There seems to be controversy surrounding a poll supposedly conducted by pollster Ben Ephson on the upcoming presidential election.
Over the weekend, Statesmanonline released the results of the polls which put the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, ahead of incumbent President John Dramani Mahama with 8% clear points.
The original polls, which were alleged to have been conducted by Mr Ephson, Editor of the Daily Dispatch newspaper, is said to tip Akufo-Addo to win the December 7 election with 51.90%, nearly eight percentage points ahead of incumbent President John Dramani Mahama, with a 2% margin of error.
Its tips Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) to get 1.10%, followed by Ivor Greenstreet of the Convention People’s Party with 0.70%, Dr Edward Mahama of the People’s National Convention (PNC) with 0.45%, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, National Democratic Party (NDP) with 0.25%, independent candidate, Jacob Osei Yeboah 0.15% and 1.80% people still undecided as to who to vote for.
The general concerns across the country which influenced the responses of the respondents, were the general hardships, high utility bills, corruption and unemployment, among other factors.
As of March 3, this year, the alleged Ephson polls conducted in conjunction with some operatives of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) tipped the NPP to win the presidential election with 51.855%, while the NDC had 41.52 %; followed by another one conducted on June 15, which put the NPP at 50.9%, the NDC 42.10% and then 49.20% for the NPP and 42.25% for the NDC in an August 15 survey, while that of September 7 and November 21, gave the NPP 50.80%, 51.90% and the NDC 43.95% and 43.65% respectively.
The NPP was tipped to win the elections with five regions – Ashanti 76.0%, Eastern 57.5%, Greater Accra 51.5%, Central 50.5% and Western 48.0% – with the NDC expected to put up a strong showing in four regions – Volta78.0, Upper West 64.0%, Upper East 63.5% and Northern 55.5%.
But Mr Ephson is said to be trying hard to massage the outcome of the polls to suit President Mahama and the NDC to say that it would be a close race, but the NDC would win the presidential election with 50.2%.
This is what the pollster is disputing, describing the report as a total fabrication. “It is not true,” he rebutted.
In an interview with DAILY GUIDE yesterday, Mr Ephson denied the supposed polls emanating from his stables. He rather indicated that he’s likely to release his report this week.
Even though he admitted that he had indeed conducted a poll to that effect, he wondered if those making the claims were implying also that polls that had been done which favoured Akufo-Addo were manipulated to his (Akufo-Addo’s) advantage.
In the event that Ben Ephson’s poll tends to predict a win for President Mahama in the upcoming election, it would be the first to put the president ahead of Akufo-Addo since all local and international polls and researches conducted so far put the NPP leader as the winner of the 2016 general election with a wide margin.
Even an international research firm from South Africa contracted by the NDC gave it to Nana Akufo-Addo.
Sources have it that in this last lap to the elections, the NDC reportedly intends to go all out with image denting messages, including the splashing of certain posters in the Ashanti Region to create the impression as though the NPP presidential hopeful was undermining the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
Another is also expected to emerge with Akufo-Addo promising Amoatia Ofori Panin that when elected president he would make him (Okyenhene) greater than the Ashanti monarch – just to spite the king and create disaffection for the NPP in the Ashanti Region.
The NDC has also targeted to snatch not less than 11 parliamentary seats in the region, including that of Adansi Asokwa, by funding the independent candidate there. The rest are Offinso North, Ejura-Sekyedumase, Nyhiaeso, Asante Akim North, Ahafo Ano South-East, Ahafo Ano South-West, Akrofuom, Fomena, Obuasi West and Atwima Mponua.
In the Eastern Region, the NDC is also eyeing Asuogyaman, Nsawam-Adoagyiri, Suhum, Ofoase-Ayirebi [by supporting the PPP candidate], Abirem, Fanteakwa, Lower West Akim and Akwapim South.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu/dailyguideafrica.com