AMES, Iowa -- With nine months to go until the 2008 Ghana presidential and parliamentary elections the latest Ghana Elections ’08 Polls Group Internet survey finds the New Patriotic Party’s (N.P.P) Nana Akuffo Addo (39.3%) leading among likely voters, while Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom(30.8%) of the Convention Peoples Party (C.P.P) polling 2nd. Nana Addo is more than ten percentage points ahead of Prof. John Evans Atta Mills (29.9 percent) leader of the National Democratic Congress (N.D.C). 93.7% of respondents said they were Ghanaian citizens. Whiles 71.8% said they were registered to vote in Ghana, 28.2% weren’t. Please note that this survey was primarily posted but not limited to users of Facebook, the popular social networking site and has been up since January 2008. The sample also included users of hi5, another popular social networking site among Ghanaians living in and outside the country.
Generally the survey was popularized among internet users worldwide where a Ghanaian community was deemed to congregate. Social Networking Sites have become popular new media trends (Levy & Stone,2006) and have been accepted by researchers and the academic community as part of modern mass communication methods. Internet usage in particular has gradually increased since 1990s allowing researchers to gain access to huge numbers of people at cheaper cost. (Pew research Foundation 1998,2000). The concept of social networking is built on the idea/theory of social capital which is based on reciprocity transactions(Frank & Yasumoto,1998), behavior influence and social control, promotion of participatory democracy and the boosting of a candidate’s image.(Farqular,2008) . Computer IPs was recorded and respondents were allowed to vote only once.
Nana Akuffo Addo
Paa Kwesi Nduom
John Atta Mills
Kwesi Amofa Yeboah
There was a response rate of 91.2% among a total of 114 people surveyed. Voters from the C.P.P (79.4%) were the most satisfied with their candidate when asked the question: Do you think the C.PP (and other parties as the case may be) elected the right candidate. 67.3% said the N.P. P elected the right candidate while N.D.C voters were the most dissatisfied with their candidate with only 42.2% thinking Atta Mills was the right choice. Last year the former Vice President beat Ekow Spio Garbrah for the N.D.C party ticket. Respondents said they were likely to vote for a different party other than the N.P.P and the N.D.C if that party had a fair chance of winning giving credence to popular notion that Ghanaians are ready to experiment with a new party in power. This was in response to the question: would you vote for a different party other than the NPP or the NDC if that party had a good chance of winning the election. 57.9% said yes 22.4% said No, whiles 20.6% said maybe. Specifically probable voters said they will vote for the C.P.P (85.7%).
Research has shown that the use of the internet can help “reach traditionally hard to reach groups, enhanced political engagement, enhanced dialogue and candidate accessibility”.
Which party are you likely to vote for other than the NDC and NPP
Ghana Democratic Republican Party (GDRP)
Ghana National Party(GNP)
Every Ghanaian Living Everywhere(EGLE)
Democratic Freedom Party(DFP)
The Ghana Elections ’08 Polls was compiled through an internet survey tool from January-March 28 2008. Of the total number of respondents polled 49.5% live in Ghana, 0.9% in another African country and 48% said they lived in a country not in Africa. The new poll presents a much different picture in the race than generally assumed where the top two candidates were Nana Akuffo Addo and John Atta Mills—leaders of the two biggest parties in Ghana. What this means is that Dr Nduom known in certain circles as the long shot candidate has a realistic chance of doing well at the December elections and probably winning the presidency. If that happens it will be the first time Ghana’s founding party the CPP has returned to power since the overthrow of its founder and leader Dr Kwame Nkrumah in 1966.
Among likely voters 70.9% were male whiles females accounted for 29.1% showing a low interest in politics by women in general. However those who took the survey seemed to be closely following politics in Ghana—a good sign for participatory democracy in the country.
How closely have you been following news about candidates for Ghana ’08 elections
Not too closely
Not at all
On the performance of the Kufuor administration 40% of respondents said the president was doing a good job whiles 45% said he was doing a poor job with the remaining 15% ticking fair. However responses were different when voters were asked the question: would you like to see a candidate continue with Kufuor’s policies or take the country in a different direction? Only 39.6% said they wanted to new leader to continue with Kufuor’s policies giving an indication that Nana Addo should not necessarily run his campaign on the achievements of the Kufuor administration.
