IPSOS Faces Barrage Of Attacks For Raila’s Retirement Poll, Offers Explanations

IPSOS latest poll on Raila has received an abundance of backlash after it suggests that majority of Kenyans don’t want Opposition leader Raila Odinga to vie for the presidency in next year’s elections.

The latest survey places Raila on a gloomy part as a large number of people of about 61 per cent reportedly do not want  his name on the ballot for the presidential vote.

According to the IPSOS polls, About 35 per cent want Raila to retire from politics while 26 per cent still want him in active politics but not as a presidential candidate.

The total number of people who said Raila should quit politics altogether remained the same (35 per cent) as in the December poll.

However, those who want him to continue being active in the country’s  politics soared by four percentage points from 22 per cent recorded last year.

It also reported that 60 percent of Jubilee supporters wanted Raila to resign from politics while 69 percent of CORD supporters said the Opposition leader should not only remain active in politics but also run for the presidency.

The research was led by IPSOS-Synovate lead researcher, Tom Wolf.

Speaking during a television interview, Dr Wolf revealed that IPSOS said:

“Ipsos has an annual contract with one newspaper in this country and they load three questions every time we do one of our quarterly surveys and they have exclusive rights for publishing the result of those questions.

“This question about Raila’s future came originally from them and they owned it and published it exclusively until the end of 2014 when they dropped it.”

He added that when the local daily abandoned the question, IPSOS took it up because it thought it was an interesting topic to follow-up on.

Seth Odongo, a CORD supporter who attended the poll release at IPSOS offices in Nairobi, asked: “Why would they every time ask if the public wants Raila to retire? Why should they not ask if President Kenyatta will retire?”

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Also, Jakoyo Midiwo said there are behind-the-scenes reasons to the survey since the researcher developed the poll question in a way that directs the respondent’s answers. Midiwo also queried the pollster’s reasons for not trying to find out why his respondents felt that Mr Odinga should resign.

In his defence,Wolf responded that research questions are formulated from what is already in the public domain. Dr Wolf explained that the survey had too many questions to handle, therefore, it was impossible to include open-ended queries.

“We have not heard of any proposal to have the President retire so we cannot ask such a question. It would be like imagining what if the sun rises from the west yet we know it has never done so and probably never will,” said Wolf.

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He also said the poll was financially backed by the research group itself through its policy of releasing at least quarterly reports on public issues.

However a string of onslaught continued, with Opposition MPs led by ODM Chairman John Mbadi expressing their conviction that Raila  is the most preferred in the 2017 presidential elections.