The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has lost its political grip in Northern Kenya, where the ruling United Democratic Alliance (UDA) has capitalised on the shift, emerging as the most popular political outfit in the region, a new report published by TIFA shows.
According to the report, the number of people supporting UDA in the region rose to 45 per cent in July 2023 up from 31 per cent at the same juncture the previous year.
In 2022, ODM and Jubilee were the preferred political parties in the area, with a combined popularity rate of 51 per cent compared to UDA's 31 per cent.
“Just in late July last year, TIFA found that ODM and Jubilee combined were far more popular than was UDA (51% vs. 31%), yet now UDA is twice as popular as ODM there, with Jubilee’s support minimal,” TIFA’s report reads in parts.
In contrast, UDA has retained popularity in its strongholds.
As of July 2023, UDA was still the most popular party in the Central Rift and Mount Kenya regions with approval rates of 48 per cent and 45 per cent respectively.
Similarly, ODM’s biggest stronghold remains Nyanza where it is was leading with an approval rate of 40 per cent.
The Raila-led party was also leading in Coast with an approval rate of 23 per cent with UDA close behind at 21 per cent during the period under review.
That being said, TIFA noted that since last year both parties have seen shifts in terms of support.
“Over the last two years, there have been several major shifts in the distribution of political party support, the most notable being the rise of UDA and the erratic rise and fall of those either undecided or declining to identify with any party," TIFA elaborated.
"However, most recently – since March – it is the decline of support for both UDA and ODM (from 45% to 34% for the former and from 29% to 18% for the latter), and the dramatic increase in the proportion of those unaligned (from 14% to 40%)."
Kenya Kwanza as a whole despite being the preferred coalition has lost 14 per cent of its supporters just as Azimio La Umoja has lost 12 per cent.
Meanwhile, Jubilee’s influence in the country has significantly waned.
Currently, the number of Kenyans who are undecided about their political affiliations is steadily rising, having tripled in just under one year. The number of undecided Kenyans stands at 36 per cent up from 13 per cent last year.