Nigeria’s 2015 presidential elections are due to hold in a couple of days, barring any last minute changes to the rescheduled date, March 28. The poll was initially scheduled for February 14 but deferred due to ‘security concerns’, as stated by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The postponement was not a welcome development to the All Progressives Congress (APC), the country’s strongest opposition political party, considering the massive momentum and traction gathered ahead of the planned February 14 date. The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the other hand appeared to be in sync with the decision to reschedule. Popular public opinion holds that if the elections had been held as initially planned, the APC would have come out victorious, perhaps inching towards a landslide. This impression was further alluded to by the likes of Dr. Frederick Fasehun, leader of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), in a speech delivered at a post-national conference forum on March 20.
The six weeks of postponement have afforded the ruling party a little more time to ramp up its campaign efforts, with a reported unrestricted flow of cash incentives to party loyalists and the public at large in a bid to secure sufficient votes to return the incumbent president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, to power. Public impression was that APC momentum had burned out, its campaign funds exhausted, to the extent that even campaign jingles via traditional media were few and far between compared with the PDP’s which appeared to have been heightened. Town hall meetings also became a major channel employed by both parties, reaching out to multiple voting segments.
Several conspiracy theories characterized the six week waiting period, chief of which was the alleged plan of the PDP to ensure that Prof Jega, the electoral body chairman, was removed from office via terminal leave on or before March 28. Three days to the elections, Prof Jega still remains the INEC chairman. Likewise, there was the war against the use of PVC’s and card readers, considering that INEC only decided to run a public sample test post February 14. The tenacity and commitment of INEC and its stakeholders met this opposition effectively, restoring public confidence in the use of PVC’s and Card readers as part of anti-electoral fraud initiatives. INEC continued to progress distribution of PVC’s to eligible voters and to date has recorded an approximate 82% PVC collection rate. This assumes that out of 68.8 million registered voters per 2015 Voters Register, 56.4 million have received their permanent voter cards.
The success of the military in its onslaught against insurgency in the North East has told its own story so far. Regardless, there are still major concerns surrounding the seeming ‘strategic’ timing of this recent wave – “why wait to do in 6 weeks what should have been done over 6 years?”
With the 6 week waiting period almost exhausted, it is natural to expect to see a shift in focus from conspiracy theories to election result forecasting on several bases and assumptions. Leveraging data from INEC’s Voter Register per geopolitical zone, assuming historic voting patterns adjusted to reflect current political sway, an average of 65% voter turnout in each State, admitting the influence of incumbent governors on their states, ongoing public response to party campaigns, and intuitive subjectivity, the table below presents an individual forecast of what may be expected. It is by no means the final result and cannot be so interpreted. Rather, it is a prediction anticipating several cross comparisons. This forecast predicts a majority victory for the APC in the presidential elections with 18.4 million over PDP 17.0 million votes.
For cross comparisons, share your forecast here
Reblogged this on Michael Dugeri.
Reblogged this on Musings of a Crazy Nigerian and commented:
An interesting and quite methodical forecast for the upcoming elections. I rather agree with a fair amount of the forecasting just that I see voter turnout in the Northeast to be slightly under 50%. I also see the voting pattern being slightly different in Adamawa, Edo, Imo and Rivers with PDP getting slightly more votes than forecasted in those states. I however think there will be an increased percentage of votes for APC in the North and South West in General with the voting pattern of the middle belt group left a bit in the air. If we have a free and fair election then we might have an election that can swing either way. When forecasting we might have to factor in rigging in whatever form it might exist. I think a method of rigging this election would be preventing election materials from getting to areas that aren’t a party’s stronghold. I believe both major parties have the machinery to rig, one through the power of government and the other through the power of money and thugs. Who do I predict will win? I see a slight victory for President Jonathan but then again the Nigerian people might pleasantly surprise me and opt for something different. Not that I think Buhari is better, I think removing an incumbent will send a shiver down the spine of the political class and tell them that if you do not perform you will be booted out of office. All in All, I hope above all for a peaceful election. Either Buhari or Jonathan, whoever wins or loses should accept the result and battle if they must through the courts.
I am also personally interested in the National Assembly elections happening tomorrow. I think we will see the emergence of other parties aside the PDP and APC as decent forces within the National Assembly. Now only if some of these parties when they win the National Assembly seats and gain political power come together and form an interesting third option in the run to 2019.
Interesting table but would be good to know more about the assumptions you make for each state and the factors which went into it.