in Stories

Poll confusing

A poll by the Financial Gazette revealed confusing results with unweighted data showing that President Robert Mugabe would win the 2002 presidential elections while the weighted data showed that Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai would win.

The raw unweighted data showed that 33.5 percent of respondents planned to vote for President Mugabe, 30 percent intended to vote for MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai, while, significantly, 31.3 percent were still undecided; and 5.2 percent did not plan to vote.

When the data was weighted to remove those respondents who were undecided and who did not intend to vote, it showed that 52.9 percent of the electorate would vote for Tsvangirai and 47.1 percent for Mugabe.

The poll was conducted by a South African company Target Research.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 01HARARE3398, NEW ZIMBABWE SURVEY PORTENDS CLOSE PRESIDENTIAL

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01HARARE3398

2001-11-14 14:24

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

141424Z Nov 01

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ5235

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 03398 01 OF 02 141508Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 USNW-00 DINT-00 DODE-00

DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   FAAE-00 FBIE-00

VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   LAB-01   L-00     VCE-00

AC-01   NSAE-00 OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PC-01   PM-00

PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00

DSCC-00 DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /008W

——————3E1C2E 141509Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0271

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 003398

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR CHARLES NEARY

NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/14/11

TAGS: PGOV PINR ZI

SUBJECT: NEW ZIMBABWE SURVEY PORTENDS CLOSE PRESIDENTIAL

ELECTION

 

 

CLASSIFIED BY POLITICAL OFFICER TODD FAULK FOR REASONS:

1.5 (B) AND (D).

 

1. (U) IN ITS NOVEMBER 8-14 EDITION, THE INDEPENDENT

“FINANCIAL GAZETTE” IN A SPECIAL INSERT PUBLISHED THE

RESULTS OF A NATIONWIDE OPINION SURVEY IT COMMISSIONED

TO DETERMINE SUPPORT FOR ZIMBABWE’S LEADING PRESIDENTIAL

CANDIDATES. THE RAW UNWEIGHTED DATA SHOW THAT 33.5

PERCENT OF RESPONDENTS PLAN TO VOTE FOR PRESIDENT

MUGABE, 30 PERCENT INTEND TO VOTE FOR MDC PRESIDENT

MORGAN TSVANGIRAI, WHILE, SIGNIFICANTLY, 31.3 PERCENT

ARE STILL UNDECIDED; 5.2 PERCENT DO NOT PLAN TO VOTE.

THE UNWEIGHTED DATA ARE BIASED IN FAVOR OF MUGABE

BECAUSE A LARGE PERCENTAGE OF PEOPLE REFUSED TO

PARTICIPATE IN THE SURVEY OUT OF FEAR OF RULING PARTY

REPRISALS, ACCORDING TO THE “GAZETTE” ARTICLES. WHEN

THE DATA IS WEIGHTED TO REMOVE THOSE RESPONDENTS WHO ARE

UNDECIDED AND WHO DO NOT INTEND TO VOTE, THEY SHOW THAT

52.9 PERCENT OF THE ELECTORATE WOULD VOTE FOR TSVANGIRAI

AND 47.1 PERCENT WOULD VOTE FOR MUGABE.

 

“SMALL VICTORY” FOR MDC

———————–

 

2. (U) THE “GAZETTE” POLL SHOWS THAT AFTER WEIGHING THE

RESULTS TO ACCOUNT FOR THE MDC SUPPORTERS WHO REFUSED TO

PARTICIPATE, THE MDC’S SUPPORT HAS GROWN IN ALL

PROVINCES SINCE THE 2000 PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION, EXCEPT

IN BULAWAYO, WHERE ZANU-PF PICKED UP SOME SUPPORT. FOR

EXAMPLE, IN THE ZANU-PF STRONGHOLD OF MASHONALAND

CENTRAL, 28.8 PERCENT OF THE ELECTORATE PLANS TO VOTE

FOR TSVANGIRAI, UP FROM THE 20 PERCENT OF THE VOTES THE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 03398 01 OF 02 141508Z

MDC RECEIVED IN 2000, ACCORDING TO THE SURVEY.

