4 in 10 Voters Observed That The April 11th Elections Were Poorly Conducted (Compared with March 28th)

 

Abuja, Nigeria. April 28th, 2015 – Latest snap poll results released by NOIPolls Limited revealed that the larger proportion of Nigerian voters (39 percent: 29+10) believe the April 11th elections were poorly conducted compared to the March 28th elections. This perception may have been stimulated by the reports of violence, manipulations, allegations of massive rigging and falsification of results which led to cancellations, hence, inconclusive polls in some states in the South-East region (Imo and Abia states) and Taraba state in North-East region, during the gubernatorial and state house of assembly elections.[1] Nevertheless, the vast majority of voters reported that the April 11th gubernatorial/state elections were free and fair. This was regardless of gender, age and geo-political zones; though the South-East zone accounted for the highest proportion of voters (22 percent) who claimed the elections were not free and fair. Additionally, a higher proportion of Nigerians (79 percent) who voted in the April 11th elections, rated security as good  in their various localities during the elections.

Furthermore, findings revealed that almost all the respondents (92 percent) who voted in the gubernatorial/state house of assembly election also voted in the presidential/senatorial election; and of this proportion, majority (56 percent: 22+34) reported that the functionality of the card reader was better in the April 11th elections than the March 28th elections. Similarly 53 percent (21+32) of voters considered the punctuality of INEC staff to be better than the March 28th general elections and this also applies to the expertise of INEC staff, as the larger proportion (54 percent: 20+34) of the respondents reported it to be better than the March 28th elections.

Finally, while poll results suggests improvement and rectification of lapses experienced during the March 28th elections; (as suggested by voters in a post presidential election poll conducted by NOIPolls) where majority of the voters suggested that INEC should improve on the card readers) overall, voters gave a poor rating on the general conduct of the April 11th elections in comparison to the March 28th elections. These are the key findings from the April 11th Gubernatorial and State House of Assembly Post Elections poll conducted in the week of April 20th 2015.

Brief Background

About 6, 050 candidates contested the gubernatorial and the state house of assembly elections which held 11th April, 2015 across 29 states in Nigeria, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Out of the 6,050 contestants, 760 candidates contested for the governorship positions while 5,290 candidates contested for the State House of Assembly positions. The Governorship election did not hold in Edo, Anambra, Ondo, Ekiti, Bayelsa, Osun and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, according to INEC.[2]

The March 28, 2015 presidential and National Assembly elections were greeted with some challenges such as the late arrival of electoral materials and INEC staff at some polling units, as well as the malfunctioning of the Smart Card Readers (SCR) in some polling units.  The commission showed its readiness to resolve those technical glitches, prevent and reduce all the election risks to the barest minimum with a zero tolerance for electoral offenders.

Against this background, NOIPolls conducted a -gubernatorial and the state house of assembly post-election poll to gauge the satisfaction of voters on the general conduct of the elections, as well as security within their localities during the period. The poll also sought to compare critical attributes of the just concluded gubernatorial and the State House of Assembly elections with the Presidential and National Assembly elections.

Survey Findings

Respondents to the poll were asked six specific questions; the first question served as a screening question where respondents were asked if they voted in the April 11th 2015. Respondents who voted in the April 11th 2015 elections were allowed to continue the survey while respondents who did not vote had their interviews terminated at this point. It is worth noting that more interviews were terminated during the course of this survey when compared to the general elections of March 28. This could be as a result of the fact that 29 out of 36 states participated in the gubernatorial/state house of assembly elections.

Subsequently, respondents who voted were further asked: In your opinion, do you think that the 2015 April 11th gubernatorial / state house of assembly elections were free and fair? The larger proportion of voters (89 percent) reported that the elections were free and fair. It is also worthy to note that some international observers such as ECOWAS, EU, UN and UNHCR also shared the same view with Nigerians on the transparency of the elections. While 11 percent claimed the elections were not free and fair; this is mostly true for the South-East zone (22 percent).

