Has Bawumia improved the electoral fortunes of the NPP in the north?

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia is the top candidate in the lead-up to the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) November 4 primaries.

Although many predicted that Dr Bawumia was going to win by a majority vote of at least 80% in the special delegates conference on August 26, 2023, he fell short by 11.85%. He secured a total of 629 votes, representing 68.15%.

Heading into the polls on Saturday, the Veep has many arguments going for him; one is the claim that he has increased the NPP’s votes in the regions of the northern part of Ghana as compared with others before him since the fourth republic in 1992.
His supporters argue that his supposed contribution to the growth of the party’s popularity in the regions in the north, which has not been a stronghold of the NPP for a long time, is a mark that he can amass enough votes to win the 2024 general elections.

Fact-Check Ghana has analysed voting patterns in the three traditional northern regions in Ghana – Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions – from 1992-2020 and compares how Dr Bawumia’s performance as running mate from 2008 has contributed to the party’s success in the three regions. More importantly, we attempt to explain whether his candidature might contribute to his success in “breaking the eight” and succeeding President Nana Akufo-Addo.


Source: EC * The percentage of votes in 2020 is an average from what’s recorded in the three regions (Savannah, North East, and Northern).

Since 1992, for the most part, the percentage of votes for the NPP has been on the increase in the Northern Region. While the Bawumia-Akufo-Addo ticket from the 2008 elections has ensured a consistent growth rate, the average growth has remained below 7%. This was a drop from the 27% average growth rate the NPP has recorded from 1992 to 2004, the period before Bawumia.

Source: EC

In the Upper West Region, the smallest region in terms of population among the three regions, the percentage of votes of the NPP has largely been increasing since 1992. The growth in votes only dropped once in the 2012 elections. The average rate of growth in votes for the NPP after Bawumia was selected as running mate has been 7 per cent, a whopping 50 per cent decrease in the party’s performance before he was elected President Akufo-Addo’s running mate in 2008.

Source: EC

The rate of growth of votes of the NPP in the Upper East region has been fluctuating since Bawumia’s appointment as a running mate. In two out of the four elections where Bawumia ran, the party recorded a drop in the rate of growth in the votes in the region. The average rate of growth of 3% in votes in the region since Bawumia was appointed running has been lower than the period before him.

Comparing the average growth in votes for the NPP in the regions of the north from elections 1992 to 2004 with the period when Bawumia was appointed as running mate (2008 to 2020), there has been a decrease in votes for the ruling party.

Looking at the overall percentage growth in votes for the NPP in regions of northern Ghana since 1992, Fact-Check Ghana concludes that Dr Mahamudu Bawumia’s presence has not increased the party’s votes in the three Northern regions of Ghana.

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