The voters have more confidence in the incumbent.
The latest survey by TNS-RMS has placed Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in pole position to win the August 9 gubernatorial election in Osun State.
TNS-RMS, a member of Gallup International, said its poll released Thursday, showed the APC dominating on all critical indicators.
Mr. Aregbesola, the incumbent governor, and Iyiola Omisore of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, are the two major contenders among the 20 contestants for the governorship ticket.
Last Friday, operatives of the Department of State Services, also known as SSS, stormed the corporate head office of the Lagos based TNS-RMS, holding its staff hostage, ransacking its offices and premises and whisking away three of its personnel.
A source in the SSS had told PREMIUM TIMES, at the time of the incident, that the operatives were dispatched to the company to confiscate documents relating to an opinion poll they were conducting.
“We got instruction from above to stop the company from releasing result of its survey. We are told the result of the poll was going to indicate that (Rauf) Aregbesola would win the election. Government does not want that kind of poll at this time,” the source, who did not want to be named because he was not authorized to speak on the issue, said.
Incidentally, when TNS-RMS released the result of its poll on Thursday, the APC dominated “the political landscape” in Osun State based on its performance on all key indicators evaluated.
“It scored highest and also increased in rating on first mention, sympathy, and voting intention,” TNS-RMS stated in its final report.
Candidate of choice
According to the study, Mr. Aregbesola, the incumbent governor, was the candidate of choice by Osun voters with a 73 per cent lead over other candidates,
“The incumbent (Mr. Aregbesola) remains (the) main voting choice. Voting choice for Senator Omisore declined by 2 per cent and seem not to pose a threat to the incumbent’s chances of re-election as he remains firmly ahead of the race,” the study said.
The two-phase survey was conducted over a period that stretched from June into the third week of July 2014, according to TNS-RMS.
“Not only is APC currently the most preferred party in Osun State, it has largely retained this goodwill from way back in the past,” the poll stated.
“It was the party that most people claimed to have voted for in the last election and it is still the party with the highest chances of winning the election again. More importantly, the gap by which it outperforms opposition continue to widen and more convincing in the current survey,” the report added.
The APC also rated very high in the survey as its top-of-mind and awareness increased from 75 per cent to 78 per cent from the last poll conducted, followed distantly by the PDP with 18 per cent, a drop of 3 per cent from 21 per cent in the first study.
The Labour Party was third with a negligible 1 per cent.
Furthermore, the electorate choice for APC increased by one per cent to 70 per cent, while the PDP recorded 19 per cent (a (three per cent drop).
Electorate choice for Labour Party remained at 1 per cent.
The report went further to say that while Mr. Aregbesola was more known than his party; Mr. Omisore was less known than his party.
“Top-of-mind awareness of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola increased to 85 per cent (from per cent), affinity increased from 72 per cent to 74 per cent and chances of being re-elected increased from 71 per cent to 73 per cent.”
“Conversely, it is a tale of decline for the man in second place, Senator Omisore. For top-of-mind awareness, the PDP candidate toppled to 13 per cent (from 19 per cent), affinity fell to 19 per cent (from 21 per cent) and chances of being elected declined to 19 per cent (from 21 per cent).
“While the affinity of Osun electorates towards the APC increased by 4 per cent, PDP failed to maintain its connection to the people. The favourable perception of Osun voters towards the All Progressive’s Congress, APC stood at 83 per cent while on 17 per cent viewed APC as unfavourable,” the report said.
According to the polls, 98 per cent of the electorates in Osun State have said they would participate in the August 9 gubernatorial election.
The survey also revealed the strength of the candidates and their parties in the local government areas across the state;
“Repeat of APC high chance to win in all the LGAs seem to play out again in the next election. APC is poised to repeat this feat except in Ife Central and Ife East; the PDP seemed well positioned to win these two LGAs. The Labour Party’s weakness is imminent across all the LGAs.
“The incumbent’s chances of being re-elected remain same across the LGAs except in Ife Central and Ife East. The incumbent’s chances of re-election remain high and he leads his closest rival by a good margin of 54 per cent -an increment of 4 per cent over last survey,” the report stated.
Meanwhile, according to the report, the voters’ confidence in the Attahiru Jega-led Independent National Election Commission, INEC, took a 10 per cent hit, dropping to 57 per cent from 67 per cent.