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21.11.2008 Elections

The North says NPP

By The Statesman

Since 1996 when the New Patriotic Party participated fully in Fourth Republican elections, the Upper East, Upper West, Northern and Volta Regions have consistently been won by the National Democratic Congress.

But what many analysts appear to have overlooked is the indisputable fact that although the NPP lost the regions in the 1996, 2000 and 2004 elections, the margin between the two leading parties has shrunk steadily.

Latest polls indicate that the three northern regions particularly are up for grabs in this year's elections, with some leading members of the opposition party set to lose their parliamentary seats.

The facts speak for themselves. In the 1996 election, candidate Kufuor won xxxx

Analysis of the last two elections held in Ghana shows that the NPP has made major in roads into the strong hold or dominance of the National Democratic Congress in the Northern Regions of Ghana.

The voting pattern in these regions is gradually leaning the way of the ruling government.

For instance, in the 2000 election, the NPP obtained 29.5% votes against NDC 50.7% in the Northern; Upper East, NPP 21.4% against NDC 52%; and Upper West, NPP 15.5% against NDC 62.2%.

However in the 2004 election, the huge gaps in these regions were drastically reduced with the NPP obtaining 36.20% of the votes in the Northern Region against that of the NDC 56.94%; Upper East, NPP has 31.66% against NDC 53.90%; and Upper West, NPP 32.23% against NDC 56.67%.

Latest national public opinion survey conducted by Primary Research Associates from October 23 to November 2 indicates that if the December 2008 presidential election was held today the NPP would win 44.0% against NDC 48.0% at Nalerigu; Tamale South, NPP 15.0% against NDC 71.0%; Walewale, NPP 44.4% against NDC 38.4%; and Bongo, NPP 44.0 against NDC 36.0%.

 In Builsa North, NPP would pull 82.0% against NDC 18.0%; Lawra, NPP 65.0% against NDC 29.0%; and Wa Central, NPP 32.0% against NDC 48.0%.

There are serious indications that the seats of the NDC trio of Asaga Moses, Nabdam, Upper East, Benjamin Kumbuor, Lawra Nabdam, and Minority Leader Alban Bagbin, Nadowli, Upper West, are under threat and up for grabs. The trio are expected to loose their parliamentary seats.

From the opinion survey, a kind of north-south presidential voting pattern is discernible. The North which is a collective of Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions, is considered favourable to the NPP.

One lesson Ghanaians should learn from the recent US election is the manner with which strong holds otherwise known as 'World Banks' of political opponent were taken over by their rivals.

And if the trend of recent polls conducted by several reputable pollsters in Ghana should continue in the pattern it has been going, then it will be safe to say for certain that Ghana will imitate the voting path of the US, but this time round not in favour of the opposition but rather the ruling government.

Several opinion polls conducted in the US prior to their election followed a particular trend and were consistent with Obama leading every poll.

A national poll of polls conducted by the US on November 4, on the eve of election gave Obama average gains of +7.4%.

There were almost 300 consecutive national polls that had Obama ahead in this race and the McCain campaign was fully aware that they are in a huge ditch.

Another major point worth mentioning about the similarities about the US election and the upcoming Ghana Elections are the consistence of the opinion polls, which in Ghana, several opinion polls have consistently had the New Patriotic Party leading the race for election 2008.