The February 25 presidential election looks likely to head to a runoff with Peter Obi of the Labour Party, and either Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) or Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), according to a latest poll conducted across the countryby Nextier, a public policy think tank .
The recent face-to-face nationwide poll on Nigeria’s 2023 Presidential election shows Labour Party leading the voters’ preference at 37 per cent of the survey respondents. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) secured 27 per cent of the responses, while the All Progressives Congress (APC) secured 24 per cent, with the New Nigeria Peoples Party at six per cent.
Nextier, an Africa-focused consulting firm, conducted the second presidential poll on Friday, January 27, 2023, four weeks before the scheduled presidential election. The team said it used a sample size of 3,000 respondents and generated a margin of error of 2 per cent at a 95 per cent confidence interval. The survey sample represented the age and gender demographics in Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
Analysis of the poll results released on Saturday showed that “no presidential candidate currently looks able to meet the criteria for outright victory (absolute majority of votes cast and 25 per cent in two-thirds of the states in the first round.)”
The face-to-face interviews with the 3,000 Nigerians in urban and rural areas of the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) who have obtained their Permanent Voter Cards, showed 72 per cent of respondents having made up their mind on their preferred party.
All age and gender demographics were represented in each of the states, and not less than 77 per cent of respondents indicate that they ‘will vote’ while 63 per cent are “definite” about it.
According to Nextier, the respondents were asked to select their preferred party using the party logo, while only one question on “favourability” polled with the candidates’ names. A sample of 3,000 generates a margin of error of two per cent at a 95 per cent confidence interval, it also explained.
Specifically, the poll results concluded “Peter Obi has the highest net favourability amongst the top presidential candidates while Labour Party has the highest net favourability amongst the top political parties. Net favourability is calculated as each candidate’s favourable rating less their unfavourable rating.
“Labour Party leads with 37 per cent followed by PDP (27 per cent) and APC (24 per cent). However, Labour is unlikely to secure 25 per cent of the votes cast in two-thirds of the states.
“This poll shows that it can achieve 25 per cent in 23 states. The party is lagging in the North West region (except for Kaduna and Katsina states) and in the North East regions (except for Adamawa and Taraba states).”
Further analysis of the poll shows that 69.8 per cent of survey respondents feel that Nigeria “is moving in the wrong direction”, with the main challenges being insecurity, unemployment, the economy, and corruption.
“With such high intention-to-vote, voter turnout looks to be significantly higher than four years ago. However, turnout could be depressed by a combination of insecurity, concern about the freedom and fairness of the election and concern about INEC.
“Eight out of 10 respondents stated – in their words – that there is no person or thing that would make them change their preferred party before the elections.
“Radio and WhatsApp will be the key communication channels for political parties ahead of Election Day”, Nextier added while explaining the survey results. Nextier Founding Partner, Patrick I. Okigbo III, stated that the presidential election is shaping to be one of the most keenly contested races in recent decades. “It is exciting to see Nigerians take their civic responsibilities seriously.”