Poll headed for run-off. . . as survey predicts ED, Chamisa dog-fight

BULAWAYO - A survey by the Mass Public Opinion Institute (Mpoi) and Afrobarometer has predicted a closely-contested presidential race between President Emmerson Mnangagwa and MDC Alliance president Nelson Chamisa that seems to point towards a run-off.

Conducted between April 28 and May 13, the survey predicts that Mnangagwa, aged 75, could get 42 percent of the vote, while Chamisa, who turned 40 on February 2, could garner 31 percent.

The rest of the other presidential candidates could collectively garner two percent of the vote.

The statics reveal the possibility of a run-off since there will not be an outright winner between the two nemeses, who lock horns for the first time on July 30.

Chamisa assumed the contested leadership of the MDC after the party’s founding president, Morgan Tsvangirai, died on February 14, after a long battle with colon cancer.

His rival, Mnangagwa, piggy-backed his way up on the military, which dislodged former president Robert Mugabe last November through a soft-coup.

In the event that the poll, the first to be held without Mugabe in the running, fails to produce a clear winner, Mnangagwa has already set September 8 as the date for the run-off.

According to the Constitution, the winner must get 50 percent plus one vote and above.

In their survey, Mpoi and Afrobarometer noted that the voting intentions of 25 percent of the respondents were unknown.

This category might, in due course, determine the winner.

“Among voters willing to declare their preferences in the presidential race, Zanu PF held a 42 percent to 31 percent lead over the MDC Alliance but the intentions of one-fourth of voters remained unknown,” reads part of the findings presented yesterday by Mpoi principal researcher, Steven Ndoma.

The survey had a sample size of 2 399 adult citizens.

A sample of this size yields country-level results with a margin of error of plus or minus two percent at a 95 percent confidence level.

The survey also sought to find out what respondents felt about the November 2017 military intervention.

Four in 10 Zimbabweans (41 percent) fully endorsed the military intervention while a majority (52 percent) said it was wrong.

Forty percent of the respondents described it as a wrong but necessary move and only 12 percent said it was wrong.

In its conclusion, the survey found that despite widespread support or acceptance of the military intervention, large majorities rejected military rule and any regular role of the military in the country’s politics.

It was also noted that the views on the military intervention varied considerably by province but only modestly by party affiliation.

Afrobarometer is a pan-African, non-partisan research network that conducts research network on public attitude, surveys on democracy, governance, economic conditions and related issues in African countries.

It conducts face-to-face interviews in the language of the respondent’s choice with nationally representative samples.

The latest survey comes hard on the heels of a controversial opinion poll by Zanu PF propagandist, Nyekorach Matsanga, of the Pan-African Forum Limited (PAFL).

PAFL claimed last week that Mnangagwa would win 70 percent of the vote if elections were held now, while Chamisa would only win 24 percent of the vote.

Yesterday, another controversial opinion poll by Trends and Insights for Africa gave Mnangagwa 68,5 percent of the vote against Chamisa’s 19,5 percent.

Analysts canvassed by the Daily News yesterday said the Mpoi and Afrobarometer survey showed that more Zimbabweans were feeling comfortable to share their opinions on political preferences unlike before, which is a positive development.

Piers Pigou, senior consultant at the International Crisis Group, said a reversal of the downward slide in overt support for the MDC affirmed the party’s central relevance in the political arena.

He added that the survey also demonstrated the resilience of Zanu PF in retaining major support amongst some of its key constituencies, despite presiding over economic and social chaos.

“This may well reflect a depth of belief that Mnangagwa can pilot the recovery,” said Pigou.

Maxwell Saungweme, a political analyst, said a lot may have changed, which might influence voting trends, among the changes being the passing on of Tsvangirai and the rise of “typhoon Chamisa”.

“A lot may have also changed when people realised after 100 days that Mnangagwa’s new dawn was a mere extension of Mugabe’s 37 years and false dawn. The emergence of Mugabe’s National Patriotic Front and its aligning to MDC Alliance is another a factor that may change numbers,” said Saungweme.

“The launch of party manifestos, especially the MDC-T SMART document today may also change the voting numbers in a very big way. If anything, the survey is helpful to the MDC-T not to be complacent but work hard to get a definitive win. The MDC Alliance needs to win by a large number to debunk rigging”.

Stephen Chan, a professor of world politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, said the 25 percent of the respondents whose voting intentions were unknown was obviously a large percentage.

“Unless the poll was as detailed as the exercise conducted by Professor Susan Boyson before the last elections — and I imagine that would not have been the case — there is no real way of attributing shares of that 25 percent to the different parties,” said Chan.

“Having said that, the president should really have called a snap election shortly after he assumed office. Since then, all the bold words have faded somewhat and there is a sense of disenchantment — especially at continuing reports of faction fighting within Zanu PF, confirming feelings that the party regards itself as more important than the welfare of the nation.”

Chan said the biggest disappointment was probably the failure of the anti-corruption drive.

He said the public would have been happier with Mnangagwa if he had made sacrificial lambs of two or three big names.

