Vernon Mwaanga has predicted that President Banda will win the September 20 presidential election by between 44 and 46 percent.
Mr Mwaanga has given Patriotic Front (PF) president Michael Sata between 34 and 36 percent and United Party for National Development (UPND)’s Hakainde Hichilema between 13 and 15 percent.
He said in a statement to Daily Mail that Mr Banda’s performance has improved from the 39-41 percent rating he gave him in June.
The assessment indicates that small parties are likely to garner a collective vote of between three and five percent.
Mr Mwaanga said the figures are based on a countrywide assessment he conducted up to last Saturday, September 10, 2011.
“…if elections were to be held on 10th September, 2011, the picture which appears to emerge from the 1,157 received out of the 1,300 assessment forms sent out to 74 districts is as follows: MMD’s Rupiah Banda would be at between 44 percent and 46 percent.
“PF’s Michael Sata would be at between 34 and 36 percent, Hakainde Hichilema would be at between 13 percent and 15 percent. The other seven small parties seem to share between three percent and five percent of the total votes,” Mr Mwaanga said.
His earlier assessment of June 30, 2011 put Mr Banda at between 39 and 41 percent, Mr Sata at between 34 percent and 36 percent and Mr Hichilema at between 16 and 18 percent.
In the latest statement, he said the reasons the respondents to questionares gave for preferring President Banda are that he and the MMD can be trusted to deliver and take the country forward, whereas the opposition parties do not have a track record of achievement.
“There are also doubts about the efficacy of some opposition promises of money in the people’s pockets, free education without credible explanations as to how this is going to be done. Voters also appear to have issues with unrealistic promises and timetables being given by some opposition parties for some of the things they are promising to do,” he said.
Mr Mwaanga said the MMD also seems to have appealed to the new voters numbering over 1.2 million, most of whom are young people who will be voting for the first time.
In his cautionary note, however, he observes that there is no dependable record of accurate opinion polls or assessments because there are many people who do not give accurate answers to questions.
Mr Mwaanga said the assessment was done eight days before the closure of the campaign period and it is, therefore, possible that some small changes could happen to the percentages in the intervening period.
“The percentages could also be marginally affected depending on the voter turn-out on polling day,” he said.
Lately several organisations, including the Centre for Policy Dialogue, Business Monitor International and the Economist Intelligence Unit have tipped President Banda to win the elections by between 41 and 46 percent because of the MMD government’s economic achievements.