NPP has better chance of winning Dec 7 elections. Political Science Dept, Legon predicts
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has a better chance of winning the December 7 elections than the National Democratic Congress (NDC), according to a survey conducted by the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana, Legon.
The survey, conducted in 24 swing constituencies in the swing regions of the Greater Accra, Central, Western and Brong Ahafo, as well as the NDC stronghold in the Northern Region, from the beginning of August 2016 to November 10, 2016, gave the NPP 49.4 per cent, as against 39.6 per cent for the NDC at the national level.
The study said if the NPP was able to mobilise its core supporters to cast their votes, the party had the chance of winning in the first round. But if the NDC and the Progressive People's Party (PPP) made some gains nationally, that would force the elections into the second round, but the NPP would still be in the lead in first round and also likely to win the second round.
A total of 2,400 people, comprising 1,326 males and 1,074 females, were interviewed in the survey, which was funded by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.
The economy/jobs (35 per cent), education (29 per cent), health care, especially the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) (15 per cent) and corruption (6.5 per cent) were the main issues that would determine which parties the respondents said they would vote for.
Findings of the study indicated that the NPP would win in all the swing regions. For instance, the NPP would garner 44.5 per cent in the Brong Ahafo Region, as against 44 per cent by the NDC.
In the Western Region, the NPP would get 52.2 per cent, as against 27.5 per cent by the NDC; Central Region: NPP, 57.2 per cent, NDC, 33.4 per cent; Greater Accra: NPP, 55.2 per cent, NDC, 32.8 per cent.
But the NDC will beat the NPP in the Northern Region with 55.8 per cent as against 38.8 per cent for the NPP.
Presenting the findings of the survey in Accra yesterday, the lead researcher of the survey, Dr Isaac Owusu-Mensah, said the NPP had managed to diffuse the weight of the NDC in the Asawase and the New Edubiase constituencies.
That, he said, would reduce the regional tally of the NDC in Ashanti and, therefore, the 30 per cent projection by the NDC in the region was questionable.
Besides, he said, the NPP had gained some hold in some constituencies in the Upper West Region, such as Wa East and Lambussie-Karni.
The study indicated that the NPP’s strength in northern Volta had been bolstered by the changing dynamics in the region.
Therefore, Dr Owusu-Mensah said, for the NDC to win the elections, it must win Greater Accra, Central, along with Brong Ahafo or Western, "which is possible but with minimal probability".
He said findings of the survey could not exactly be the case, adding: "I am optimistic that it provides the picture of what will happen."
However, he said, the picture could change if the NDC worked hard in the swing areas and in their strongholds.
Dr Owusu-Mensah said the respondents were more interested in the bread and butter issues of the economy, jobs and health care than the perceived disunity in the NPP.
For instance, he said, in the Brong Ahafo Region, the issue of the collapse of DKM Micro Finance Company featured prominently as one of the main reason that the people would vote for the NPP.
And in the Northern Region, he said, the people of Mamprugu were going to vote massively for their son, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, to also assume the position of Vice-President.
Dr Owusu-Mensah said the respondents did not recall any key campaign messages of the NDC. They, however, easily remembered the campaign messages of the NPP, which included 'one district, one factory' and 'one village, one dam'.