BEYOND the euphoria and anguish of political change that characterised the just concluded 2018 Ekiti governorship election, the poll results compared with 2014 election results announced by the Independent National electoral Commission, INEC, show an interesting voting pattern, that put neither political parties in the comfort zone in the future election.
Though All Progressive Congress, APC, defeated the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP in the July 14 election, the gap is less significant compared to the margin between the two parties in 2014 election.
Not only that, the PDP polled more votes in 2014 than APC did in 2018, despite the fact that the total votes for the two parties in the 2014 governorship election is 12 percent less.
According to the INEC data on Ekiti elections, APC in 2018 defeated PDP just by nearly 5 percent, snatching victory in 12 local government areas whereas PDP defeated APC by 23 percent in 2014, winning the entire 16 local government areas.
This is an indication that, there were overwhelming support for PDP four years ago compared to the narrow win of APC in the 2018 election. The figures also provides a glimpse about the popularity size of the two political gladiators in the state.
Notwithstanding, the election data also show that APC improved better than its opposition in term of upward movement of votes in the last four years.
Votes for the party jumps by 64 percent between 2014 and 2018, whereas PDP suffers 12 percent decline.
This development can’t be understood outside the numbers of the eligible voters who were registered and accredited for voting in the last four years or so.
For example, number of registered voters in Ekiti State rose by 24 percent in four years, but the number of voters accredited did not match the rise – there is only four percent increase in the number of accredited voters.
What this means is that a large number of eligible voters that collected the permanent voter card did not show up on the election day.
But the total number of votes cast eventually rose from the previous election year by 12 percent, that is from 36, 0455 to 403,451.
What is more surprising, however, is the rise in the number of invalid votes which grew from 10,089 four years earlier to 18, 857 in 2018.
The 87 percent rise in the number of invalid votes, despite massive voters’ education programme by INEC, indicates that the voter education is yet to produce significant effect among the Ekiti electorate.
It would be recalled that Ekiti State also has the highest rejected votes as percentage of total votes cast in 2011 presidential election, meaning that the state has more people with poor voter education than any other 36 states in the country.