General News of Saturday, 12 January 2019
None of the political parties in Ghana will attain more than 50 per cent of the votes to clinch power if elections were to be held today, a research by the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana (UG) has revealed.
The research gathered the views of 5,000 Ghanaian voters, sampled from 590 electoral areas in 80 constituencies across all the 10 regions, on the performance of the New Patriotic Party-led government since it took office in January 2017.
When asked to indicate which party they would vote for if elections were held today, 2,433 of the voters representing, 48.9 per cent, said they would vote for the NPP, while 1,600 of them, representing, 32. 2 per cent, indicated that they would vote for the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
It also emerged that 3.3 per cent, 1.7 per cent, 0.4 per cent and 0.2 per cent of the respondents indicated that they would vote for the Progressive People’s Party (PPP),Convention People’s Party (CPP), People’s National Convention (PNC) and National Democratic Party (NDP), respectively.
Meanwhile, more than half of the respondents said they would prefer Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and former President John Mahama as presidential candidates for the NPP and the NDC, respectively in the 2020 general election.
The department held a forum in Accra last Wednesday to disseminate the findings of the research.
The study, on the theme: “Voter Perception of Two Years of NPP Government,” was sponsored by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), a German political foundation.
Outlining the key findings of the presentation, the Head of the Political Science Department, UG, Dr Maame Gyekye-Jandoh, who led the presentation, said the findings suggested that all the political parties ought to intensify their operations “if they really want to secure a one-touch victory in 2020.
She said the study also identified job creation and economic opportunities as major factors that would influence the decision of a majority of voters ahead of the 2020 election.
Meanwhile, touching on the performance of the ruling government in the areas of job creation and economic opportunities, she said only five per cent of the respondents saw new opportunities emerging, while 43.8 per cent said opportunities were improving.
“In spite of the many employment-related programmes initiated by the government, a significant 28.1 per cent said things were getting worse. How does the government deal with this disconnect?”
“Voters’ assessment of the government’s economic performance shows they are not satisfied with their living conditions. For instance, 46.5 per cent said government’s economic policies have not led to improvement in their conditions. Only 42.6 per cent claimed they had seen improved living conditions,” she said.
However, assessing the implications of the findings, an Electoral Historian and Senior Lecturer at the Political Science Department of the UG, Mr Kaakyire Frempong, said there was “limited communication” about the activities of the government which, he said, was to blame for the inability of the respondents to appreciate some of its policies.
With regard to the perception of the respondents on corruption, the study showed that a majority of them, representing 88.4 per cent, “think there is corruption in the country”.
Meanwhile, one-third of the respondents, representing, 36.2 per cent, indicated that the government was not involved in the “perceived” existence of corruption in the country but, called on the President to lead the fight against it.
In her presentation, Dr Gyekye-Jandoh stated that “there is no strong indication that the president is fighting corruption, because only 22.9 per cent said the president is fighting corruption by the establishment of the Special Prosecutor’s office”.
In an interview after the forum, Mr Frempong urged the government to take the findings seriously because “our electoral history shows that a ruling party which has ignored such concerns had done so at its peril”.