What’s in it for me? Personalities, Enticements and Party Loyalties in Tanzania’s 2015 Elections

The fifth multi-party elections in Tanzania on 25 October 2015 could mark a watershed in national politics. Edward Lowassa, the former prime minister is the flagbearer for Ukawa, an opposition alliance forged during a heated contest over constitutional reform and the structure of the Union. After two terms in office the incumbent president, Jakaya Kikwete, is standing down. While opinion polls indicate that his successor John Magufuli and CCM, the ruling party since 1977, are clear favourites, uncertainty about the intentions of the huge number of young voters and the level of turnout make predictions hazardous. Despite the unresolved battle over constitutional reform, campaigning has eschewed issues of importance to all Tanzanians in favour of an emphasis on personalities, and small-scale promises. This Briefing Note considers the variables in what is likely to be the most keenly contested poll since the first multi-party elections in 1995.