9 in 10 Registered Voters Look Forward to voting in the 2015 Elections

Abuja, Nigeria. April 23, 2013 -Latest weekly poll results released by NOI Polls have revealed that about 9 in 10 registered voters in Nigeria (90%) have indicated readiness to vote in the 2015 elections. The results further revealed that most Nigerians view the forthcoming elections as an opportunity to elect a good leader and to exercise their voting right; while those who expressed unwillingness to vote attribute it to the perception that their vote will not count. These were a few of the key findings from the Countdown to the 2015 elections poll conducted in the week of April 15th2013. 


This month of April officially marks 2 years to the 2015 elections. As Nigeria prepares for the next general elections in 2015, there have been lots of political activities gradually building up to 2015. These include debates in the political sphere on who should or should not fly the presidential flag for the ruling political party in the next presidential elections and media reports on the merger of 3 major opposition parties to form the  All Progressives Congress (APC), with a view to wrestle power from the ruling PDP. Previous elections in Nigeria have been characterised with high levels of voter apathy, which has been blamed on election fraud and violence amongst other reasons. Against this background, NOI Polls has conducted this latest poll as the first in the “Countdown to the 2015 elections” series.  We will officially start the Elections Polls (Countdown to 2015) in collaboration with Gallup in Q4 2013.
 
The poll asked people five specific questions to respondents. The first question sought to establish the expectations of Nigerians about the 2015 elections. Respondents were asked: Are you looking forward to the 2015 elections? Nationwide results show that the overwhelming majority (91%) answered affirmatively indicating they are indeed looking forward to the 2015 elections while 9% responded negatively.

 

Analyzing results in more detail highlights some interesting facts. In general, more male respondents are looking forward to the elections when compared to female respondents. Also, the South-West has the highest proportion of respondents (13%) who indicated that they are not looking forward to the elections; while the South-East has the highest proportion of respondents (97%) looking forward to the 2015 elections.

 Respondents were subsequently asked: Are you presently a registered voter? Overall, the majority of respondents and by a considerable margin (84%) indicated that they are presently registered voters, while 16% answered “No”. This result indicating a high proportion of registered voters corroborates the findings of an election poll conducted by NOI Polls in April 2011, where 94% of voters confirmed that they had registered to vote in the 2011 elections.

 

It is pertinent to note, again, that more male than female respondents are registered voters, highlighting the political consciousness of males versus their female counterparts. Also looking across geo-political zones, the results show that the North-West has the highest percentage of people that are not currently registered (21%) followed by the South-West (18%) and North-Central (17%). Conversely, the South-East has the highest proportion of registered voters (89%), followed by the South-South (88%) and North-East (86%).

In furtherance, respondents who are not presently registered voters (16% of the total) were asked a follow-up question: Do you plan to register in time for the 2015 elections?Interestingly, the majority (76%) responded affirmatively, confirming that they plan to register before the elections, while 24% responded negatively. When responses are analysed in more detail, the South-South geo-political zone has the highest percentage (32%) of respondents who indicated that they do not have plans to register before the elections, followed by the North-West (28%) and South-East (25%)

 

In a similar pattern as with previous questions, the results show that, in general, females are less likely to vote when compared to males. Also, the South-West has the highest proportion of respondents (16%) who stated that they would not vote in the election, followed by the North-West and North-Central (both with 10%). Furthermore, the North-East geo-political zone (97%) has the highest proportion of respondents who have indicated willingness to vote in the 2015 elections; followed by the South-East zone (95%).

Finally, all respondents were asked for the reason why they would vote versus the reason why they would not vote. Firstly, respondents that indicated their willingness to vote were asked the following:  Why would you vote in the 2015? The main reason why respondents would vote in the 2015 elections is “To elect a good leader” (42%), followed by “To exercise my right to vote” (38%). Other reasons include: “To vote for a change of government (8%), “To vote for my candidate” (7%) and “To vote for good governance”. Interestingly, the result of a similar poll conducted in April 2011 shows that 98% of respondents registered to exercise their right to vote. When results are analysed in more detail, significant discrepancies can be observed. More female than male respondents mentioned that they want “To elect a good leader”. Also, the North-Central geo-political zone (56%) has the largest proportion of respondents that mentioned “To elect a good leader”, while the North-East has the highest proportion of respondents who stated - “To exercise my right to vote”. The North-Central also has the highest proportion of respondents (14%) who want “To vote for a change of government”.

 

Next respondents that stated their unwillingness to vote were asked the following:  Why wouldn’t you vote in the 2015 elections? Overall, the majority (45%) said they were not willing to vote because they perceive “My vote does not count”. Other reasons mentioned for not voting are: “Politicians promise and fail” (16%), “No change in governance” (11%), “There still is corruption in government” (8%), “Lack of credible electioneering system” (9%) and “I may not be available”. More male than female respondents think “My vote does not count” while the North Central has the highest proportion of respondents (67%) who share the same view. 

 

In conclusion, these poll results indicate that the majority of Nigerians who are of voting age are looking forward to the 2015 elections, and have also expressed readiness to vote. These current results corroborate the findings of a similar poll conducted by NOI Polls in April 2011, where 94% of Nigerians expressed readiness to vote in the 2011 elections. However, from the results of this current poll, the main reasons why people want to vote are because they want to elect a good leader and exercise their right to vote. Conversely, the main reason mentioned by respondents who indicated unwilling to vote is that they do not think their votes would count.

 
It is curious to note that while the South-East geo-political zone has the highest proportion of respondents who are looking forward to the 2015 elections (97%) and are presently registered (89%); the South-West zone, which is often considered the most politically aware region of the country, has the highest proportion of respondents that are unwilling to vote (16%) and are not looking forward to the elections (13%). These results support recent findings from a survey initiated by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Friedrich–Ebert-Stiftung, a German non-governmental organisation, where the main reason respondents gave for not voting is that they believe that votes do not count in Nigeria. As the country prepares for the 2015 elections, INEC, the media and the Federal government have a collective responsibility to help give Nigerians a positive perception about the 2015 elections.
 
Information
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Survey Methods
The opinion poll was conducted from April 15th to 16th 2013. It involved telephone interviews of a random nationwide sample. 1,001 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 4%. NOI Polls Limited is Nigeria’s leading opinion polling and research organisation, 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 NOI Polls 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 NOI Polls be acknowledged as author whenever our poll results are used, cited or published.
 
NOI Polls 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 NOI Polls 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 NOI Polls’ current findings and/or thinking.
 

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