Election 2020: Wa Central seat in Focus

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A study conducted among electorates in the Wa central constituency indicates that the constituency will experience a shirt and blouse voting as respondents rejected the sitting Member of Parliament, Hon. Rashid Pelpuo.

Sexual Boakye

 

In this survey more women were selected for the study as 53.1% of respondents were women while 46.9% were men. Out of a sample of 316, 78.5% of respondents were the youth (18-35 years).

 

Respondents were selected at the following locations; Kpaguri, Piisi, Kunfabiala, Wa Zongo, Wapaani, Samambo, Dinanso, Bamahu, Sokpayi, Charia, Mangu, Tampaalipaani, Danku, Jonga, Dondoli, Konta, Kumbiehi, Wa Central Market or Kejetia, Kambali Market, Kabanye, Jujeidayiri, Kpogu, Donkpong and Tuomuni.

 

On voting history, 72.5% of the respondents voted in the last parliamentary elections while 27.5% did not vote. Also, the election of Hajia Humu as the NPP parliamentary candidate was greeted with religious issues. This work tested the reasoning of respondents on this delicate matter. But 88.7% of respondents believe in women leadership and will vote for women once they are qualified for the positions. However, 11.3% of respondents said they would not vote for a woman citing many reasons for their decision.

On the upcoming elections, respondents claimed performance of the two candidates; hon. Rashid Pelpuo of the NDC and Haijia Humu Awudu of the NPP will inform their choices.

Performance of candidates came top (35.2%) as the number one factor that voters would consider when voting. This was followed by the personality of the candidates (26.3%) with ethnicity coming last with 1.2%. The third factor being party affiliation would equally play a significant role.

Which of the following factors will influence your voting decision?

Factors

Responses

Percent of Cases

N

Percent

Religion

38

5.8%

12.1%

Ethnicity

8

1.2%

2.5%

Party Affiliation

51

7.7%

16.2%

Gender

35

5.3%

11.1%

Incumbency

17

2.6%

5.4%

Personality of candidate

173

26.3%

55.1%

Performance of candidate

232

35.2%

73.9%

Track Records of NPP

41

6.2%

13.1%

Track Records of NDC

43

6.5%

13.7%

Others

21

3.2%

6.7%

Total

659

100.0%

209.9%

The role of the youth and women in general will decide the winner of this election in Wa central hence respondents were asked to evaluate the performance of the two candidates on job opportunities and women business support. On this, 34.9% believe that Rashid Pelpuo has provided more job opportunities for the youth, and 64.5% believe Hajia Humu Awudu has provided more job opportunities for the youth.

 

This rating is favourable for the NPP and if this reflects in the voting, then Hajia Humu would be victorious in the election. Also, on who will provide more job opportunities in the future for the youth, 34.1% of respondents believe if Rashid Pelpuo is elected again, he would provide more job opportunities for the youth while 65.6% of respondents believe Hajia Humu would do a better job in job provision to the youth if elected.

On women business support, 27.7% of respondents said Rashid Pelpuo has supported women to boost their businesses while 71.9% said Hajia Humu has helped women to grow their businesses. Projecting into the future, 28.5% of respondents said Rashid Pelpuo would provide business support to women if reelected while 71.5% said Hajia Humu would provide more business support to women if elected as the next MP for Wa central.

On the presidential candidates, 28.2% of respondents voted for Nana Addo while 64.4% opted to vote for John Mahama with 7.4% of the respondents rejecting both candidates. Interestingly, the parliamentary election presented an opposite picture of the presidential results.  On the parliamentary elections, 35.6% of them voted for Dr. Rashid Pelpuo while 56.7% of respondents voted for Hajia Humu with 7.7% of respondents also rejecting both Hajia Humu and Rashid Pelpuo as the next MP for Wa central. Therefore, one can predict a shirt and blouse voting in Wa central come Dec.7, 2020.

Shirt and blouse voting is a situation where a voter votes for the presidential candidate of a party and a parliamentary candidate from a different party or even an independent candidate. A critical look at the results presented above is a clear indication of a shirt and blouse voting that is looming.

