- Posted June 11, 2014 by
Latest Poll puts Ashraf Ghani Ahead in Second Round of Presidential Election in Afghanistan
The primary finding of this poll is that Ashraf Ghani has increased his level of support from the 31.5% that he secured in the first round, to 49% of likely voters in the poll. He is now the front-runner for the second round. The percentage of likely voters interviewed in this poll who indicated that they would vote for Abdullah Abdullah was 42%. This is a drop of 3% from his share of the vote in the first round.
When asked who would bring peace to Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani was again in the lead with 47% of likely voters choosing him, compared to 39% choosing Abdullah Abdullah. And when asked who was better for Afghanistan, likely voters again choose Ghani over Abdullah – 49% to 41%.
This 49-42 split in favor of Ghani suggests that he has consolidated the Pashtun vote (Pashtun are a plurality in Afghanistan) and that the Ghani/Dostum ticket has maintained their high level of support with ethnic Uzbeks. Ghani may also have made some inroads into Abdullah’s Hazara and even his Tajik support.
Abdullah is likely maintaining most of his share of the Tajik vote and that of other minorities but this poll suggests that he may be losing the limited Pashtun support that he enjoyed in the first ballot.
Given that Abdullah’s support has dropped by only 3% but Ghani has surged from 31.5% to 49%, this poll suggests that he has picked up most of this support from the eliminated candidates. This is consistent with a poll undertaken by ACSOR in March 2014, which suggested that Ghani was favored 57-34% over Abdullah in a second round by those who intended to vote for a different candidate in the first round.
In a transparent and fair election, then, unless Abdullah can secure a late surge in Pashtun and Uzbek support, which seems unlikely, this poll suggests that he cannot reach 50.1% of the vote needed to win. With 9% of likely voters interviewed still undecided, this poll could still go either way but this poll strongly suggests that Ashraf Ghani is now the front-runner.