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Museveni leads with 71% in new poll

By Vision Reporter

Added 28th July 2015 05:35 PM

AN overwhelming majority of Ugandans say their favour candidate is President Yoweri Museveni, according to the latest New Vision opinion poll

Museveni leads with 71% in new poll

AN overwhelming majority of Ugandans say their favour candidate is President Yoweri Museveni, according to the latest New Vision opinion poll

By Taddeo Bwambale


THE Vision Group research team conducted an opinion poll between June 12 and June 20, 2015 covering 6,626 households countrywide. 


It was conducted in order to make an assessment of the public’s perception of the most influential persons and political parties in Uganda across social, political, economic and cultural platforms. 


An overwhelming majority of Ugandans say their favour candidate is President Yoweri Museveni, according to the latest New Vision opinion poll.


Results of the poll show that 71.7% of Ugandans interviewed would vote for Museveni in the February 2016 presidential elections.


The poll was conducted between June 12 and 20 by Vision Group’s research team. The results are based on responses from a sample of 6,580 people across the country.


The respondents were randomly asked the question: “Which presidential candidate will you most likely vote for next year?” The respondents were not given names of candidates to choose from.


Former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) president Dr. Kizza Besigye, came in second with 9.2%, while former prime minister, Amama Mbabazi was third with 4.2% of the poll results. 


The poll was conducted before Besigye announced his intention to run for the presidency. FDC leader Mugisha Muntu got 2.1%, followed by Democratic Party (DP) president Norbert Mao with 1.3%. FDC stalwart Nandala Mafabi got 1.1% and former vice-president Gilbert Bukenya 0.5%.


Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) President-elect, Jimmy Akena performed better than his arch-rival Olara Otunnu with 0.9% and 0.3% respectively.


About 5.3% either declined or were unable to name their candidate, indicating that many Ugandans have not decided who to vote for, or need sensitisation.


The undecided electorate (said they didn’t know) were 2.6%, while 1.3% refused to answer and another 1.4% said they had no candidate in mind.


The poll results show that Museveni’s highest support is in the countryside, where 73.5% of respondents said they would vote for him, compared to 68.5% of urban voters.


In stark contrast, Museveni’s immediate runners-up Besigye and Mbabazi have their largest share of voters in urban areas. Besigye had a 10.6% vote in urban areas and 8.4% in rural areas, while Mbabazi had 3.8% and 4.8% from rural and urban voters, respectively.


Among the sampled districts, Museveni’s biggest vote came from Kaberamaido district, in eastern Uganda, where 93.2% said they would vote for him in next year’s elections, while he had his least support in Kasese, with 49.7%.


Besigye got the highest vote in Kasese with 28.7%, while his least vote was from Budaka with 1%. Mbabazi’s highest support is from his home district of Kanungu (23%), but he got zero in Zombo, Nebbi, Nakaseke and Apac districts.


Muntu’s stronghold, according to the poll, is Kabale district (11.3%). He did not get any undecided votes in West Nile. His highest score was in western Uganda with 3.7%. He got no vote in Zombo, Soroti, Nebbi, Mayuge, Lira, Kumi, Kaberamaido and Agago districts. 


Mao’s highest vote was from his home district of Gulu, while Akena wais more popular in Apac, Kadaga in Kamuli, Mafabi in Mbale, Bukenya in Lwengo and Lukwago in Kayunga. 


Museveni is still the leading candidate in Kampala with 63.9%, followed by Besigye (10.2%), Mbabazi (5.3%), Muntu (3.5%) and Lukwago (0.7%). 


A total of 8.2% of voters in Kampala are would vote for him, compared to 68.5% of urban voters.


Museveni beats rivals in regions

In regions, Museveni’s highest score was in West Nile, where 89.2% of the respondents said they would vote for him, while Besigye had the least support with 3.4%. Mbabazi had none.


Museveni’s next stronghold is north-eastern Uganda with 80.2%, eastern with 74.1% and northern (73.3%). 


In central, Museveni got 67.5% of the vote beating both Besigye and Mbabazi who scored 9.1% and 3.8% respectively. 


Besigye’s best region is western Uganda, where 12.5% said they would vote for him. Mbabazi’s highest score is 5.6% in the western region, followed by the east, where he initially planned to start his consultations for the presidential elections with 4.6%.


Older people prefer Museveni

Museveni’s appeal rises progressively among older people with 77.5% of those between the age of 60 and 64 saying they would vote for him. His least support is from the 18-24 age group with 68.6%.


Besigye and Mbabazi’s highest support is in the 25-29 age group with 11.8% and 4.8% respectively, while their least support is from the 60-64 age group where they have 3.3% and 1.6% of the poll votes.



Museveni’s appeal is higher among females (75.5%) compared to males (67.3%).


More males than females support both Besigye and Mbabazi. Besigye had support from 11.6% males compared to 7.2% females, while 4.9% of males and 3.5% of females said they would vote for Mbabazi.


Fewer females (1.8%) compared to 2.6% males said they would vote for Muntu and the same trend was observed for the majority of the other candidates.



Museveni’s appeal is highest among Ugandans who have no formal education (82%) and declines as academic qualifications rise, his least vote (59%) being from university students.


In sharp contrast, Besigye and Mbabazi appeal more to university students at 13.7% and 7.4% respectively, but their combined support is still outmatched by Museveni’s. 


