Incumbency and opportunity: forecasting trends in Nigeria's 2015 elections
This working paper attempts to apply research on the advantages conferred by incumbency in elections in consolidating democracies to Nigeria’s Presidential and Governorship polls of March and April 2015. Nigeria’s Federal system, which involves directly-elected executives commanding significant state powers and resources at both national level and in the 36 constituent States, provides a case where the interplay of incumbency powers is complex yet undoubtedly of central importance. We attempt to map likely trends from these factors, using analysis based on 2011’s elections which were similar in many essential respects. This allows us to make an analysis which can later be compared with actual outcomes, to test both the power of this thesis and its importance vis-à-vis other factors affecting election results.