These results in comparison to the post general election poll conducted by NOIPolls in the week of March 30th 2015 revealed that more voters (94 percent) declared the general election as free and fair compared with the gubernatorial / state house of assembly elections.[3]

Respondents were also asked: How would you generally rate security in your locality during the April 11th gubernatorial/state house of assembly elections? Responses to this question revealed that a higher proportion of Nigerians (79 percent) who voted in the April 11th elections rated security in their various localities as good during the elections. This corresponds with the NOIPolls post presidential election poll which revealed that 81 percent of Nigerians were satisfied with the state of security in their locality during the presidential election. On the contrary, 10 percent of the voters gave a poor rating, while 11 percent asserted that the state of security was fair.

Respondents who voted in the April 11th elections were further asked: Did you vote in the 2015 March 28th presidential elections? The outcome indicates that almost all the respondents (92 percent) who voted in the gubernatorial/state house of assembly election also voted in the presidential/senatorial election; only 8 percent did not vote.

Furthermore, respondents who voted in both elections (92 percent of the total) were asked: How would you compare the 2015 April 11th gubernatorial/state house of assembly elections to the 2015 March 28th presidential elections? The findings revealed that most Nigerians (39: 29+10 percent) are of the opinion that the April 11th elections were poorly conducted when compared to the March 28th elections. This is closely followed by respondents (34 percent) who think that both elections were practically the same in all aspects. On the other hand, 27 (8+19) percent believe that the April 11th elections were better than the March 28th elections.

Analysis by gender revealed that voters between the age-groups 26 – 35 and 46 – 60 years accounted for the largest proportion of respondents (41 percent each) who reported that the April 11th election were poorly conducted when compared to the presidential elections. Inversely, respondents who reported that the April 11th elections were much better than the March 28th elections were mostly aged between 18 – 25 years (38 percent). In addition, voters who indicated that both elections were the same were mostly aged 61 years and above (69 percent).

Finally, respondents who voted in both elections (92 percent of the total) were asked: Compared to March 28th presidential elections, how would you rate the following during the April 11th gubernatorial/state house of assembly elections: a) functionality of card reader, b) punctuality of INEC Officials, c) expertise of INEC staff?  Responses revealed that majority (56 percent: 22+34) of the respondents who voted in both elections reported that the functionality of the card reader was better in the April 11th elections than the March 28th elections; where 34 percent believe it was much better and 22 percent who believe it was excellent in the April 11th compared with March 28th. This is followed by 31 percent who believe it was the same in both elections.  This therefore suggests an improvement in this attribute with rectification of lapses experienced during the March 28th elections; as suggested by voters in a post presidential election poll conducted by NOIPOlls; where majority of the voters suggested that INEC should improve on the card reader during the April 11th election.

With regards to the punctuality of INEC officials during the April 11th election, the majority 53 percent (21+32) believe it was better than March 28th election, followed by 36 percent who reported it was the same as the March 28th election. Similarly, the majority of voters (54 percent: 20+34) reported that the expertise of INEC staff during the April 11th election was better than the March 28th, followed by 37 percent who reported there was no difference in this attribute from  the March 28th elections. These findings therefore suggest improvement in all three attributes from the March 28th presidential election.

In conclusion, the poll revealed that almost 8 in 10 Nigerians described the April 11th elections as free and fair. Also, a large proportion of voters (79 percent) rated security in their various localities as good during the April 11th elections. Furthermore, almost all the respondents (92 percent) who voted in the gubernatorial/state house of assembly election also voted in the presidential/senatorial election; and of this proportion, the majority (39 (29+10) percent) are of the view that the April 11th elections were poorly conducted when compared with the March 28th elections.

Finally, the larger share of respondents (34 percent) observed that the April 11th elections were much better than the March 28th elections in terms of the functionality of the card reader. Likewise, most Nigerians 53 percent (21+32) who voted in the April 11th elections considered the punctuality of INEC staff to be better in the April 11th elections than in the March 28th general elections and this also applies to the expertise of INEC staff as the largest proportion (54 percent: 20+34)  of the respondents reported it to be better than the  March 28th elections.

Survey Methods

The opinion poll was conducted in the week of 20th April 2015. 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, No1 for country specific polling services in West Africa, works in technical partnership with the Gallup Organisation (USA). We 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 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.

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[1] http://www.news24.com.ng/Elections/News/INEC-declares-Imo-governorship-election-inconclusive-20150413

[2] http://inecnigeria.org/

[3] http://www.noi-polls.com/root/index.php?pid=314&ptid=1&parentid=12