Obi will win Feb 25 polls if voter turnout is high – Stears

Pan-African data company, Stears, has predicted that the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, will win February 25 election by nine per cent if there is a high voter turnout but may lose to the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, if there is voter apathy.


In a statement released by Stears on Tuesday after conducting what it described as a ‘statistically significant, nationally representative poll’, it says they surveyed about 6220 voters with Permanent Voters Cards (PVC), on what their preferences for the 2023 general elections are and the results showed Obi in the lead. The sample used was randomly stratified by state and gender to mirror the distribution of registered voters in Nigeria.

All states and the FCT were polled and the sample size and breakdown enabled Stears to provide statistically valid predictions at state-level, a unique feature of the 2023 electoral polls made available to the public

Stears developed a proprietary estimation model that predicts likely voting patterns for silent voters within the data set, enabling comprehensive forecasts of the 2023 presidential elections.

The poll also reveals that Obi is the most universally accepted candidate and that Nigerians vote along religious lines. Data released by the poll shows that Obi is the candidate that can achieve at least 25 per cent in all the states. He leads Tinubu while Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) only secures 25 per cent of the votes in two geopolitical zones.

The only region where Obi fails to secure 25 per cent of the vote is the North-West, where the presence of Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) means that votes are most evenly split in the region.

When asked “What are the most important factors that will mostly influence your decision to vote for a presidential candidate?” only four per cent of Nigerians admit that religion influences their decision to vote for a presidential candidate.

Religion is ranked the lowest among eight factors, lower than the choice of running mate. There is no difference between the proportion of Christians (three per cent) and Muslims (five per cent) that consider religion a factor. But the poll also suggests that Nigerians vote along religious lines.

Head of Intelligence and Co-Founder at Stears, Michael Famoroti, said: “Simple analysis of the poll results puts Obi in the lead with 27 per cent of all votes, ahead of Tinubu (15 per cent) and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (12 per cent).

“This is aligned with the results of other polls; however, it is hard to draw definite conclusions without examining the large portion of respondents who do not provide a candidate preference—a proportion as high as 50 per cent in previously released polls.

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“Where other polls have been inconclusive due to the large share of silent voters, Stears’ proprietary model is able to provide answers by predicting the most likely candidate for silent voters.”

Preston Ideh, CEO, Stears, said: “We can analyse data sets from various sectors, but election data is particularly interesting because it is freely available. We started with Stears Elections, an open data project designed to organise all of Nigeria’s election data. In 2019, we built Nigeria’s first real-time election database, and now in 2023, Stears Elections is the most granular way to track all live election results for the Presidential, Gubernatorial, National Assembly, and State Houses of Assembly elections. Ahead of a pivotal moment for the country, there is no better time to apply our analytics expertise to our proprietary election polling data.

“Producing Nigeria’s first predictive poll cements us at the frontier of election predictive analytics in Africa. We recognise the gaps in Africa when it comes to data collection and analytics. Stears exist for decision-makers who want to know what happens before it happens. Our recent seed round led by MaC Venture Capital with participation from Serena Ventures, Melo 7 Tech Partners, Omidyar Group’s Luminate Fund, Cascador and Hoaq Club will allow us to be the most trusted source for data and insights on African markets and economies.”

A December 2022 ANAP poll showed that 52 per cent of voters were undecided or chose not to reveal their preferred candidate, while in the Stears’ poll, 37 per cent of voters did not reveal their preferred candidate.

Data from Stears’ polls showed that silent voters are unevenly spread across demographics as voters in the South East are most willing to reveal their preferred candidate.

The model assigns 43 per cent of undeclared votes to Tinubu, while Obi is still the predicted winner when the reassigned silent voters are added to the declared voter count. In the case of high voter turnout, Obi gets 41 per cent of the vote, holding a comfortable lead over Tinubu.

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