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AN OVERVIEW OF ANAMBRA STATE

VIISAUS Anambra Gubernatorial Polls

This research work was done to obtain insights on the electorate preferences in Anambra State in the run-up to the November 6th 2021 gubernatorial election.

Since the advent of the current democratic dispensation in 1999, there have been four elected governors of Anambra State. They are:

  • Chinwoke Mbadinuju – Anambra South (4 years)
  • Dr Chris Ngige – Anambra Central (3 years)
  • Peter Obi – Anambra Central (8 years)
  • Willie Obiano – Anambra North (8 years)

All the senatorial districts have produced governors for at least two terms, except Anambra South, hence political leaders of the state “unofficially” agreed to zone the office of the governor to Anambra South

According to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, the population of the Anambra state is projected to be about 11,400,456 citizens with 2,447,996 registered voters (35% in Anambra Central, 34% in Anambra North and 31% in Anambra South).

ABOUT ANAMBRA ELECTIONS

Anambra State is one of the five South Eastern States in Nigeria and will be going into her sixth gubernatorial election since 1999. This election brings to an end the legally allowed two terms of the incumbent Governor and is therefore free of the personality of incumbency.  Following the informal rotational policy of the State, the view is that the next Governor of the State should come from Anambra South Senatorial District – thus making it the battleground district.

Over the years, several factors, cultural nuances have shaped the evolution of the democratic process in the State and this election more so. The elections in Anambra will be held during a period of heightened security concerns. Unlike other periods, this insecurity is amidst unprecedented post-civil war Biafra sentiments and IPOB related issues which have led to a military-like occupation of the State. In this regard, the capacity of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct elections in the affected States is also on trial.

The implication of voter turnout and voter sympathies will go beyond the usual issues, delving into identity-like sympathies. Using a tailor-made methodology, the team has gleaned insights that should inform strategy for the upcoming elections.

PARTY PREFERENCE

“The undecided and undisclosed voters can swing the election away from APGA”

When asked about the choice of party, 37% of the respondents said they will vote for APGA, 14%   for PDP, 4% for APC and 2% picked other parties.

Although, APGA has a significant lead over the other political parties, the prevalence of undecided (24%) and undisclosed (13%) voters can swing for or against APGA, depending on the direction that majority of these voters go.

Of the three districts, Anambra South has the most undecided voters, at 31% while Central has the least with 16%.

CANDIDATE VS PARTY PREFERENCE

“Anambra voters showed more endearment towards the party than the candidate”

The poll showed that the Anambra electorate was more decisive about their choice of a party than they were about their choice of candidate. While 24% were undecided about the party choice, 35% were undecided about their choice of candidate.

While Nigerian electoral laws stipulate that it is parties that are voted for on election day, it will be ill-advised to ignore the impact that a candidate has on the choices that the electorate makes on election day.

VOTER TURNOUT

“Fear of violence is the biggest factor that will affect voter turnout”

While 35% of the respondents who said they will not vote cited fear of violence as the reason, 14% said they will not vote because they feel affiliated with Biafra and IPOB.

Our research indicates that the voter turnout will most likely reduce by at least 10% in comparison to the last gubernatorial election, with Anambra Central being the least affected and Anambra South being the most affected.

Our research indicates that the voter turnout will most likely reduce by at least 10% in comparison to the last gubernatorial election, with Anambra Central being the least affected and Anambra South being the most affected.

UNDECIDED VS UNDISCLOSED VOTERS; POTENTIAL GAME-CHANGERS?

The simple distinction between these voters:  Undecided voters truly do not have their minds made up, on their choice of candidate (therefore should be the subject of election strategy); whereas Undisclosed voters have their minds made up and are deliberately choosing not to share (therefore efforts should make sure this percentage remains as minimal as possible while using our Artificial Intelligence techniques to expose their true leaning

These kinds of voters become election “game changers” when their share of expected voter turnout hits a critical mass. The most important consideration of Undecided vs Undisclosed towards election day is how resources are deployed. E leaning).

“The leaning of these Undisclosed voters can be identified using artificial intelligence.”

SPOTLIGHT ON AGUATA LGA

Considering that two of the candidates from major political parties; PDP and APGA are from this LGA, Aguata LGA will be one of the most keenly contested LGAs in the state.

APGA enjoys more support in Aguata than any other political party. While the younger electorate (electorate aged between the age of 18 and 40) overwhelmingly support APGA, the older electorate (aged 41 and above) showed more support for the PDP.

“The older electorate in Aguata LGA prefer PDP to APGA.

THE APGA TREND

Polling from the 2017 elections put APGA at 59% favourites, the actual outcome witnessed APGA victory by 55% – (a statistically irrelevant difference of 4%). In that period, a couple of very interesting outcomes based on performance and research have shown two worrisome trends:

When we put this trend in perspective – considering the percentages of undisclosed and undecided, it becomes strategically important for the APGA candidate to define strongholds vs weak spots. Turnout must be maximized where the client is strongest and a strong enough structure must be deployed in the weak spots to convert as many undecided on election day with an Artificial Intelligence assisted campaign communication strategy targeted at the undisclosed voters.

RESEARCH DESIGN & METHODOLOGY

The Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) approach was used to capture data from a stratified random sample of 1785 registered voters across the 21 LGAs in Anambra State. The team achieved a confidence level of 95% and a confidence interval of 2.5%.

The interviews were conducted in Pidgin English, English and Igbo language.

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