Tanzania towards 2015: citizen preferences and views on political leadership

One out of three citizens (33%) on Tanzania Mainland does not know who they will vote for in the upcoming presidential election. No single potential candidate is preferred by more than 15% of the voters. According to poll data collected by Twaweza in September 2014, the front-runners are Edward Lowassa (13%) and Mizengo Pinda (12%) of CCM and Wilbrod Slaa of Chadema (11%). Among CCM supporters, one quarter (24%) say that they will vote for whomever the party chooses.

Comparing parties, half of citizens (51%) report that they will vote for CCM in the presidential election compared to one quarter (23%) preferring Chadema. When asked what they would do if the opposition fields only one candidate, as the coalition UKAWA has promised to do, CCM still leads but its overall support drops to just under half (47%) of all citizens, while almost three out of ten (28%) report that they would vote for the opposition candidate. Significantly, one out of five (19%) say that they will not vote for the party but rather the individual; should most of this group opt to vote for an opposition candidate the contest could become very tight in 2015.

These findings were released by Twaweza in a research brief titled Tanzania towards 2015: citizen preferences and views on political leadership. The brief is based on data from Sauti za Wananchi, Africa’s first nationally representative high-frequency mobile phone survey that interviews households across Tanzania Mainland (Zanzibar is not covered in these results). The main findings are based on data collected from 1,445 respondents in September 2014.

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Authors: Elvis Mushi



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