Clifford Derrick’s Weblog

Steadman condemned for opinion polls manipulation


The Kenyan presidential flag 2003
 Image by Zeljco Heimer

Steadman credibility crisis

Kenyans abroad have added their voice in criticising the latest open discrepancies in the Steadman political opinion polls and the biased media coverage in favour of the incumbent. Writes, Clifford Derrick.

The chair of Associations of Kenyans in South Africa (AKSA), Mr Kennedy Onyango Owuor questioned the rationale behind Steadman change of methods of sampling. He warned the research group that their credibility is increasingly waning and they may soon find themselves irrelevant and out of business. The latest opinion Steadman opinion polls showed that ODM Presidential candidate Raila Odinga  was leading with 43.6 followed by President Mwai Kibaki at 43.3 and ODM-Kenya’s Kalonzo Musyoka at 11.4. 

Raila has maintained the lead

Though Raila has led in the five consecutive by- weekly Steadman Opinion polls, President Kibaki’s rating according to the organisation has continued to surge considerably while Odinga plummet. In a period of less than three months, the Steadman research indicates that’s that Odinga has dropped from 53 percent to 43.6 percent while Kibaki has increased from 37 per cent to 43.3 percent.  Owuor observed that it was not practical for one presidential candidate to steadily increase in opinion polls without making any positive development or move within that period. “The playing ground has not changed; no positive development has come from Kibaki.  On the other hand, ODM has not committed any political blunder, yet the research shows a completely different picture”, said Owuor.  He wondered what business did the PNU officials who visited the Steadman officials prior to the publications of the results had with the research other than manipulation of the research in favour of the incumbent.

Steadman figures tilted

Owuor also wondered why the latest Steadman reaserch polls were not adding up and were tilted to the disadvantage of  Odinga but in favour of Kibaki. Click here for more about this fiasco Akech Akoko, a PHD student at Wits University in Johannesburg South Africa   warned those celebrating the recent Steadman polls to take a look at the pseudo-science behind it. ”May be, when Kalonzo led, Steadman got its Maths right. Now it seems its Maths does not add up, after a visit by PNU officials”, said Akech. He took a swipe with the media and wondered why the media and especially The Daily Nation prioritise the Steadman research yet they themselves commissioned Strategic Research, Infotrack, and Consumer Insight. different research groups for the same purposes. “Why do the newspapers, especially The Daily Nation which has commissioned the other three polls, give the Steadman poll more prominence that other three?

The law of average

Akech agued that   If people were to go by the law of averages, three out of the four polls say Raila is
set to beat the incumbent! The roomer mills has it that the manipulation of the opinion polls by the Steadman group in favour of the government is part of a wider government scheme to rig the election by faking Kibaki’s popularity ahead of the general election on December 27th. It is projected that in the next opinion polls, the Kibaki will pass Raila in popularity and that he will maintain this up to the election time to legitimise the rigging.

Counter strategy
What should the ODM do? Should they commission their own independent research to counter the Steadman propaganda? Give your opinion and suggestions in the comment hole.


November 24, 2007 - Posted by | media

1 Comment »

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