Research Shows Edo South Not More Than 46.50% Voting Population

Research Shows Edo South Not More Than 46.50% Voting Population

Wale Igbintade

A research by The Prove Foundation has shown that Edo South’s claim of having 60 per cent voting population is not true after all.

The research, released by the Coordinator, Omotola Ariyo, a former associate at Morgan Stanley and an analyst at Goldman Sachs, showed a voting pattern across the three senatorial districts of the state.

The research proved to the contrary the age-long assumptions that the majority Edo South senatorial zone accounts for about 60 per cent of Edo State’s voting population.

Findings from the research put Edo South at 46.50 per cent, Edo North at 35.50 per cent and Edo Central at 18 per cent.

It debunked the much-acclaimed majority that is usually associated with Edo South (which is always put at between 55 and 60 per cent voting population) in the 2020 governorship election, settling down at a contributed 46.50 per cent of the votes to the outcome of that election.

According to Ariyo, “the report goes beyond mere statistics but explore the underlying factors influencing voter behaviour and election outcomes.

“This includes an assessment of socio-political dynamics, economic influences, and other critical elements that have played a pivotal role in shaping the electoral decisions of the populace.”

He noted: “Our analyses indicated that the 2016 gubernatorial elections in Edo State showed that the political dynamics weighed in favour of the two major parties, APC and PDP, and this cut across the three zones.

“The APC emerged as the victor in that election with a significant margin of 66,310 votes. Analysis of the voting pattern showed a clear geographic divide in party preferences, with APC dominating in Edo North and Edo-South, while PDP was the favourite in Edo Central.

“Our analysis further showed that contrary to the commonly cited figure, Edo-South accounted for 48.37% of the votes, not the 60% often claimed, indicating a substantial but not dominating influence on the electoral outcome.

“This figure, coupled with the 32.23% from Edo North and the 19.40% from Edo Central, with a 15.85% vote difference between Edo South and Edo North, underscored the diverse political inclinations within the state.

‘However, the 2020 gubernatorial elections in Edo State marked a significant shift in political alignment, with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) defeating the All Progressive Congress (APC) by 83,538 votes.

“A marked decrease in overall turnout was noted, with 527,984 total votes cast, reflecting a reduction of 44,672 from the previous election. Edo North increased its contribution to 35.50%, up from 32% in 2016, while Edo South’s share decreased to 46.50% from 48%. Edo Central’s contribution also saw a decline to 18%.

“These changes narrowed the gap between Edo South and Edo North by 4.85%. Our analyses implicated factors that contributed to APC’s loss to include a lack of support from federal members and governors within the APC, perceived hypocrisy due to the party leader’s past criticism of their candidate Pastor Ize Iyamu, a united front from PDP stalwarts including Obaseki, Shaibu, Orbih, and Governor Wike, and insufficient mobilisation efforts at the grassroots level by the APC.

‘While our analysis showed that the 2023 presidential and senatorial election data cannot be used for a one-to-one comparison with the 2016 and 2020 gubernatorial data due to anomalies that do not exist in gubernatorial elections, the 2023 presidential and senatorial elections in Edo State underscored a notable realignment in voter preferences, showcasing the emergence of the Labour Party (LP) as a formidable force.

“In the presidential race, the LP achieved a striking victory, securing 331,163 votes. This figure surpassed the vote counts of the traditional political heavyweights, APC and PDP, in previous gubernatorial contests and signaled a considerable transition in the electorate’s alignment.

“Despite an increase in voter engagement from the 2020 elections, participation levels did not reach the heights of the 2016 elections, indicating variable voter enthusiasm.”

The study concluded that each party’s success would likely depend on its ability to identify and promote candidates whose attributes resonate with the electorate’s regional sentiments and demands for competent governance.

“For APC, the focus is on reinforcing its northern base and extending its appeal southward. PDP must work on solidifying its central dominance and expanding its influence.  At the same time, LP’s strategy hinges on building upon its southern inroads and narrowing the gap in the north.”

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