The outcome of the survey presents the views of respondents as follows;

                                  Presidential                                                       Parliamentary

NDC                         64.4%                                                                  35.6%

NPP                            28.2%                                                                56.7%

From this, it can easily be deduced that the NPP’s Nana Addo would lose some votes in December. In the last general elections, the NPP presidential candidate had 39.05% of valid votes while the NDC candidate had 57.7%. But per this poll, John Mahama would have increased the popular votes share from 57.7% to 64.4%. 

 

On the parliamentary seat, Hajia Humu would have moved the NPP’s share of the votes from 43.56% to 56.7% more than enough for her to be declared victorious. Rashid Pelpuo on the other hand would have lost the elections with a reduction in votes from 44.56% to 35.6%. If this happens, the NDC parliamentary results would have decreased by 8.96% while the NPP would have gained by 13.14%.

But the big question is, is this feasible? In this study, 55.7% of the respondents claimed their choice won in 2016 and they did vote. By inference 55.7% the respondents of this study voted for Rashid Pelpuo in the last election.

First, let’s take a look at the historical performance of both parties in Wa central, a constituency the NPP has never won since 1996.   

NDC vs NPP: Parliament – Historical Performance

1996

2000

2004

2008

2012

2016

NPP

26.8%

33.4%

17.5%

40.2%

39.1%

43.6%

NDC

59.1%

53.1%

51.3%

58.4%

49.3%

44.6%

From the data presented above the following deductions can be made on the losses and gains of the two parties

                   1996-2000            2000-2004              2004-2008     2008-2012    2012-2016

NDC                 -6 %                       -1.8 %               +7.1 %              -9.1 %              -4.7%

NPP                 +6.6%                       -15.9%              +22.7%              -1.1%             +4.5%

The NDC has from 1996 only increased its votes in 2008 while the NPP increased its votes in 2000, 2008, and 2016 with its highest lost recorded in 2004. Cumulatively, the NDC from 1996 has lost 14.5% of its support base in the parliamentary results while the NPP for the same period has gained 19% jump in its parliamentary results.

 

Averagely, the NDC lost 2.9% votes in each election while the NPP gained 3.8% averagely from election to election. In the last general elections, the NDC won with a percentage point (1%) hence if it records the average 2.9% lost with the NPP recording its average 3.8% gain then Hon. Rashid Pelpuo would have been out of parliament.  

 

But every election comes with its dynamics. If the findings of this poll are anything to go by, then candidates’ performance will determine the outcome and that certainly will not favour Rashid Pelpuo. If the election results come as projected, then Rashid Pelpuo would have lost 8.96% of his 2016 votes and Hajia Humu would have increased the NPP’s votes by 13.14%.

 

But is this possible? It is possible for the NDC to lose 8.96% as it lost 9.1% in 2012 just as it is possible for the NPP to gain 13.14% considering the fact that the NPP has increased by 22.7% before in 2008. Interestingly, both NPP and NDC increased their votes in 2008.

But the other factors that influence voters’ decision must not be underrated because if electorates ignore performance as an issue then Hajia Humu will suffer a defeat because those other factors favour Rashid Pelpuo more than Hajia Humu.

 

The introduction of other candidates has always played a role either in favour of the NPP or NDC. This year’s election would rather be a straight one considering the fact that there is no strong third force that can get 1% of the votes.  The PPP parliamentary candidate played a critical role in 2016 but his absence will create another opportunity for both NPP and NDC to get the members to either side.

In conclusion, the current needs of Wa central electorates have gone beyond the sharing of petty items. Performance of political figures will drive the election even though political affiliation is equally important. The expectations of the voters are not what is primarily defined in the 1992 constitution. Lawmaking is not what the people are thinking of.

 

 

Rather, respondents see the MP as a development agent who must ensure that they have good roads, water, health, education, jobs and business support. Which are the things Hajia Humu of the NPP is currently doing. It will therefore be a herculean task for any MP to survive in the coming elections if their records in the areas named above are not satisfactory.  The voters, from their opinions, are more descending which also could be due to the media proliferation in the municipality and region at large as well as the new media.

The writer, David Wuollah-Dire a student researcher.

Writer’s Email: wuollahdire5@gmail.com

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