Nigerians go to the polls in a little under 24 hours from now, and very few people are confident about what will happen next. The 2023 general elections have been a genuine three-horse race, which voters are either surprised by or reluctant to accept.
The last time this happened was in 1979, and even then, things were different. In that election, the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) was the only national party at the time, compared to the United Party of Nigeria (UPN) based in the South-West and the Nigerian People's Party (NPP) based in the South-East.
But this year, two national parties in the mix have both run the federal government, trying to fend off the less storied Labour Party. The APC’s base is typically in the North-West and, to a lesser extent, the North-East and South-West, while the PDP’s base, up to now, has been in the South-East and South-South.
So far, many signals would point to the upstart Labour Party led by former Anambra governor Peter Obi being victorious. Several polls, including one from Stears, have him in the lead.
However, the Stears poll differs markedly from others because it considers some scenarios, all hinged on voter turnout. The key, however, is the proprietary model, which first addresses the silent voter problem before engaging with the various turnout scenarios. Even though the scenario didn’t gain much attention, the low turnout scenario (roughly 30%) where Tinubu wins is a legitimate scenario where Obi loses. Polls are first and foremost about popularity, but electoral outcomes are established by those who make it to the polls and those whose votes actually count.