NANA AKUFO-ADDO, presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), would win Ghana's impending presidential elections by between 52 and 54 percent, says the latest poll results collected from both foreign and local reputable research firms.
Some of the pollsters are Primary Research Associates, Research International (RI) and Danquah Institute, an Accra-based research and communication outfit.
The surveys conducted in October 2008 show that Nana Addo's chances gradually accelerated from a little above 40 percent in March, to 47 percent in August and currently hovers between 52 to 54 percent.
NPP National Campaign Chairman, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey disclosed the results last Thursday at an urbane soiree the flagbearer held for journalists.
In the latest opinion poll by the Primary Research Associates, Nana Akufo-Addo is in the lead with 50.5 percent. The survey polled 3,000 respondents in 30 constituencies in all the 10 regions of Ghana.
The question put to respondents was: “If the 2008 Presidential election was held today, who will you vote for?”
NDC's Prof J.E.A Mills had 35.6 percent; Dr. Nduom of CPP polled 7 percent and PNC's Dr. Edward Mahama got 2.1 percent with DFP's Emmanuel Ansah-Antwi having 0.4 percent while 4.2 percent of the respondents were undecided.
The poll targeted 100 respondents in 5 electoral areas in each of the 30 constituencies.
The highest constituency percentage polled by Nana Akufo-Addo was in Asante Akyem North with 89 percent whilst the highest constituency percentage won by Prof Atta-Mills was in Ketu South with 78 percent. Nana Akufo-Addo's worst showing was in Ketu South with 10 percent.
Walewale, Bongo, Yilo Krobo and Pru which were won by Prof Mills in the 2004 elections have turned in favour of Nana Akufo-Addo.
Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey said a significant factor boosting the NPP's chances has been the approval ratings of President John Agyekum Kufuor.
He said contrary to the perception by critics in Accra, President Kufuor's approval ratings moved from 73 percent to 80 percent between August and October this year, and that the goodwill he enjoys among Ghanaians has trickled down on the NPP's chances at the polls.
“And if you do not believe me, there are other things that you can look at. Ben Ephson has come out with a survey on the regions where he says that the NPP would increase its seats but drop marginally in the presidential elections. Now, since the Central region has 19 seats and we have about 16 of those 19, for us to increase our seats mean that we have something close to the whole 19”, the campaign chairman noted.
Mr. Obetsebi Lamptey continued: “I am a firm believer in market surveys research and I believe research should be a guide post; not something that you lean on but something that you lean against. And within this campaign, we have extensively used polling and market researches on our own, kept an eye on what others are doing and we also buy out from reputable research companies.”
Speaking on the current state of the party's campaign, Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey said the NPP strategically waged a campaign that was based on timing in a bid to ensure that the campaign peaks at the time the voting would take place.
He said the above informed the party's decision to hold early presidential primary as well as the time to launch its manifesto.
Jake sounded very confident that the NPP would win the December polls, and said that reports from the various regions support his belief.
The soiree, aimed at growing the rapport between the NPP and the Ghanaian media, had a dramatic twist when journalists present were asked by celebrated music star, Kwabena Kwabena, to join him in singing a campaign song he had composed for the NPP.
Kwabena Kwabena, who performed the song at the event, put the entire house in a sort of amusing tension as journalists, wanting to appear apolitical, could not join in singing an NPP campaign song but with glued lips and smiling faces, cautiously responded to the music by slight body movements as they remained seated.
By Halifax Ansah-Addo