2 in 10 Nigerians Claim They Have Political Party Affiliation

Abuja, Nigeria. December 16th, 2014 - Latest Election poll results released by NOIPolls Limited have revealed that 2 in 10 (23%) adult Nigerians claim to have political party affiliation as they are registered members of various political parties with possession of party membership cards, whereas, 8% are registered members but do not have party membership cards. On the other hand, 7 in 10 (69%) adult Nigerians surveyed confirmed they are not registered to any political party. Furthermore, majority of Nigerians in this category are not keen in joining any political party. This may be due to general apathy towards politics, political parties and their activities or due to perceptions of a poor enabling environment for participation of individuals (especially the female gender) in political activities among other reasons. 

A view of political party membership revealed an equal proportion of membership for the All Progressive Congress (APC) (47%) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) (47%) with both accounting for the largest share of respondents who are registered members of political parties. The high membership of these parties among other registered parties may be driven by higher awareness of Nigerians on these parties (PDP 87%; APC 82%) than other registered parties as established by the poll; although a considerable proportion of Nigerians also showed awareness for the All Progress Grand Alliance (APGA) (25%). Further findings revealed that the traditional media (‘television’ 57%; ‘radio’ 50%) plays a great role in the awareness of Nigerians on political parties. Moreover a considerable proportion (32%) of Nigerians mostly aged 18-21 years tend to rely on ‘word of mouth’ as a source of awareness. These were some of the key findings of the ‘Countdown to 2015 Elections’ by NOIPolls Limited conducted in the week of December 8th 2014.
 
Brief Background

Participation of individuals in electoral processes goes beyond exercising their rights to vote. It encompasses the liberty to speak out, assemble and associate; the liberty to join a political party and participate in political activities, the ability to take part in the conduct of public affairs; and the opportunity to register as a candidate, to campaign, to be elected and to hold office at all levels of government. Political parties and candidates are key stakeholders in the election cycle.[1] While political aspirants rely on their parties for their nomination, electoral and financial support, awareness and participation of voters in the activities of political parties is also key in shaping the outcome of electoral processes.[2]

 
With 26 registered political parties, Nigeria has a multi-party system with sometimes two or three stronger parties that are electorally successful. In the count down to the 2015 general elections in Nigeria which is in about 60 days, the outline of the 26 political parties registered and accredited by INEC for the 2015 general elections is a reflection of the political events of 2014. Events such as presidential, gubernatorial and senatorial primaries are being conducted across all the political parties in Nigeria to select party representatives ahead of the 2015 general elections. The electoral fortunes of registered parties will be revealed as the country moves closer to the election dates, further coupled with the intensity of voters’ education especially through campaigns and other political activities.[3]
 
Against this background, NOIPolls conducted its Countdown to the 2015 Election with a focus on political parties in Nigeria. The poll measured the awareness of Nigerians on registered political parties as well as their membership to these parties. The Countdown to the 2015 Elections Polls is conducted bi-Monthly by NOIPolls and the current result release is 6th in the 2014 series.
 
Key Findings       
Respondents to the poll were asked six specific questions. In order to gauge awareness of Nigerians on political parties in Nigeria, respondents were asked: Which political party(ies) are you aware of? Respondents were required to indicate as many parties they are aware of and findings revealed that a slight majority (87%) of respondents surveyed are more aware of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), this is closely followed by the All Progressive Congress (APC) with (82%). In addition, 25% of the respondents showed awareness for the All Progress Grand Alliance (APGA).
 
Analysis by geo-political zone shows that the majority across all geopolitical zones showed awareness mainly for PDP and APC, although the South-East zone has the highest ratio of respondents who are aware of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) (91%) while the South-West zone has the largest proportion of respondents who are aware of the All Progressive Congress (APC) (89%). In addition, more than half of the respondents from the South-South zone also showed awareness for the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) (54%).

 


[1] http://www.un.org/womenwatch/osagi/wps/publication/Chapter3.htm

[2] http://www.un.org/womenwatch/osagi/wps/publication/Chapter3.htm

[3] http://integrityinternationalmagazine.com/2014/11/nigeria-set-for-2015-general-elections

 

To explore the sources of awareness of Nigerians on political parties, respondents who showed awareness of political parties were further asked: How did you become aware of the political party? Respondents were required to indicate as many sources of awareness and the outcome establishes ‘television’ as the main source of awareness of political parties 57%, this is followed by, ‘radio’ as indicated by 50%  of the respondents. Other sources of awareness stated by the respondents include ‘word of mouth’ (32%)‘billboard’ (29%)and ‘participation in political campaign/rallies’ (23%) amongst others.
 
