CCM is still the most popular party in the country

Press Release
22 September 2015
CCM is still the most popular party in the country
Data show that citizens do not understand the official status of Ukawa
22 September, Dar es Salaam: More than 6 out of 10 citizens (62%) report that they feel closest to CCM
out of all political parties. Further, when asked which party’s candidates – without reference to specific
names - they will vote for in the election, more than 6 out of 10 citizens say that they will vote for the
CCM candidates for President (66%), Parliament (60%) and Councillor (60%). These data suggest a return
to a level of support for CCM last seen in 2012.
Chadema continues to be the second most popular party by a significant margin when compared to
other opposition parties. There has been a slight decline in citizens reporting that they will select the
Chadema candidates for President, MP and Councillor.
Apart from CCM and the parties which are members of Ukawa, only ACT-Wazalendo was mentioned by
1% or more of the population in any of these categories.
When asked directly to name the Presidential candidate they would vote for, 65% of citizens chose the
CCM candidate, John Magufuli and 25% mentioned the Chadema (and Ukawa) candidate, Edward
Lowassa. The remaining 10% of respondents chose from among the six other presidential candidates,
refused to answer or were undecided. However data collection occurred before some parties, including
ACT-Wazalendo, had named their presidential candidate. It is important to note that these data
(collected in August and September) are not predictions of the election result. What they show is that at
the start of the campaign period, the CCM presidential candidate, John Magufuli, had a lead in terms of
public opinion.
Support for John Magufuli and Edward Lowassa was analysed along certain key demographic criteria.
Respondents who are younger, better educated, male or lived in urban areas were slightly more likely to
express support for Edward Lowassa than older, less educated, female or rural respondents. Whereas
respondents who are older, less educated, female or lived in rural areas were slightly more likely to
express support for John Magufuli than younger, better educated, male or urban respondents.
However in all of these categories, CCM’s John Magufuli was in front. For example 33% of 18 – 29 year
olds and 30% of 30 – 39 year olds express support for Lowassa, as compared to 15% of people aged 50
and over. Nonetheless 57% of 18 – 29 year olds and 76% of 30 – 39 year olds reported that they would
vote for Magufuli. In terms of geography, 28% of citizens in urban areas expressed support for Edward
Lowassa compared to 24% of those in rural areas. Whereas 66% of rural voters said they would vote for
John Magufuli compared to 61% of urban voters.
When asked about why they might make a specific choice between these two men, 26% of John
Magufuli’ supporters claimed he is hard working. On the other hand 12% of supporters of Edward
Lowassa claimed that he can bring the change that Tanzania needs and this was why they would vote for
him. It should be noted that these phrases coincide almost exactly with the campaign slogans of the two
In general, citizens are not well informed about the official status of Ukawa as a coalition. Almost half
(49%) of citizens think that Ukawa is a registered political party which it is not. Even more (57%) think
that the name ‘Ukawa’ will appear on their ballot papers. This may add an element of uncertainty
around voters’ reactions on election day, unless the campaigns and voter education work to correct
these misperceptions.
These findings were released by Twaweza in a research brief titled Let the people speak: Citizens’ views
on political leadership. The brief is based on data from Sauti za Wananchi, Africa’s first nationally
representative high-frequency mobile phone survey. The findings are based on the first call round
conducted in late August and early September 2015, with 1,848 respondents. Respondents were
selected using recognised methods of probability sampling as used by research institutions all over the
world. The sample covers all regions of mainland Tanzania. These data are compared with those from
survey rounds in previous years, including:
 The first Sauti za Wananchi baseline survey from late 2012
 Sauti za Wananchi Round 10 from October 2013
 Sauti za Wananchi Round 24 from September 2014
 Sauti za Wananchi survey rounds in April to July 2015
 A new baseline survey conducted in July and August 2015
Twaweza also found that the new voter registration exercise was largely successful. Almost all
respondents (98%) reported that they had been registered using the new Biometric Voter Registration
(BVR) system. However a majority of citizens reported a few problems with the process. The most
significant problem was the long lines to register – reported by 68% of citizens. Similarly 51% reported
that they saw or experienced a six hour registration process. People also had or saw problems with
pushing while in queues (37%), BVR machines that failed to work (26%), favouritism at the registration
station (19%) or a lack of experience on the part of the BVR operators (16%).
In addition to having registered to vote, almost all citizens (99%) say that they intend to vote in the
upcoming election. However it is worth noting that 79% of these respondents also claimed that they
voted in the 2010 elections whereas actual turnout was at 43%. In addition only 57% could name the
correct date for the election. These data show that there is often a difference between what people
report or respond to in polls and surveys and what they actually do.
Citizens also reported being aware of promises made by their MPs in the last elections, 64% claimed
they could remember these promises. In total, close to 9 out of 10 citizens (86%) reported that their MP
had kept few or none of these promises.
Citizens also listed what they thought were the main challenges facing the country. As in previous years
health (59%), water (46%), education (44%), and poverty (39%) consistently being cited by most people.
However there have been some changes with fewer people naming poverty (down from 63% in 2014)
and more people citing water (up from 27% in 2014).
“There are a number of interesting things here,” said Aidan Eyakuze, Executive Director of
Twaweza. “Citizens change their minds about their priorities. They swapped health for poverty in a
fairly short period of 12 months.”
“The desire to vote is very strong,” he added, “but it is far from being a reliable predictor of actual
turnout on voting day. A strong turnout would provide a strong mandate to a new administration. A low
turnout may indicate a loss of hope by a section of voters, or a premature conclusion by other voters that
they have already won.”
“In combination these two insights hint at an electorate that is rather less certain than the numbers
might imply. It reinforces the message that the race is not yet over. Parties would do well to deepen their
engagement with voters with two objectives in mind. The first is to convince them of the quality and
credibility of their policies and manifestos. The second is to get them out to vote on October 25.”
---- Ends ---For more information:
Risha Chande
Senior Communications Advisor, Twaweza
e: [email protected] | t: (+255) (0) 656 657 559
Notes to Editors
• This brief and the data contained can be accessed at, or
• Twaweza works on enabling children to learn, citizens to exercise agency and governments to be
more open and responsive in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. We have programs, staff and offices
across all three countries, and a globally respected practice of learning, monitoring and
evaluation. Our flagship programs include Uwezo, Africa’s largest annual citizen assessment to
assess children’s learning levels across hundreds of thousands of households, and Sauti za
Wananchi, Africa’s first nationally representative mobile phone survey. We undertake effective
public and policy engagement, through powerful media partnerships and global leadership of
initiatives such as the Open Government Partnership
• You can follow Twaweza’s work
Web: Facebook: Twaweza Tanzania Twitter: @Twaweza_NiSisi
• Twaweza, in collaboration with Compass Communications, is currently hosting a series of
election debates known as Mkikimkiki 2015. Find out more:
Facebook: /Mkikimkiki2015
Twitter: @Mkikimkiki