Key questions this article answers:

  1. With the most votes in the 2019 elections and the second-highest registered voters in 2023, Kano is a key battleground for Nigeria 2023. How will Kwankwaso, its ex-two-term governor, influence the outcome of the presidential election?

  2. 20% of Kano respondents say Kwankwaso is their choice for president, compared to 17%, 11% and 5%  for the APC, PDP and Labour Party candidates, respectively. How will Kwankwaso’s support impact other candidates' performance at the polls?

Kano, Nigeria’s largest northern state, is one battleground for Nigeria’s 2023 elections.

In 2019, the state had the highest number of votes, and for the 2023 elections, the second-highest number of registered voters (5.9 million) after Lagos (7.1 million).​​​​




Over the last five election cycles (since 2003), President Buhari has united the core North (North-West and North-East zones) behind him. Results from the 2019 Presidential election indicate President Buhari won all the states in the North-West and lost only two out of six in the North-East.

Now that the Daura native is absent from the ballot, the race for his voters has been underway. Many believe that courting Buhari voters is the reason for the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) selection of Atiku Abubakar and All Progressives Congress (APC) selection of Kashim Shettima, former governor of Borno State, both northerners.

Stears’ polling data confirms this importance of northern candidates. It reveals that the North-East had the highest number of respondents (12%) that considered the choice of running mate a critical factor when voting for a candidate.