A new poll survey released this week in Zimbabwe has shown that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirais’s party, MDC would win the next general elections while Zanu PF will trail in a distant second.
The survey, conducted by the Public Mass Opinion Institute, also predicts that close to 40 percent of the Zimbabwean electorate might not participate in the vote. It sampled only 1 062 people countrywide.
According to the findings, participants were asked to indicate their voting intentions by stating the party candidate they would vote for if an election was held on the day of the interview.
Tsvangirai, says the findings, will get 32% of the votes cast and the veteran ruler Robert Mugabe would come second with 18%.
The remaining votes would be shared among other smaller parties- Zapu (2%) while Deputy Prime Minister Arther Mutambara and 2008 presidential candidate Simba Makoni would manage just one percent each.
The combined vote for “other parties” would attract a total of 6% support.
In the presidential elections in 2008, Tsvangirai of MDC-T had 47,9% and Mugabe had 43,2%.
Elections could be held next year and Mugabe, who will then be three years away from his 90th birthday, has long indicated that he would contest.
Reads part of the report, “…a large block of voters who refused to reveal their voting intentions, preferring instead not to answer the question (17%), or claiming that their vote was their secret (24%).
“So, up to four in every 10 voters were unwilling to share their voting preferences, a very high statistic by any polling standard,”
“Anecdotal evidence suggests that this was largely due to alleged political intimidation and harassment prior to, and during the Constitutional Parliamentary Select Committee-led public consultations.
However, the polling institute warned people not to draw too much into the findings due to the large number of people who indicated they will boycott the vote
“No one knows who (the refusals) would vote for and yet whoever they decide to vote for could yield the decisive result,” says the survey.
“They may also ‘vote’ not to vote, as has become the pattern in the last several general elections where a large segment of the electorate did not turn out to vote. This suggests a lot of hard work for civic educators, including the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.”
In terms of provincial spread, the survey shows that none of the parties has majority support in any of the country’s 10 provinces. However, half (actually 49,6%) of Masvingo would vote for the MDC-T, followed by Bulawayo (42%), Manicaland (37%) and Midlands (35%). The party would attract little support in Mashonaland Central (13%) and Mashonaland West (18%). Harare would lend 29% support to the MDC-T.
Zanu PF would do fairly well in Mashonaland Central where 42% would vote for it, followed by Mashonaland West (27%) and Matabeleland South (20%).
Zanu PF would do badly in Bulawayo (8%), Matabeleland North (10%) and Harare (11%). In terms of age, the survey shows that slightly over a third (35%) of the youth prefer the MDC-T, 19% Zanu PF and 2% would vote for Zapu.
“We also find that another 36% are refusals while 7% would vote for other parties,” says the survey. As for the middle-aged, 34% would choose an MDC-T candidate, 16% would lend their vote to Zanu PF while 41% were in the non-disclosure category.