It’s less than a month to elections and campaign efforts have intensified with political parties employing new strategies to get their messages heard especially since the covid-19 pandemic has discouraged the holding of mass rallies normally associated to this period.
The unforeseen death of former president, Jerry John Rawlings might have halted the campaigns of the two main political parties, the NPP and the NDC but it is expected that resumption will spell crunch time and these parties will fire upon all cylinders to cross the finishing line.
Ex-president, John Dramani Mahama and his National Democratic Congress (NDC) will be hoping to defeat President Nana Akufo-Addo of the National Patriotic Party (NPP) to win back the Flagstaff House. This feat will however require winning or flipping over some regions the NPP won in the 2016 elections whiles the NPP will also try to maintain and stretch their advantage from four years ago. It is worth noting that this year’s election will be contested in sixteen regions for the first time in Ghana’s history.
In 2016, the NPP managed to obtain 5,755,758 votes which translates into 53.72%, well above the 50% plus one threshold required to win Ghanaian election. The NDC on the other hand won 4, 771,188 votes, which is 44.53% thereby trailing by 984,570 votes.
However, even though 15,712, 499 people were registered to partake in the election, total vote cast was 10,881, 083 representing a voter turnout of 69.3%. This means a whopping 4,831,416 people did not partake in the election, a number that could have significantly impacted how the election turned out.
In the Greater Accra region, the NDC garnered 946,048 votes as compared to the 1,062,157 votes amassed by the NPP. Accra has solidified its position as a swing region as the winner in Accra has always won power since Ex- President Rawlings was first elected president in 1992.
A total number of 3,11,5262 people registered to vote in Accra but there was a turnout of only 65.6% voters which translates into 2,027,185 votes cast. This means a total of 1,088,077 people didn’t vote, a figure which on its own could have significantly impacted the elections. Accra had the biggest deficit in terms of the number of votes cast underlined by the 28.2% voter turnout in Domeabram/Obom constituency, the lowest turnout nationwide.
The turnout also represents a nosedive from the 71.87% voter turnout in the region during the 2012 elections. The Domeabram/Obom constituency had a 67.50 voter turnout in that election signifying a 39.3% drop in the number of voters during the 2016 elections. In fact, the 2016 election had the lowest turnout since the 60% recorded in 2000. This also comes after the 2012 elections recorded the second highest turnout in the history of elections under the Fourth Republic
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However, one trend political parties could keep an eye on is that with the elections over the years, once there is a drop in the voter turnout, the next election sees a significant boost. This suggests that there are a lot of votes out there to be won and perhaps campaign efforts should concentrate on getting absent and undecided voters to the polls as such numbers could prove key to each of the parties.