All Kenyan counties are not created equal. In the August 2022 Presidential election, numbers matter. I've therefore crafted what I think is Kenya's first equal-vote map of the 47 counties, based on the final registration figures from the IEBC.
This first graphic has been my main presentation format for the counties so far. This is my latest update, with recent events, polls and predictions incorporated and now with Azimio (Odinga) in royal blue. I've also incorporated learnings from 20 plus county level opinion polls conducted by Mizani since March (https://mizaniafrica.com) which - while not perfect - give a better insight at a granular level to what's happening in under-served counties than any other source. It suggests the race is still neck and neck. Specifically, I've now rerated Kakamega as "in the balance", and Narok as small majority not large majority Ruto. I've kept all ex-Central Province as 'strong Ruto', despite gains made by Karua. But if I'm wrong (some experts have argued Kirinyaga could go Raila) its a decisive mistake and changes the overall result. Although the pro-Ruto PAA party has made gains in Kilifi for Ruto, I've kept the county in the 'Strong Raila' camp for now. I've also clarified that large (for me) means 60-40% or higher for the winning candidate.
But I now have a new presentation format to share for the first time. This new equal-vote map is still not perfect (its impossible to show the northern counties in any way relative to their real locations because of their huge size and tiny population) but it is striking nonetheless. The importance of a relatively few counties (Nairobi, Kiambu, Nakuru Kakamega, Machakos, Meru) in delivering the absolute numbers both parties need to win is clear.
One square is roughly 100,000 registered votes.
Nairobi's 2.4 million voters are probably the key to victory now, but the messages are confusing here. UDA candidates are doing well individually and may take nearly half Nairobi's parliamentary seats, while (controversial) UDA gubernatorial candidate Johnson Sakaja is leading too. However, opinion polls still show Raila as winning Nairobi by nearly 2-1 presidentially, putting it firmly in the 'strong Raila' bucket. In my opinion, Raila will win but it will be closer than that. Ruto's "its the economy", anti-privilege and class-based campaign has appealed directly to urban and peri-urban poor, and my suspicion is that these voters are less easily captured by telephone surveys and more likely to be fearful of pollsters if they are. We shall see!