP won the confidence of 6.3% and UPC 3.4%. Groups like the Inter–Party Cooperation and SUUBI formed recently to unite opposition parties to deny the NRM victory come next year, did not perform any better.
SUUBI, largely a Buganda pressure group, got 0.1% mostly in the central region. It had zero support in all the other three regions.
Respondents had no faith in the Peoples Progressive Party, the Conservative Party and JEEMA. As low as 0.5% mentioned the Peoples Progressive Party, only 0.3% picked CP and 0.1% went for JEEMA.
This left NRM as the favourite party to deal with all the 19 top issues Ugandans want the next president to tackle urgently.
It is arguable that the poll is an indicator that the ruling party will have an advantage over others.
Although the NRM’s rating in its former stronghold of the central region declined, it gained in the previously hostile northern area.
For instance, 40.6% in central had confidence in the ruling party, eastern had 50.4%, northern 52.9% and 69.2% in the western region, showing low support in central and growing acceptability in northern.
The poll is the first in a series of three to be conducted by New Vision in the run-up to the 2011 elections.
Analyst raps Opposition
Eighteen percent are undecided on who to vote president next year, according to a poll. While 52.7% would vote for Museveni, about 16% want FDC’s Kizza Besigye. DP’s Nor¬bert Mao has 5.41% followed by UPC’s Olara Otunnu at 3.14%. The new People’s Progressive Party leader, Bidandi Ssali, had 1% support.
Political scientist Aaron Mukwaya says the undecided voters could still be unconvinced by 2011 as most political parties are weak at the grassroots.
“Many voters are for grabs. Political parties must go on the ground. I feel so ashamed that the opposition spends time in Kampala conference rooms, hotels, yet the NRM has the state machinery and Museveni has made several trips around the country,” said Mukwaya.
hough voter turn-out has been less than 70% over the years, political parties are up¬beat about 2011. They cited the high turn-out during the just-concluded voter registration and update as a sign that many will vote next year.
NRM deputy spokesperson Ofwono Opondo believes the ongoing party activities will at¬tract the undecided to the party. The party plans to carry out primaries and elect the 2011 flag-bearer next month.
“Once we have gone through the primaries, there will be nomination. The process will keep the momentum,” said Of¬wono.
FDC spokesperson Wafula Oguttu said the party will tar¬get voters based on their age groups. The party believes that each age group has different de¬mands and views. “We are looking at the democratic segments of them (voters), we are going to look at age sets. They have dif¬ferent demands,” said Oguttu.
He said the party’s manifesto will focus on poverty alleviation and the economy.
“Last time, we were very elicit and concentrated on corruption but we are going to break that down and focus on issues of social service,” he added.
How survey was done
Researcher Stephen Mugarura said the number of respondents was established using the Fisherman’s sampling methodology, which ensures that the sample is representative of the voting population.
The 67 counties were chosen from the 77 districts that existed at the time of the survey. The number of districts has grown to 112. The counties were selected randomly from the regions under which they were listed.
Not more than two counties were picked from the same district. Within a county, four villages were randomly selected – the rural and the urban equally represented.
In each village, interviewers began at the LC1 office which acted as a sampling point. A pencil perpendicularly standing on its nib was dropped and the interviewers headed in the direction it pointed.
Using an interval of five households, they interviewed people aged 18 and above. Overall, 55% were male and 45% female. Rural-based respondents were 56% and 44% were urban.
The Vision Group research department has long experience in carrying out market research and opinion polling.