“That he didn’t again suggests that the party factions are too big for him. He can’t offer sacrificial lambs now, as it would smack of an election stunt. However, Mnangagwa and Zanu PF should still win — although Chamisa could force a run-off in the presidential race. That would be excellent for democracy in Zimbabwe if they went head-to-head US style, with televised debates and the full public panoply of a proper contest,” said Chan.

“As for 62 percent thinking the country is going in the wrong direction, this is very much Mnangagwa promising so much and not being able to deliver fast enough — but no one could have. Zimbabwe has barked so long at the outside world that other countries, even if they want to re-engage, are cautious. It is well to remember that the economy was ruined so much by Mugabe and by Zanu PF that, in my estimate, it will take more than seven years before consolidated recovery is achieved.”

Comments (18)

the opposite is true only time will tell

don - 8 June 2018

Given these Stats, I do not see a re-run...the undecided 29% likely to vote in same pattern,...even at the extreme a 50/50...which clearly points to a Zanu pf victory!!

DT - 8 June 2018

Basing a survey on the basis of the military intervention will be a very big mistake.Everyone supported the military intervention in toppling the word's oldest dictator not the sworn in of Mnangagwa as president.Thats tthe reason why even MDC supporters also joined the march.I have done my own survey and i think people should also try it in their surrounding ares to have the right picture about the coming presidential elections.I often been to numerous shopping centres including in rural areas and i have found out that in every 5 pepole that i ask only 1 will be supporting Mnangagwa's presidency including those that are still zanu pf supporters.

Luke Munya Mabika - 8 June 2018

ndokuhumana uku

G40 - 8 June 2018

42% to who????? kkkkkkk under free and fair conditions if mnangagwa gets 2% i will salute him. vanhu havachataure these days but paballot ndipo paunobata chokwadi.

Master - 8 June 2018

You're spot on, I've also found out that it's 1 is to 5 nearly 6. Afrobarometer are zanus who only want to weaken the voters but it's too late. just look on the numbers who register to vote over 5m and Harare is leading. Don't pay any attention to those so called afrobarometers if you still remember last time in 2016 they said RG is more popular than MT but the truth came in 2017 where millions marched against RG

facts - 8 June 2018

taurai henyu vamwe mucharara nebhutsu ED HAS MY VOTE

sm - 8 June 2018

@DT you're 100% wrong. Opposition supporters are more likely to refuse to answer survey questions because of recriminations from the 'party of peace' hence the refusal. That 29% is all MDC my friend

Moe Syslack - 9 June 2018

Mpoi and Afrobarometer stop conducting nonsensical surveys. Only a fool can agree with your researches , you are a zanupf project

selectorsignal - 9 June 2018

hakuna rerun. zanu yakadyiwa. this is not a poll . these are sentiments of an ed protagonist. Zanu must just go. haikona kuda kutinyepera mapolls this, mapolls that. just go. The people do not want zanu . Why use soldiers to force a people to sway the vote. rerun manyepo.

pesanayi - 9 June 2018

zanu pf projects are day dreams , its not suprising that all these surveys are been done at the behest of zanu, they have the money to support nonsensical surveys these thugs

jerry - 9 June 2018

Chamisa and his childish promises lacks credibility. ED will take and divisions in MDC and disgruntlement with Alliance candidates who have no support and are going on a free ride will result in more MDC indepemdents.. MDC numbers to fall in parliament. ED victory certain and the world has accepted ED and interest in ZIM is on the up!

Mufaro Sibanda - 9 June 2018

What credibility are you talking about. 38 years drinking sewage water and you think that is sound reasoning. Who are you fooling nhai Mufaro. We do not need your credibility. you lack hindsight , foresight and insight and can never mentally gravitate to a higher thinking order hence Think the promises are childish. enyu mapromises asiri childish amakazadzisa mangani. mbavha dzevanhu.

pesanayi - 9 June 2018

Attention all the Zimbabweans in the diaspora; assuming this survey is accurate then we have an immediate and urgent need to engage our rural folks and save the nation the pain of delay and the cost of a run-off. Let us discuss the primary objective of each leader and how we may contribute to change the country;s trajectory. Is ED by choosing Obert Mpofu and Mukupe et al as his key running mates not signalling the need to protect their illgotten gains? Let us look as his MPs Chiyangwa who owns more land than the City of Harare and who will certainly keep the land under an ED leadership.

Diaspora Proxy Vote Strategy - 10 June 2018

Mpoi is an organization with a lot of ED Zanu Pf. Their research is biased

Gerald - 11 June 2018

Lets give credit where creditis due. We have never ever enjoyed this kind of freedom since independence I mean political space. Guys this is a new era.

Senior - 11 June 2018

all these mere statements are there only to promote the opposition aparthy and despondency but lemme tell you this Zimbos are not gullible at all they no what they want which in this case is democratic change,speaking of which all those uttering that #EDHasMyVote publicly dont even determine the winner of the upcoming elections,why coz noone is going to observe closely where each one of them is putting his/her X.Your vote is your secret as they say so there is noway a person can disclose such things kungoitawo kwevanenge vachida kudya nemusangano panguva ye campaign inoyi otherwise they dont mean anything they say.

mina leruex - 12 June 2018

Their research is biased .Chamisa 10 :1 Mnangagwa. The majority yakabvisa Mugabe is MDC .

kunde - 12 June 2018

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