MARKET RESEARCH

Opinion polls show what is happening

In Summary

• Latest Radio Africa opinion poll shows that Raila has doubled his support to 28 percent but Ruto is still on 46 percent

• Rankings of politicians are remarkably similar in opinion polls conducted by reputable companies

Kenya needs more opinion polls, not less opinion polls.

The political class is remarkably hostile to opinion polls. It seems they do not want to read the writing on the wall and would rather indulge in their personal fantasies about sailing into power.

Of course some opinion polls can be falsified as a form of disinformation. But, in general, opinion polls by reputable companies are very similar. Their rankings of different politicians tend to differ by only a few percentage points, and even that may be as a result of the changing political situation.

Big consumer companies also rely heavily on market research to develop and modify their products. Opinion polls are scientific with clear rules on sampling and questioning. That's why big companies believe in them.

The Star has just published an opinion poll showing that support for Raila Odinga in the 2022 presidential race has doubled to 28 percent while William Ruto remains solid at 46 percent. No doubt other opinion polls, if conducted, will show similar results.

Rather than disputing genuine opinion polls, politicians would do better to analyse their significance and determine what they need to do to win the next election.

Quote of the day: “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”

Leo Tolstoy
The Russian author died on November 20, 1910