OPINION polls should not excite political parties that they have already won the coming presidential election because many a time, they do not reflect the true wishes of the people, veteran politician Vernon Mwaanga has observed.
Dr Mwaanga said the opinion polls that were being circulated and published by some media houses were not credible because most them lacked accuracy.
He said having been in politics for a long time and his experience in elections, he understood that opinion polls have never been accurate and presidential contenders should not use them to measure their popularity and chances of winning an election.
There have been a number of option polls published in the media. MUVI TV has given UPND president Hakainde Hichilema an 81% win, while a uk think tank has given HH 48% and Edgar Lungu of PF 32%.
A researcher, Mumba Mwewa, has published an opinion poll predicting that Patriotic Front (PF) president Edgar Lungu would win the presidential election by 60 percent, placing UPND president Hakainde Hichilema at 30 percent.
Mr Mwewa has projected that Mr Lungu was likely to sweep six provinces and claimed that Mr Hichilema would only win in two provinces.
The Patriotic Front (PF) has described the research by Mr Mwewa as authentic as it reflected the true political temperature on the ground.
PF campaign media team chairman Harry Kalaba said it was not in doubt that Mr Hichilema was going to lose the presidential election with a wide margin because Zambians had given Mr Lungu unmatched support to succeed late president Michael Sata.
He said the UPND was being cheated by the social media that the party was going to win the presidential election because they had failed to convince the people what they would do.
But Dr Mwaanga said he was in possession of two opinion polls from different sources that have projected that Mr Hichilema was likely to win the presidential election with 43 percent and placed Mr Lungu at 37 percent.
He said another opinion poll has predicted that Mr Hichilema was going to win the election with 58 percent while Mr Lungu at 40 percent based on the current political temperature.
“These opinion polls are immaterial because they have no bearing on the actual results of the election. So presidential candidates should not be excited with these opinion polls because more often than not lack credibility and accuracy. To predict that Mr Lungu is going to win the election with 60 percent is an exaggeration because even if Mr Hichilema was to be unpopular which he is not, he would not lose by the margin projected by Mr Mwewa.
“I knew that Mr Mwewa was going to come up with that opinion poll three days ago and this was done to counter the opinion polls that have predicted that Mr Hichilema was winning the election,” Dr Mwaanga said.
He said he doubted the credibility of Mr Mwewa’s prediction that Mr Lungu was more popular than late President Michael Sata and would therefore win the presidential election with 60 percent votes because the results appeared exaggerated.
Dr Mwaanga explained that most of the opinion polls being carried out did not take into account the voter turnout in various provinces and pattern adding that the predictions could not be correct because people did not give the correct answers on conducting the opinion polls.
He said the fact that Mr Hichilema had received two opinion polls in his favour did not mean that the projections were accurate, adding that it was not correct that the UPND leader and Mr Lungu could get the same results in Central and North-Western provinces.