Ahead of the forthcoming Ekiti State Gubernatorial elections slated for July 14th, 2018, a new public opinion poll conducted by NOIPolls has pitched Professor Kolapo Olusola, the candidate of the People Democratic Party (PDP) in an early 8-point lead over Dr John Kayode Fayemi, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The poll was conducted between 18th and 23rd June 2018 and it sought to assess the preparedness of voters towards the forthcoming Governorship election in Ekiti state. From the results of 1,000 randomly selected respondents, all resident in Ekiti state, and interviewed via telephone: Professor Olusola, fondly known as Eleka polled 34 percent; Dr Fayemi (JKF) polled 26 percent; Otunba Segun Adewale of ADP, fondly called Oshaprapra (7 percent); and Reverend Tunde Afe of ANRP (6 percent).
In addition, there were some candidates who altogether polled 4 percent, such as: Akinloye Ayegbusi (SDP), David Ayodele Adesua (ADC), Ebenezer Femi Ogunsakin (PPN), Dr. Sikiru Lawal (LP), Sunday Balogun (MPN), Mrs, Ilesanmi Anike Margaret (AP), Temitope Amuda (KP), Tosin Ajibade (ID) and Agboola Olaniyi (AD) amongst others.
Interestingly, the poll also revealed that while 93 percent of respondents claimed to have obtained their Permanent Voters Card (PVC), 83 percent were absolutely certain they would come out and vote for the gubernatorial candidate of their choice on 14th July 2018. However, in spite of this level of optimism and preparedness, 23 percent of respondents remain either undecided or simply refused to divulge their choice of candidate.
The poll further indicated that while Professor Olusola appeared to enjoy significant support across the three senatorial districts of the state, Ekiti Central (39 percent), Ekiti South (36 percent) and Ekiti North (30 percent); Dr. Fayemi’s support base was observed mainly in Ekiti South (28 percent) and Ekiti North (27 percent) senatorial districts. Similarly, the poll highlighted Eleka’s support amongst youths aged between 18 and 35 years (39 percent) and the working-class of ages 36 to 60 years (34 percent); compared to JFK’s whose support averaged 26 percent across all age categories. Interestingly, the poll also revealed a strong female support for Eleka (37 percent), compared to JKF with significant support from male respondents (28 percent).
In conclusion, although Eleka currently leads the race with a significant 8-point margin, we opine that the election remains a keenly contested race between the two leading candidates (Prof. Olusola and Dr Fayemi) for two main reasons: 1.) There remains a very significant proportion of voters (23 percent) who remain either undecided or seek confidentiality as to their choice of candidate, and 2.) For political watchers, the election of 14th July 2018 appears to be more of a contest between the incumbent Governor, Dr Ayodele Fayose and the former Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi; and not necessarily between Eleka and JFK.