World largest political risk consultancy, Eurasia Group, has released its forecast for the 2015 presidential election, predicting victory for Muhammadu Buhari, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Eurasia Group stated that Buhari’s victory would be possible by the intensity of supports for his candidature, lacklustre grassroots campaigning by the PDP and the anti-rigging measures put in place by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
According to the group, the APC flag bearer would record a 60% victory against his main rival, President Goodluck Jonathan, who is hoping for reelection.
In an earlier forecast made in August 2014, the group predicted a victory for Jonathan, with a 75% margin against Buhari, Daily Trust reports.
However, in the new estimate made public on March 14, 2015, the political risk advisory said the indicators for the president’s electoral success had switched in favour of the APC candidate.
“We change our election forecast from a narrow win for incumbent Goodluck Jonathan to a victory for opposition leader Muhamadu Buhari (60% probability).
“The electoral map is tilting towards Buhari in the swing regions of the southwest and middle belt, while high turnout in his core northern base will offset Jonathan’s advantage in the Niger Delta,” the forecast read.
Eurasia Group predicted that under Buhari, “reliance on technocratic, business-oriented senior officials will lead to constructive policy initiatives.”
Speaking about the factors that would lead to Jonathan’s defeat, the group named the new permanent voting cards and card readers that would “sharply reduce the level of rigging seen in 2011, when Jonathan beat Buhari in a landslide.”
Another factor, mentioned by the group, was the “enthusiasm gap between the candidates and widespread desire for change” in the country.
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“While we expected the electoral map to favor Jonathan, current trends suggest that the swing regions may side with Buhari, including the Christian-majority and heavily populated South-West around Lagos. That could be the decisive demographic factor in the election.
“Jonathan won the South-West and middle belt handily in 2011, but faces an uphill task now. Buhari has reached out to the southwestern Yoruba community and brought them into the upper ranks of his campaign and potential administration, in a political alliance of the country’s two largest ethnic groups (the Hausa and Yoruba). In contrast, Jonathan has struggled to make inroads with either group.”
Meanwile, Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has predicted the aftermath of the 2015 presidential election, if Muhammadu Buhari emerges victorious after March 28. According to him, all corrupt leaders will immediately run away from Nigeria the moment the APC candidate is announced the winner of the presidential election.