Both Besigye and Mbabazi have their least support among Ugandans with no formal education, at 5.6% 1.4% respectively.


Why Ugandans want Museveni

The majority (54.2%) of respondents who said they would vote for Museveni said he had brought peace, security, freedom, human rights, unity and they wanted the peace to continue.


Respondents were asked the question: “Why is this your presidential candidate of choice?” after naming their preferred candidate.


A total of 32.7% of the respondents said they would vote for Museveni because he has a very developmental manifesto and has improved infrastructure such as roads, hospitals and schools.


A total of 20.8% said Museveni is capable of addressing people’s issues, is responsible and has integrity, while 2.9% of the voters said they want to give him a chance to lead the country.


Some of the respondents (9.4%) said he is hard working, experienced, a performer or one who has led well, while 2.2% said he is trustworthy or genuine.


A total of 1.6% of the voters said they would vote Museveni because he is not corrupt, respects the constitution and democracy, while 0.1% declined to state their reasons.


Some of the respondents (0.7%) said Museveni had the ability to fight corruption, tribalism and injustice, while 0.5% cited their allegiance to the NRM party and Museveni’s ability to provide jobs. 


40% of Besigye’s supporters and 43% of those who preferred Mbabazi said they are capable of addressing people’s issues.


A total of 29.4% of Mbabazi’s supporters and 29% of those who would vote for Besigye said they want to give their candidate a chance to lead.


A total of 15.8% of Mbabazi’s supporters said he is so hard working, experienced and a performer.


The majority (47.9%) of Muntu’s supporters said he was capable of addressing people’s issues and that he is responsible and has integrity. A total of 25% said they wanted to give him a chance to lead the country.


What voters say about their choice of candidate

Jimmy Akena

“He has a historical attachment to this country” — Erute North, Lira

“He is young, bright and a man of integrity” — Lira municipality

“We want change of power”


Kizza Besigye

“He has the potential and has fought for unity for many years” — Kasese municipality

“He has fought for Uganda right from the word go” — Busongora North, Kasese


Amama Mbabazi

“He has greatly worked for this nation. I see (a better) future in him than all the rest” — Kinkiizi West, Kanungu

“I seriously need change in leadership” — Kinkiizi West, Kanungu


Yoweri Museveni

“Because there is peace and development” — Kaberamaido

“Because I want good governance” — Kalaki, Kaberamaido

“He has improved communication networks, e.g. digital migration and phones” — Kaberamaido


Nandala Mafabi

“Suitable for the post because he has promoted peace and security” — Bungokho South, Mbale

“He is a strong leader who responds to people’s needs in time” — Mbale municipality

Mugisha Muntu

“He has stopped chaos, deaths which Besigye had brought” — Ndorwa West, Kabale

“He has led FDC in a peaceful way by not encouraging his supporters to demonstrate” — Ndorwa East


Norbert Mao

“He has a good vision for the youth” — Gulu Municipality

“He is confident and speaks the truth” — Omoro-Gulu


Venansius Baryamureeba

“He is innovative and participated in the

improvement of the education sector” — Kabale


How the survey was conducted

The poll was conducted by Vision Group’s research team between June 12 and June 20, 2015. It covered a sample size of 6,626 households countrywide.


Pauline Gato, Vision Group’s research manager, said the study was conducted in 43 districts in both rural and urban areas. 


“Our target audience was individuals above the age of 18. The study covers issues that cut across the social, political, economic and cultural aspects for both males and females,” she explained.


Based on the 2007/2017 UHDS population projections, Uganda was projected to have 44% of the population aged 18 years and above (eligible voting age). This was the characteristic of interest. 


In other words, the required sample size was calculated according to this proportion. The country was divided into 10 geographical regions of interest and probability proportional to size sampling was used to determine the number of people to be interviewed from each district.


Several demographics were taken into consideration that is, in terms of gender — which fell automatically, the age group — of which only those 18 and above were interviewed, the education level regardless of whether they are literate or not. 


The margin of error was set at ±5%. In order to calculate the required sample size for the study, the country was divided into 10 sub-regions.


Random selection of respondents at household level was done by the use of the Kish grid method to give everybody an opportunity to be chosen for the interview. If the selected respondent was available the interview was then considered successful and the interview was conducted. 


Otherwise, if the selected respondent was not at home call-backs were made and if still unavailable or refused, a substitution was made within the same household following the day’s date (up for even date or down for odd date) otherwise the interviewer had to substitute from the next immediate household, but still looking out for a would-be respondent with similar characteristics as the former.


Within each district, depending on the number of people to be interviewed, parishes were selected in a ratio of 2:1 for rural to urban parishes.


Households were selected using the left hand rule, which required interviewers to skip four households after every successful household targeting the fifth (5) household on the left.


In case the interviewer encountered cross roads then they would take the left turning and only taking a right turn at the end of the roads. 


Respondents were exposed to two screener questions about their votability status. Respondents were asked whether they registered or have a national Identity card and if they will be voting in next year’s elections.


Only respondents who said they had registered or had a national identity card and would be voting in the forthcoming election were interviewed, while those without national IDs or did not register for the same and will not be voting in the forthcoming elections were terminated.


It was also a requirement for a potential respondent to have lived in that area for a period of two or more years. 


The Vision Group Research department has long experience in carrying out market research and opinion polling.

Museveni leads with 71% in new poll

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