Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni holds a nearly 3-to-1 lead over challenger Bobi Wine among registered voters willing to declare their voting intentions ahead of Thursday’s election, a new Afrobarometer survey shows.
In more findings, many respondents would not say how they, intended to vote compelling the pollster to suggest that the final outcome may be much closer.
“The nation could also be headed toward electing a more closely divided Parliament.
As of late December and early January, more than half (53%) of survey respondents who self-identified as registered to vote said they would cast their ballots for the long-time incumbent, who won 60.75% of the vote in claiming his fifth term in 2016,” the report says.
“About one in five respondents (18%) favoured the pop star-turned-politician Bobi Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu. But about one-fourth of respondents did not disclose how they intend to vote.”
The expected parliamentary vote mirrored the presidential vote fairly closely in terms of party preferences. Depending on how those who would not reveal their preference break, the Uganda Parliament could be quite closely divided after the upcoming election.
▪ Among the 84% of survey respondents who said they were registered to vote, more
than half (53%) indicated they would vote for Museveni and his National Resistance
Movement (NRM) party. About one in five (18%) said they would cast their ballots for
Bobi Wine and his National Unity Platform (NUP) party. Other candidates combined
for 5% of registered voters.
▪ However, about one in four registered voters refused to answer the question (22%) or said they did not know how they would vote (2%).
▪ When asked who they thought would win the election, regardless of their own
intentions, a larger majority (57%) predicted victory for Museveni, compared to 21%
for Bobi Wine.
▪ Support for the challenger was stronger in urban areas (26% of registered voters, vs. only 15% in rural areas) and among younger Ugandans (24% of 18- to 35-year-olds).
Even among these groups, Museveni outpaced his challenger (35% in urban areas,
45% of younger voters), though undeclared voters add a degree of uncertainty
▪ The parliamentary outlook was quite similar (Figure 3). Among registered voters, 52% said they planned to vote for the NRM candidate, while 29% identified another party. But 18% did not voice their preference (16% refused, 2% said they “don’t know”).