Would you like to see a candidate continue with Kufuor’s policies or take the country in a different direction?
Continue with Kufuor’s policies
Steer the country in a different direction
I don’t care
While the responses show how people would have voted if they had the chance to vote in the December elections it is by no means generalizable in toto since the survey was mostly limited to those who had access to computers. It could however give a clear indication of voting pattern among the educated, working class, students and elites in Ghana—a demographic group who are hard to convince and where candidates should be looking to in order to convince a considerable number of independents. Also even though Ghanaians seem to be generally interested in the political development of their country very few were registered party members. 9.6% of respondents said they were members of a registered party while 90.4% said they hadn’t registered with any political party. This may be an indication of a large number of floating voters in the country. On the whole 60.2 per cent of persons surveyed said they were likely to vote in the upcoming elections.
Are you likely to vote in these elections?
I cannot vote
Considering the fierce nature of the party primaries the polls sought to find out who voters would have chosen as their candidate if they were part delegates. Ekwow Spio Garbrah(27.3%) topped the list of potential candidates giving an indication that the former minister of state blessed with excellent oratory skills has enough political capital to try another time for the NDC’s presidential ticket. He led Kofi Annan and Prof Badu Akosa (both tied at 16.2%) by more than ten percentage points.
Who would you have liked to see running as a candidate
Ekow Spio Garbrah
Prof Badu Akosa
I’m satisfied with the candidates chosen
In the past the parties have debated ways of chosing candidates to involve a much larger population similar to US presidential primaries. Nevertheless it appears voters would not have made different choices from what party delegates did last year. The question still remains as to whether people are beginning to view politics differently and if more and more qualified people are being attracted to the profession.
Overall, what’s your impression of the candidates running for this years election. (As a group)
On the issues
Respondents said they were more likely to vote on issues and policies (64.4%) than the quality of a candidate (43.3%) or party affiliation (2.9%). If this is anything to go by the party’s should prepare for a long haul of policy debates especially from the country’s literate population instead of expecting people to vote en masse. Education, poverty, unemployment, the economy and national security seemed to feature most when voters were asked what they wanted to hear candidates talk about. Here’s a sample list of issues respondents mentioned as important to them—and which candidates should be paying attention to:
· Constitutional and Judicial reform
· What they would do to compact the loss of our native languages.... Example, make reading and writing native languages a mandate in the new Education Reform.
· social welfare of citizens
· an excellent system of national identification, mechanized the agric sector and improve agro-processing capabilities of the economy, pay attention to industrial/manufacturing sector seriously, improve IT and communication, make conscious efforts to support institutions of higher learning to undertake meaningful research
· Improvement of education, revising the national health insurance scheme (probably allowing private entities to handle it instead of the government. Rethinking the way they treat employees. Relooking Ghanaian stance on globalization and agriculture.
· the economy
· Poverty Alleviation and accountability
· Improvement in the quality of life for the average Ghanaian which will ball down to salaries
· Well I think this has been put together by a presidential candidate - probably Paa kwesi Nduom. They should know more than us.
· Security Healthcare Education Economy
· The country and not themselves!!
· Per capita income of Ghanaians
· internal security, that is, protection from armed robbers etc
· socio-economic development
· employment for the youth
· Being competent and not just trying to SOUND like they can do the job!!!
· National Unity
· That all himself and all his ministers will declare their assets and work to reduce corruption
· civil order
· Creation of Jobs & Wealth
· Creating the environment for equal opportunity for people desiring to progress in the country
· Wealth Creation for Ghanaians.
· improving agriculture
The Ghana Election ’08 Polls Group will like to thank all who took part in this survey!
About the Group
The Ghana Elections ’08 polls Group is an initiative which provides the most up to date results on voter preferences and the public’s feelings and attitudes towards candidates and the political process in the country. This is done through frequent surveys utilizing innovative techniques and will be pre tested for accuracy. The Group uses empirical methods to evaluate the study and report on the public perception of the candidates in the upcoming elections. Survey answers are anonymous. This initiative is independent, non-partisan, and invites participation from all interested persons.