IMPORTANTLY, HOWEVER, SUPPORT FOR MUGABE REMAINS ABOVE

50 PERCENT IN ALL THREE MASHONALAND PROVINCES. IN THE

KEY BATTLEGROUND PROVINCE OF MASVINGO, MUGABE RETAINS

THE UPPERHAND WITH 56.6 PERCENT OF VOTERS BACKING HIM

COMPARED TO 43.4 PERCENT FOR TSVANGIRAI. SUPPORT FOR

THE MDC HAS GROWN SLIGHTLY IN HARARE AND THE

MATABELELAND PROVINCES. IN BULAWAYO, THE “GAZETTE”

EXPLAINED THAT ZANU-PF’S INCREASE WAS DUE TO THE

EXCLUSION OF INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES FROM THE SURVEY.

BULAWAYO HAD A LARGE NUMBER OF INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES IN

2000, AND MOST OF THEIR SUPPORTERS DECIDED TO THROW

THEIR WEIGHT BEHIND ZANU-PF RATHER THAN THE MDC.

 

3. (C) ON NOVEMBER 8, POLOFF SPOKE TO PROFESSOR

MASIPULA SITHOLE, A UNIVERSITY OF ZIMBABWE LECTURER,

COLUMNIST, AND DIRECTOR OF THE INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC

OPINION. SITHOLE CHARACTERIZED THE “GAZETTE” SURVEY AS

“A SMALL VICTORY FOR THE MDC.” THE RESULTS OF THE 2000

REFERENDUM AND PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS WERE NARROW —

AND THE 2002 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION WILL BE AS WELL — SO

ANY GAIN IN SUPPORT IS IMPORTANT FOR THE MDC’S CHANCES,

SITHOLE OPINED. HE STATED THAT THE FIVE BY-ELECTIONS OF

THE LAST YEAR BROKE NO NEW GROUND FOR EITHER PARTY. A

CRITICAL FACTOR IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION WILL BE

VOTER TURNOUT. IT HAS TRADITIONALLY BEEN LOW (45-50

PERCENT) IN PRESIDENTIAL POLLS, BUT IS LIKELY TO BE MUCH

HIGHER THIS TIME AROUND, A FACTOR THAT FAVORS THE MDC,

HE STATED. HIS INSTITUTE IS CURRENTLY TABULATING THE

RESULTS OF ITS OWN SURVEY (1800 RESPONDENTS), WHICH

FOCUSED ON VOTER APATHY AND VOTER TURNOUT. THE RESULTS

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 03398 01 OF 02 141508Z

SHOULD BE RELEASED IN ABOUT TWO WEEKS, HE SAID. THE

RESPECTED HELEN SUZMAN FOUNDATION, WHICH CONDUCTED THREE

IMPORTANT SURVEYS IN ZIMBABWE LAST YEAR, IS ALSO DUE TO

RELEASE ANOTHER ONE BY THE END OF THE MONTH, SITHOLE

NOTED.

 

POLL METHODOLOGY

—————-

 

4. (C) THE “GAZETTE” SURVEY WAS CARRIED OUT BY THE

INDEPENDENT MARKETING RESEARCH ORGANIZATION TARGET

RESEARCH — BASED IN SOUTH AFRICA — BETWEEN AUGUST 17

AND SEPTEMBER 28. SITHOLE REMARKED THAT HE DOES NOT

KNOW TARGET RESEARCH WELL, BUT HE HAS HEARD THEY HAVE A

GOOD REPUTATION IN SOUTHERN AFRICA. ITS RESEARCHERS

POLLED 3,013 PEOPLE NATIONWIDE — THE LARGEST SURVEY OF

ITS KIND TO DATE — AND THE RESULTS HAD A 2.7 PERCENT

MARGIN OF ERROR. THE RESULTS WERE WEIGHTED AND

TABULATED ACCORDING TO MANY FACTORS, INCLUDING GENDER,

ETHNICITY, AGE GROUP, EDUCATION, AND URBAN/RURAL

LOCATION.

