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Barasa ahead of Malala in Kakamega gubernatorial race, opinion poll shows

ODM’s Fernandes Barasa is the most popular candidate in the Kakamega gubernatorial contest, according to Mizani Africa’s latest opinion poll.

Results of the survey indicate that if elections were to be held today, Barasa would emerge victorious with 53.5 per cent of the votes ahead of ANC candidate Cleophas Malala, who would garner 39 per cent of the votes. The polls placed former Lugari MP, Cyrus Jirongo, a distant third with 5.4 per cent.

Mr Malala, who is the current senator of Kakamega, was initially the leading contender for the seat, but debutant Barasa has since overtaken him.

The Kakamega governor race has become a major battleground for Raila Odinga’s Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Coalition and Kenya Kwanza Alliance of Deputy President William Ruto.

The two leading coalitions have made numerous visits to the county in an effort to sway the voters. Regardless, the county is still perceived to be one of Mr Odinga’s strongholds.

In the senatorial race, former Senator Bonny Khalwale is way ahead of the competition with a 62.4 per cent lead. Brian Lishenga is a distant second with 17.5 per cent.

Mr Khalwale, who is running on a United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ticket, is seeking to recapture the seat that he vacated in 2017 when he ran against and lost to outgoing governor Wycliffe Oparanya.

In the Woman Representative race, ODM’s Elsie Muhanda is the most popular candidate with 38.3 per cent followed by nominated senator Naomi Shiyonga with 25.8 per cent.