Voting and Land Ownership in Kenya

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It was an assumption in the last general election that land ownership would be a key factor in deciding the polls. The two diagrams below compare land ownership by inhabitants and the outcome of the presidential vote.

Percentage of Land Ownership by Inhabitants
Darker blue areas indicate high levels of land ownership by inhabitants while light blue/white indicates low levels of land ownership by inhabitants.

Visualization by Henk Harmsen

Visualisation by Henk Harmsen


Outcome of Presidential Vote Per County
Red area indicates Jubilee majority votes, while brown indicates CORD majority votes.


It can be observed that areas with relatively low land ownership preferred Jubilee presidential candidate to CORD’s with the exception of the coastal counties. This breaks away from the prediction made by election pundits that Uhuru Kenyatta would perform poorly in areas where the majority of inhabitants didn’t own the land they resided on.

How does the voting choice compare at the ward level?

Visualisation of Election Outcome for Wards

Visualization by @levisdoban

Visualisation by @levisdoban

It can be observed that while Kwale County preferred CORD  for the president candidate, a majority of the MCAs they voted into office were from the Jubilee party. This shift in party choices across different ranks of political office makes the prediction of voting outcome an uphill task, but certainly land wouldn’t be the decisive factor.

Cover photo: Nikki McLeod

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