By Jeffrey Agbo
Edited by Ononye VC
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, is the favourite to emerge winner of the February 25, 2023 election, according to a new poll conducted by NOI Polls Limited (NOIPolls).
The poll, which was released on Wednesday, is the third and final nationwide opinion poll commissioned by Anap Foundation.
Details of the poll signed by the foundation’s president and founder, Atedo Peterside, and sent to TheNiche show that Obi remains in the lead, with Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) both trailing him. Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) emerged as the lone outsider.
“Mr. Peter Obi leads, with 21% of registered voters proposing to vote for him if the presidential election were to be conducted today; and 13% proposing to vote for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who fell in second place. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar was third with 10% and Dr. Rabiu Kwankwaso was a distant fourth with 3% of voters proposing to vote for him,” the poll results showed.
“Given the large pool of Undecided Voters and/or those who Refused to disclose their preferred choice, Mr. Peter Obi’s 8%- point lead at this stage is significant, but not sufficient to separate him from a leading pack of candidates scoring 13%, 10% and 3%. Undecided voters and those who prefer not to reveal their preferred candidate add up to a whopping 23% and 30% respectively. The gender split of undecided voters shows that 27% of women are undecided versus 18% of male registered voters.”
The percentage of registered voters and/or voters with their permanent voter’s card (PVC) is as follows in each of the zones: 96% in the North-East, 93% each in the North-West and South-East. The North-Central has 92%, South-West has 89% while the South-South has 88%.
The foundation said that in comparison to previous polls, the percentage of undecided and refused voters increased significantly from 38% in 2019 to 53% as at the time of this poll showing that a host of voters are either still seated on the fence, barely 14 days to the general elections or are refusing to disclose their preferences.
“It is worthy of note that 81% of those aged 18-25, 83% of those aged 26-35, 85% of those aged 36-45, 89% of those aged 46-60 and 81% of those aged 61+ responded that they would definitely vote in the coming elections. The age groups that expressed the greatest willingness to vote were those between 36-45 and 46-60 years.
“The Poll shows that almost 9 in 10 registered voters (the highest we have recorded since we started gathering this data) now say that they are absolutely certain that they would be voting in the 2023 presidential election as compared to 8 in 10 registered voters in 2019. If they stay committed over the course of the next fortnight and, in the absence of aggravated security concerns or unresolved PVC collection challenges, we could witness a huge turnout in the February 2023 Presidential elections,” the foundation said.
It further stated that the methodology used by NOIPolls was almost the exact same methodology that was used in previous presidential polls that they handled in 2011, 2015 and 2019.
It added: “Our conclusion is that, using our tried and tested method of sampling since 2011, the 2023 Presidential Elections are too close to call, notwithstanding the fact that, whoever was at the top of the polls based on this exact same methodology in 2011, 2015 and 2019 eventually won the elections. This time Mr. Peter Obi has been the front-runner throughout, but we caution that the Undecided/Refused vote is still too high (in early February 2023) to be ignored. We had thought that by delaying our 3rd and Final Poll until early February 2023 we would see a collapse of the Undecided Vote.
“The reality is that the reduction in the Undecided Vote has been more than offset by the increase in the number of voters who refuse to disclose the name of their preferred candidate. When we carried out our first and baseline poll in September 2022 we thought a long campaign period would lead to different candidates taking turns to lead the field. That has not been the case. This long drawn out race has been surprisingly stagnant.”