Last week, we had an informative discussion in the comments regarding the upcoming presidential elections in Nigeria. Many analysts predict that Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan will win re-election. That’s my feeling as well. Several recent polls from Nigeria point in the same direction, though I suggest you take their results with a healthy dose of skepticism:
The surveys, published in Nigerian newspapers this week, vary widely in detail and scientific quality — one claimed to have had 70 million SMS responses, roughly equivalent to every adult in the country — but they broadly show a common trend.
A poll published by the This Day newspaper carried out with global research group Ipsos showed just over 60 percent of respondents would vote for Jonathan, with his nearest rival, former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari, on 22 percent.
A second poll carried out by local firm NOI Polls, which has a partnership with Gallup, said 68 percent of Nigerians approved of Jonathan’s performance so far as president.
The poll, commissioned by Nigerian civil society group the ANAP Foundation, said 53 percent of respondents expected Jonathan to win the April polls.
The full Reuters article is worth reading, as it comments on the regional picture as well as the national one.
Vanguard has further discussion of the first poll, which gives Jonathan the lead as mentioned but also depicts a tight race, with Kano State Governor Ibrahim Shekarau a close second and with no candidate taking a clear majority.
The website for NOI, the organizer of the second poll, is here, but I could not find the results on their site. Business Day and Vanguard both have commentary on the NOI poll, which indicates a stronger lead for Jonathan.
Regardless of the accuracy of these polls (and I am a skeptic of most polling), the published results convey a message about Jonathan’s political strength. The perception that he is winning, even that his win is inevitable, can only help him.