The Ripples Nigeria poll, published October 5, 2020, ahead of the Ondo State governorship election, scored a near perfect prediction of a win for incumbent Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
Akeredolu was declared winner of the election held on Saturday by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The October 5 online poll attracted 1,001, 508 views. Sixteen thousand, eight hundred and thirty-seven (16,837) votes were cast, with Akeredolu securing 8,331, representing 49.5 percent of total votes.
The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Eyitayo Jegede, received 7, 394 votes, representing 43.9 percent, while the Deputy Governor of the state, and candidate of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Agboola Ajayi came a distant third with 406 votes, representing 2.4 percent. The remaining 14 candidates polled 706 votes, representing 4.2 percent.
In the election conducted on Saturday, October 10, a total of 572, 745 valid votes were cast.
The results, as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), returned Akeredolu of the APC as winner, having polled a total of 292, 830 votes, representing 51.13 percent. His closest challenger, Jegede of the PDP, polled a total of 195, 791 votes, representing 34.18 percent, to come second.
Ajayi of the ZLP, who came third, polled a total of 69, 127 votes, representing 12.07 percent, while other candidates polled a total of 14, 997 votes, representing 2.62 percent.
With an error margin of 1.63 percent, the Ripples Nigeria poll was almost perfectly close to the mark.
The online survey had triggered massive social media engagements, especially on Facebook.
As had been reported, “Both Governor Akeredolu and Eyitayo Jegede had a fair share of the engagements in their favour, while the ZLP candidate, Deputy Governor Agboola Ajayi, had more of the negative trolls, on account of his double defection, first from APC to PDP, and PDP to ZLP.”
It is unsure how the social media conversations may have impacted the final outcomes, as findings overtime have shown that not many commentators go beyond these platforms to exercise their franchise.
It is probable, as claimed in some quarters, that widespread vote buying and violence in the Saturday October 10, 2020 election may have impacted the final results.
Reports by independent election monitors like YIAGA Africa, however, indicate that the infringements were minor, and not enough to question the integrity of the election.
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