MAJORITY OF REGISTERED VOTERS GEAR UP TO VOTE IN THE 2015 ELECTION
Abuja, Nigeria. February 25th, 2014
The recently released Election Poll results by NOIPolls Limited has revealed that majority of adult Nigerians claim to be registered voters (75%). Also, of the 25% yet-to-register, the vast majority (92%) plan to register in time for the 2015 elections. The results further revealed that majority of registered voters (88%) are eagerly looking forward to voting in the 2015 elections; while citing the need “to exercise their right to vote as Nigerians” (40%) and “to vote for the right/good leader” (31%) as the top reasons. On the other hand, of the 12% of registered voters who do not look forward to voting, the most cited reasons include the suspicion that “their vote will not count” (36%), they “Don’t have the time” (22%), and they “Don’t Trust the Elections” (21%). These are the key findings from the Countdown to the 2015 Election Poll conducted in the week of February 17th 2014.
In January 2014, Mrs. Augusta Ogakwu; the Secretary of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced that the Presidential and National Assembly elections will hold on February 14, 2015; while the State Assembly and Governorship elections are scheduled for February 28, 2015. Mixed reactions have trailed the election timetable; some Nigerians applauded INEC for the timely release of the schedule for the elections while others have questioned the decision to hold the presidential and National Assembly polls before the governorship and state assembly elections. They argued that holding the presidential poll first would have a bandwagon effect on the subsequent elections.
As Nigeria prepares towards the 2015 polls, INEC Chairman; Attahiru Jega has painted an optimistic picture of the 2015 elections saying the lessons of the 2011 elections had been learnt and new processes are now in place to make the coming elections “much better than anything in the past.” Questions that are currently swirling around and being debated in the polity include” Has the PDP been weakened irrevocably? Can the APC hold itself together? Will Jonathan win if he runs again?”
Against this background, NOIPolls conducted its Countdown to the 2015 Elections poll to seek the views of Nigerians regarding the 2015 general elections. This is the second in the series of election polls conducted by NOIPolls (the first one was conducted in April 2013) and the first in the series of bi-monthly polls that will be conducted as Nigeria countdowns to the actual elections in 2015.
Respondents to the poll were asked five specific questions. In order to gauge the proportion of registered voters, respondents were asked: Presently, are you a registered voter? Overall, the majority (75%) responded positively, claiming they are currently registered voters; while 25% of Nigerians responded negatively.
Further analysis by geo-political zones, indicates that the South-East zone (83%) has the highest proportion of registered voters, while the North-West zone and the South-South zone (both 28%) have the highest proportion of those that are not yet registered. In addition, the age-group that has the highest percentage (89%) of registered voter is 46-60 years.
Respondents who are not registered (25% of the total) were further asked: If No, do you plan to register in time for the 2015 elections? Responses to this question revealed that the overwhelming majority of those not registered; 92% plan to register in time for the 2015 elections, while only 8% are not interested in registering at all.
When current findings are compared with results from the previous poll conducted in 2013, there is a significant 16-point increase in the proportion of Nigerians who are yet to register, but indicate they have plans to register in time for the 2015 elections.
The third question sought to gauge the level of enthusiasm among registered voters. Registered respondents (75% of the total) were asked: Are you looking forward to voting in the 2015 elections? Overall, the majority of registered voters (88%) indicated they are looking forward to voting in the 2015 elections; while 12% of the respondents claim they are not looking forward to voting in 2015 elections.
Findings based on geo-political zones show that the South-East zone (93%) had the highest proportion of respondents who are looking forward to voting in the 2015 elections. This is followed by the North-Central zone with 92% and the North-West zone with 89%.
Furthermore, when these findings are compared with the previous poll conducted in 2013, there was a slight 2-point decline in the proportion of Nigerians who look forward to voting in the 2015 elections.
Subsequently, in order to gain insights into factors stimulating the keenness to vote, Nigerians who are looking forward to voting in the 2015 elections (88% of registered voters) were further asked: If yes, why are you looking forward to voting in the 2015 elections? Bearing in mind that this was an open-ended question, the findings revealed that the majority (40%) are looking forward to voting in the 2015 elections because they want “to exercise their right to vote as Nigerians”, while 31% are stimulated by the need “to vote for the right/good leader”. Furthermore, 10% are looking forward to the elections in order “to vote for a change of government”, while another 7% mentioned “for transformation / better Nigeria.