An evaluation of the sources of awareness of Nigerians on political parties based on the geo-political zone revealed  that the North-East zone accounted for the highest proportion of respondents who stated ‘television’(67%)‘radio’ (69%)‘word of mouth’ (61%) and ‘billboard’ (49%) as their main source of awareness on political parties while the South-East  accounted for the highest proportion of respondents who indicated participation in political campaign/rallies with 35%.
 
While traditional media plays a great role in the awareness of political parties for Nigerians aged "22 and above", respondents aged between 18-21 years (53%) rely mostly on what they are told by others, although a considerable proportion (38%) of this age group also gained awareness of the political parties through television.

 

To ascertain the proportion of Nigerians who are registered members of political parties, respondents were asked: Are you currently a registered member of any political party?Findings revealed the majority(69%) of the Nigerians surveyed are not registered to any political party in the country. This may be due to general apathy towards politics, political parties and their activities or due to perceptions of a poor enabling environment for participation of individuals (especially the female gender) in political activities amongst other reasons.
 
In contrast, a considerable proportion (23%) of Nigerians are registered members of various political parties with possession of membership cards whereas, 8% are registered members but do not have membership cards. This group may not be categorised as members of political parties as the generally accepted and complete process of joining a political party in Nigeria requires the filling of a party registration form, the provision of supporting documents and the receipt of a membership card as confirmation.
 
Further analysis reveals that more male (32%) than female (13%) respondents possess a political party membership card. Also membership of Nigerians in political parties somewhat increased with age as respondents aged 61 years and above accounted for the highest proportion (54%) of respondents who own a political party membership card with the least seen among respondents aged 18-21 years.

 

Respondents who are registered members of political parties (31% of the total) were further asked: Which political party are you personally registered in? Finding revealed that the All Progressive Congress (APC) (47%) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) (47%) both have the highest proportion of respondents who are registered members regardless of the possession of a membership card.
 
Findings from the geo-political zone standpoint revealed that the North-East zone has the greatest number of respondents (75%) who are personally registered with the All Progressive Congress (APC). This is followed by the North-West zone and the South-West zone with 57% and 48% respectively. The South-South zone accounted for the highest proportion of respondents (88%) who are personally registered with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). This is also followed by the South-East zone and the North-Central zone with 59% and48% respectively.
 
In addition, while political party membership of Nigerians aged 18-21 years tilts more towards the APC, a higher proportion of Nigerians registered to the PDP are aged 40-61+ years.

 

Respondents who are not registered to any political party (69% of the total) were further asked: If you were to register, which political party would you register in?Responses revealed Nigerians who are not registered members of political parties may generally not be interested as 47% of the respondents reported they will not register with any of the political parties. 27% indicated that they would register with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) while 24% indicated the All Progressive Congress (APC).
 
Further analysis revealed that Nigerians aged 18-21 years are more keen on becoming members of a political party with a higher preference for PDP, while respondents aged 22 years and above would rather not join any political party, especially respondents aged 61+. The same applies across all geo-political zones where the higher proportion of residents would rather not register with any political party; However, a higher proportion of respondents who would register with PDP if need be are mostly from the North-Central (36%), South-South(32%), North-West (30%) and South-East (29%) zoneswhile respondents who would register with APC if they were to register, are mostly residents of the North-East (39%) and South-West (33%) zones.

 

Finally, respondents were asked: Are you looking forward to voting in the 2015 general election?Analysis  revealed that regardless of demographic differences, a higher proportion of Nigerians (87%) are looking forward to voting in the 2015 elections while 13% responded negatively.

 

In conclusion, the recent election poll results have revealed that 69% of the respondents surveyed are not registered to any political party in the country, while 23% (2 in 10) of Nigerians are fully registered members of various political parties with possession of membership cards whereas, 8% are registered members but do not have membership cards. Nigerians who are not registered members of political parties may generally not be interested in registering as 47% of the respondents reported they will not register with any of the political parties, although, 27% indicated that they would register with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), while 24%indicated the All Progressive Congress (APC) if the need arises. More findings revealed that the All Progressive Congress (APC) (47%) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) (47%) both accounted for the largest share of respondents who are registered members of a political party. An assessment of the awareness of Nigerians on registered political parties in Nigeria revealed that Nigerians are more aware of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) (87%) and the All Progressive Congress (APC) (82%) among other political parties in Nigeria. Furthermore, awareness of these political parties were mainly through ‘television’ (57%), ‘radio’ (50%), word of mouth’ (32%)‘billboard’ (29%), and ‘participation in political campaign/rallies’ (23%) amongst other sources. Finally, as the 2015 election draws near, 87% of adult Nigerians look forward to voting in the 2015 general elections.
 
Survey Methods
The opinion poll was conducted in the week 8th December 2014. It involved telephone interviews of a random nationwide sample. 1000 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
 
Disclaimer
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 judgement 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.
 
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