With the second round of the presidential election just days away, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih continues to lead, according to Baani Centre’s latest opinion poll. However, the high percentage of ‘undecided’ voters could swing the election in any direction.

The poll, conducted from 23-26 September, puts President Solih at a 6-point lead over his opponent Dr Mohamed Muizzu, with 30% to Muizzu’s 24%. However, this lead is within the poll’s 5% margin of error, making it statistically less significant.,In the first round of voting, Muizzu surprisingly outperformed President Solih, winning 46% of the vote to Solih’s 39%.

The recent Baani Centre poll also reveals that a substantial 36% of voters remain undecided. This could prove to be a crucial factor given the first-round results where Muizzu seemed to have benefited more from undecided voters. 

Last month, prior to the first round of voting, Baani’s poll showed over half of voters as undecided, who then appeared to lean heavily towards Muizzu on election day.

National Referendum on Governance System

In addition to presidential candidates, the September poll asked voters about their preference between a presidential and parliamentary system. A national referendum on this question is scheduled for October. 

A significant majority of voters, 64%, are in favour of maintaining the existing presidential system, compared to only 12% supporting a switch to a parliamentary system. With 19% undecided, it appears that the ‘parliamentary camp’, led by The Democrats, has a steep hill to climb with just a month left for campaigning.

Statistically Representative

Baani Centre stresses that the poll results are representative of the Maldivian voting population, with a 95% confidence level and a 5% margin of error. This means that if the poll were conducted multiple times, 95% of the time the results would fall within a 5% range of the original findings.

With both the upcoming election’s second round and the impending national referendum, the role of undecided voters has never been more critical. As it stands, the outcome of both remains uncertain, making for a gripping political climate in the Maldives.