After Research International & Synovate Fiasco In 2008, 2012
The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), is as usual busily tickling itself with all manner of opinion polls, saying it flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo, 72, has already won the December 7, 2016 Presidential Election.
But doubts have emerged about the independence and credibility of the latest polls claimed to be Political scientists at the University of Ghana’s Political Science Department, because the lead researcher, Dr. Isaac Owusu-Mensah, is a known sympathizer of the NPP.
The Herald’s investigations have revealed that, Dr. Isaac Owusu Mensah, has for years been working with the NPP as the Programme Officer of the party’s German partners, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) in the Ghana Office located in Osu Badu Street in Accra.
So far, there have been almost four to five polls projecting victory for NPP, but the scientific reasoning behind these polls remain extremely doubtful just like those of Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey’s Research International and the Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko’s engineered Synovate polls churn out in 2008 and 2012 in the name of the party.
Interestingly, Dr. Isaac Owusu-Mensah’s doubtful research, is exciting the grassroots of the NPP, which has been in opposition for the past eight years.
The KAS is a political foundation, affiliated to the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU). It is named after the first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Konrad Adenauer, who was co-founded of the CDU with conservative and liberal traditions.
It is currently the ruling party in Germany with Chancellor Angela Dorothea Merkel, as its leader.
Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) in the Ghana Office, has been funding activities of the NPP for years. This has been through the training of national executives of the party, polling station agents among others.
It was the same Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) in the Ghana Office, which facilitated Akufo-Addo’s visit to German and his meetings with the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.
Media report had claimed that, Political scientists at the University of Ghana’s Political Science Department, have said that the NPP, would take the lead over the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) if the upcoming general elections were to be held now, based a 3-month long election research in some key constituencies in various regions of the country.
According to them, this is because the NDC is losing its grip in key swing constituencies in the country.
Dr. Isaac Owusu Mensah, later in an interview on Citi FM’s Eyewitness News, said the research focused on twenty-four (24) swing constituencies.
“In the swing constituencies, our findings showed that the NDC is losing its strength in the constituencies and are losing it to the NPP,” he said.
He noted that, in the Greater Accra Region, the NDC had lost some support in areas such as Madina Zongo, and that suggests the gap between the parties will be close in the upcoming polls.
“For the National data, the NPP is in the lead with 49.4% of the votes from the swing constituencies.. per our findings, the NPP can win the elections in the first round depending on how well it mobilizes its resources. Even if they don’t win in the first round, they will be in the lead,” he said.
Dr. Owusu stated that, although the research was not emphatic on the chances of parliamentary candidates, its projections showed that the NDC’s Zanetor Rawlings will win the Klottey Korle parliamentary seat.
He added that “for Madina, NPP has taken Madina,” adding that, the NPP will have majority seats in the next parliament, adding that their findings have also revealed that the NDC’s planned 1.5 million votes in the Ashanti Region was impossible; but could still maintain about 30 per cent of the total votes cast.
Dr. Isaac Owusu Mensah noted that, although he believes the research captures the realities on the grounds ahead of the elections, the various candidates and parties involved can affect the dynamics if they effectively mobilize and deploy the resources to secure their victory.
Meanwhile, another poll allegedly carried out by Papa Kwesi Nduom’s GN Research, has claimed that 51 percent of Ghanaians were confident that the flagbearer of the NPP, was the best candidate to address unemployment, health and educational issues in the country when voted as president.
It claimed that the survey carried out in Accra with sample size of 3,000 respondents, said apart from Nana Addo, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), also received high approval ratings.
However, 59.2 percent expressed their dissatisfaction with the general performance of President John Dramani Mahama in tackling these issues.
Emmanuel Edah, a Senior Research Analyst of GN (Groupe Nduom) Research, revealed it at the official outdooring of its survey on this year’s elections and the perception of the media and their role in successful polls.
The Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU’s), had earlier reported on Ghana’s election, also predicting first round victory for the NPP.
It, however, stated that, there was the possibility of the election results being disputed, but confident that “Ghana’s democratic and judicial systems are strong enough to prevent any systemic threat to the country’s stability.”
It foresaw “tensions will therefore, ebb after the election period is concluded.”
According to the EIU, “January 2017 should see the next administration take power, but the likelihood of a second round of voting being required in the presidential election, coupled with the distinct possibility of disputed results amid tense political environment, could disrupt this transition,” the report noted.
Few months ago, the NPP had claimed that Bureau of National Security (BNI) in collaboration with pollster, Ben Ephson, poll, were been ordered by the First Lady, Lordina Mahama, to do a survey which concluded that Nana Akufo-Addo was winning the election. It was later denied by the National Security Council Secretariat on June 29, 2016.
Dr. Isaac Owusu Mensah’s polls released on Wednesday, said the governing NDC, would also record a rate of 39.9 percent.
The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) would also record 5percent whiles the Convention People’s Party (CPP) will gather 1.7 percent.
The National Democratic Party (NDP) would get 1.7 percent approval and Dr Edward Mahama of the PNC would record 0.2 percent respectively. The margin of error was said to be between 2 to 3 percent.
The 3-month research focused on twenty-four (24) swing constituencies in seven out of the ten regions. The Eastern, Ashanti and the Volta Regions were the regions left out by the researchers.
According to the researchers, 3 percent of the respondents said they were not ready to vote for an independent candidate whiles 0.9 percent of the respondents failed to give an answer.
Dr Owusu-Mensah, indicated that issues that the respondents said would affect the direction of their votes included job creation, education and healthcare.
He said on education, the respondents explained that, they were concerned about their failure to pay school fees for their children due to what they described as hardships in the economy.
On healthcare, the respondents were particularly worried about the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) which they felt had collapsed.
He said the microfinance scam popularly referred to as the DKM might also dictate the direction of voters in the Brong Ahafo Region.
According to Dr. Isaac Owusu-Mensah, the respondents argued that the failure of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to regulate the microfinance companies make the government guilty. “And I want to state the NDC has more work to do to win the elections especially as the party won with not more than 300,000 votes, the NPP has an upper hand…,” Dr Owusu-Mensah said.