The new political dispensation that emerged in 2017 has led to the promotion of democratic values such as freedom of speech, promotion of human rights, independence of the judiciary, and political pluralism. The latter contributed to the emergence of many political parties with competing ideas on the governance of the state. Never in the history of The Gambia, has there been such several political parties. As a result, the upcoming election will arguably be one of the most heavily contested elections in the history of The Gambia. For the contest for the presidency to be based on pertinent issues on the governance of the country, it must be guided by a good understanding of public opinion on issues of national interest. In consideration of the foregoing, the Center for Policy, Research and Strategic Studies (CepRass) through the “Opinion Polls and CSO Capacity Building” project funded by National Endowment for Democracy (NED) commissioned the first series of political Opinion Poll (OP) research in the Gambia to track public perception on issues of national interest.
OP surveys are very popular in modern democracies. However, in The Gambia, no OP has so far been conducted that is focused on informing the public on pertinent issues concerning an election. Hence, this maiden edition is aimed at bringing to light all the key national issues in the run-up of the December polls for the purpose of informing the populace, political parties, other state and non-state actors for more informed decisions regarding the elections.
In this opinion poll, we collected data on public perception pertinent to economic, political, and social issues that are likely to affect the choices of the electorates in the 2021 presidential election. The second pre-election poll will be held a month before the presidential election. It will be used to gather information on citizens’ perception on burning issues and their voting intentions as well as what informs those intentions. The post-election poll will be conducted three months after the election. It shall be used to collect information on the citizens perception of the newly elected government 100 days after being voted into office as well as assess the public policy of the new government and whether citizens have changed their expectations of the new government.