Nigeria's presidential elections

On 28-29 March 2015, Africa’s most populous country and number 1 economy organises peaceful elections, which were internationally recognised as “free and fair” and led to the first democratic transition in Nigeria’s history. The election results seem to show that the role of ethnic, religious and geographic factors is gradually shrinking. The 2015 results map indicating the winning parties by state illustrates that the North-South divide is less marked than in the 2011 elections when President Jonathan won with a comfortable majority against Buhari. These results must be nuanced and interpreted against the backdrop of a very low voter turnout (43.6%). The PDP results map reveals that even during the 2011 elections the presumed North-South divide appears to be less strong in reality. President Jonathan was able to gather wide support across the nation. He won between 30 to 50% of votes in six northern states, notably in the populous state of Kaduna where the PDP garnered the support of 1.19 million people (46.3% of votes). Similarly, this time, the same opposition candidate, Buhari attracted strong support from southern Nigerians. His newly formed All Progressives Congress party (APC) won in eight traditionally southern strongholds. The most striking example comes from the megacity Lagos where the PDP lost for the first time in its history.


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