Analysis based on geo-political zones revealed that the South-West zone (47%) has the highest proportion of Nigerians who are stimulated by the need “to exercise their right to vote as Nigerians”, while the South-East zone (41%) accounts for the largest proportion of respondents that look forward to 2015 elections in order “to vote for the right/good leader”. Also, the South-South zone (30%) has the highest proportion of respondents that indicated “to vote for a change of government”.
Furthermore, trend analysis of the findings obtained from the previous poll revealed a significant 10-point decline in the proportion of respondents who are motivated by the need to vote for the right/good leader; it was 41% in 2013. Furthermore, there was a slim 2-point increase in the proportion of Nigerians that want to vote in order to exercise their right to vote as Nigerians in 2014.
Finally, in similar way respondents who indicated they are not looking forward to voting in the 2015 elections (12% of registered voters) were asked: If no, why are you not looking forward to voting in the 2015 elections? Results indicate the majority (36%) are of the opinion that “their vote does not count”, this is followed by 22% who say “they don’t have time” and 21% who say they have “no trust in elections”. In addition, 14% claim there are demotivated towards voting in the 2015 elections due to “insecurity” and 5% are of the opinion that the “Nigerian system is bad”.
Gauging the responses from the geo-political zone standpoint reveals that the North-East zone has the highest (87%) proportion of respondents who think “their vote does not count” while the North-West zone has the highest proportion of respondents who claim “they don’t have time” (45%) and also indicated “insecurity” (45%) as a demotivating factor to voting. In addition, the South-West zone (41%) accounts for the highest proportion of respondents who have “no trust in elections”.
When these current findings are compared with the results obtained in 2013, there was an 8-point decline in the proportion of respondents that indicate their “vote does not count” even though it remains the popular opinion among respondents that are not looking forward to voting.
In conclusion, findings from the election poll reveals the majority of Nigerians are registered voters (75%) and of this proportion, the overwhelming majority; 88% are looking forward to voting in the 2015 general elections. More findings also reveals that the overwhelming majority; 92% out of 25% who are not yet registered plan to register in time for the 2015 elections. Furthermore, in 2014 there was a significant 16-point increase in the proportion of Nigerians who are yet to register but indicated they plan to register in time for the elections. In addition, the vast majority of registered voters are looking forward to voting in the 2015 elections (88%). The most popular reason (40%) given by those that are looking forward to voting is “to exercise their right to vote as Nigerians”, while the most popular reason by those who do not look forward to voting (36%) is that “their vote will not count”. Finally, as the 2015 elections draw closer, it’s clear that voter apathy will be a major deterrent since the majority of Nigerians are currently highly enthusiastic about voting in the upcoming 2015 polls.
The opinion poll was conducted in February 17th to 19th 2014. It involved telephone interviews of a random nationwide sample. 1,000 randomly selected phone-owning Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geopolitical zones in the country, were interviewed. With a sample of this size, we can say with 95% confidence that the results obtained are statistically precise - within a range of plus or minus 3%. NOIPolls Limited, No. 1 for country-specific polling services in West Africa, which works in technical partnership with the Gallup Organisation (USA), to conduct periodic opinion polls and studies on various socio-economic and political issues in Nigeria. More information is available at www.noi-polls.com
This press release has been produced by NOIPolls Limited to provide information on all issues which form the subject matter of the document. Kindly note that while we are willing to share results from our polls with the general public, we only request that NOIPolls be acknowledged as author whenever and wherever our poll results are used, cited or published.
NOIPolls hereby certifies that all the views expressed in this document accurately reflect its views of respondents surveyed for the poll, and background information is based on information from various sources that it believes are reliable; however, no representation is made that it is accurate or complete. Whilst reasonable care has been taken in preparing this document, no responsibility or liability is accepted for errors or fact or for any views expressed herein by NOIPolls for actions taken as a result of information provided in this report. Any ratings, forecasts, estimates, opinions or views herein constitute a judgment as at the date of this document. If the date of this document is not current, the views and content may not reflect NOIPolls’ current findings and/or thinking.