 

COMMENT: THE RACE WILL BE CLOSE

——————————-

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ5236

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 03398 02 OF 02 141508Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 USNW-00 DINT-00 DODE-00

DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   FAAE-00 FBIE-00

VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   LAB-01   L-00

VCE-00   AC-01   NSAE-00 OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00  PC-01

PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00

PMB-00   DSCC-00 DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /008W

——————3E1C42 141509Z /38

P 141424Z NOV 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0272

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 003398

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR CHARLES NEARY

NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/14/11

TAGS: PGOV PINR ZI

SUBJECT: NEW ZIMBABWE SURVEY PORTENDS CLOSE PRESIDENTIAL

ELECTION

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 03398 02 OF 02 141508Z

5. (C) BEFORE PUTTING TOO MUCH STOCK IN THIS POLL, ONE

MUST CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING CAVEATS. WE ARE UNABLE TO

PROVIDE MORE THAN A LAYMAN’S ASSESSMENT OF EITHER THE

METHODOLOGY OR THE BONA FIDES OF TARGET RESEARCH. THE

QUESTIONS USED BY THE POLLSTERS, WHICH IN THEMSELVES CAN

SKEW THE RESULTS, WERE NOT MADE AVAILABLE IN THE

PUBLISHED RESULTS. IN ADDITION, THE “GAZETTE” CLAIMS

THAT IN 1999 MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY NAMED TARGET

RESEARCH ONE OF SIX “OUTSTANDING RESEARCH ORGANIZATIONS

IN EASTERN AND SOUTHERN AFRICA,” A CLAIM THAT IS

APPARENTLY UNFOUNDED. MOREOVER, THE “GAZETTE” APPEARS

TO ASSUME THAT THE LARGE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO DID NOT

RESPOND TO THE SURVEY WOULD SUPPORT THE MDC. THE SURVEY

DID NOT MAKE CLEAR HOW THE POLLSTERS DETERMINED WHO IS

AND WHO IS NOT AN MDC SUPPORTER AMONG THE

NONRESPONDENTS.

 

6. (C) COMMENT CONTINUED: ALTHOUGH SURVEY STATISTICS

CAN BE MANIPULATED TO SHOW ALMOST ANYTHING, THE

“GAZETTE” POLL DOES SHOW, NO MATTER HOW THE NUMBERS ARE

SLICED, THAT SUPPORT FOR THE TWO PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES

APPEARS TO BE NEARLY EVENLY DIVIDED. BOTH PARTIES

APPEAR TO BE HOLDING ONTO THEIR KEY REGIONS AND

DEMOGRAPHICS FOR SUPPORT. MORE THAN A YEAR OF ECONOMIC

DECLINE AND POLITICAL VIOLENCE HAS ERODED SUPPORT FOR

PRESIDENT MUGABE SOMEWHAT, BUT NOT TO THE EXTENT THAT

MIGHT BE EXPECTED. THE SURVEY RESULTS COULD EVEN

REPRESENT A TURNAROUND FOR ZANU-PF, WHICH A YEAR AGO WAS

AT ITS LOWEST SUPPORT LEVELS SINCE INDEPENDENCE, IF ONE

USES THE LAST HELEN SUZMAN FOUNDATION POLL AS A GUIDE.

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 03398 02 OF 02 141508Z

7. (C) COMMENT CONTINUED: THE KEY FACTOR IN THE

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION WILL BE THE LARGE NUMBER OF

UNDECIDED VOTERS AND WHETHER THEY TURN OUT TO VOTE. IT

IS UNKNOWN HOW MANY OF THESE MAY BE MDC SUPPORTERS

AFRAID TO EXPREC THEIR TRUE OPINION. A SHOCKING 25

PERCENT OF SURVEY RESPONDENTS REVEALED THAT THEY CHANGED

THEIR VOTING BEHAVIOR IN 2000 BECAUSE OF POLITICAL

INTIMIDATION (14 PERCENT DID NOT VOTE AND 11 PERCENT

VOTED FOR A DIFFERENT CANDIDATE). THE “UNDECIDEDS” MAY

WELL DECIDE TO STAY HOME ON ELECTION DAY IF THEY FEEL

UNSAFE, WHILE ONLY THE DIEHARD SUPPORTERS OF BOTH

PARTIES CAST THEIR BALLOT. WITH ALL THE ADVANTAGES OF

INCUMBENCY, IT WOULD THEN BE MUCH EASIER FOR ZANU-PF TO

MANIPULATE A CLOSE ELECTION. NEW SURVEYS DUE OUT THIS

MONTH SHOULD SHED MORE LIGHT ON THE LIKELY ELECTION

OUTCOME. END COMMENT.

 

SULLIVAN

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

 

(11 VIEWS)

Don't be shellfish... Please SHAREShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePrint this page

Write a Comment

Comment