BusinessDay’s analysis of Google Trends data on search interest shows that the three main candidates for the 2023 presidential election have not yet moved beyond their strongholds.
Data was collected from August 28 to September 4, 2022.
Google trend is an important tool for predicting election results.
In the recent Kenyan presidential election, the average voter turnout for the winner (William Root) was 1,329 against 324 for second-placed Raila Odinga.
Similarly, data obtained from Google Trends shows that the winner of the Osun state election, Ademola Adeleke, had a significantly higher average share of search interest than the runner-up, Adebayo Oyetola.
Atiku Abubakar, flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party, remains the dominant figure in the North, Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress holds power in the South-West and Peter Obi of the Labor Party is emerging in the South-South, according to a BusinessDay analysis.
Tinubu received an average of 20 percent search interest across all regions.
On a regional basis, Atiku dominated the North West and North East; Obi, south-south and south-east; and Tinubu, South-West. and north-center.
Obi’s influence is not as pronounced in the north as it is in the southeast. Average search interest in Obi is highest in Plateau, Nasarawa and Benue.
Rabiu Kwankwasa, the presidential candidate of the New People’s Party of Nigeria, is struggling to gain influence in all regions. His influence, according to average search interest, is highest in the region where he once served as governor: North-West.
Google Trends Analysis by Constituency: Northern Alliance, Bible Belt, and Rockies
The Northern Alliance has the most active voters in the country and includes 11 northern states (Gombe, Sokoto, Jigawa, Zamfara, Kano, Kebbi, Bauchi, Katsina, Yobe, Borno) and one southwestern state (Osun). Their loyalty was to the PDP.
These states were dominated by the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku, although the APC presidential candidate, Tinubu, gained ground in Osun.
The Bible Belt, another PDP loyalist block that has the highest number of voters but low voter turnout, is made up of 17 states from the South-East, South-South and North-Central.
Analysis by BusinessDay shows that these loyalties are wavering as Labor presidential candidate Obi dominates all states in the South-South and South-East regions while North-Central is under Tinubu’s control.
The Rockies are Nigeria’s most unpredictable electorate and tied for the lowest voter turnout of the three blocs. These states include Kaduna, Niger, Kogi, Lagos, Ondo, Ogun, Oyo, Kwara and Ekiti, which were dominated by Tinubu, with the exception of Kaduna and Niger, which were held by Atiku.