The NPP’s Electoral Prospects in Berekum West:A Call for Strategic Candidate Selection- By George Pese-Danquah Ph.D.



In the impending 2024 elections, the imperative for the NPP delegates in the Berekum West Constituency to present a winnable parliamentary candidate cannot be overstated. The outcome of this election holds significant ramifications, not only for securing the Berekum West seat but also for contributing to the overall success of the party in achieving a decisive majority in Parliament.
The current political landscape, marked by a delicate balance with a 137 majority and the presence of one independent MP alongside 137 in the Minority, underscores the urgency of a strategic candidate selection. The repercussions of a hanged parliament have been evident in the stalling of key policy implementations, hindering the NPP’s ability to navigate critical economic challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the geopolitical ramifications of the Russian-Ukraine war. Therefore, the selection of a candidate who can resonate with the electorate, navigate these complex issues, and secure a resounding victory is paramount for the party’s success in the forthcoming elections.
An analytical examination of the Berekum West Constituency parliamentary election results suggests a precarious situation for the NPP if the incumbent MP, Hon. Kwaku Agyenim-Boateng, is presented in the upcoming 2024 elections. The calculated margins of victory for the NPP reveal a concerning trend. In 2012, the party secured a substantial margin of victory at 17.18%, demonstrating a robust electoral support base. However, subsequent elections witnessed a decline in the margin of victory, with 2016 showing a 13.30% margin and 2020 further diminishing to a precarious 3.96%.
This consistent decrease in electoral margins indicates a waning popularity and support of the incumbent MP. Paradoxically, the number of votes for the Presidential Candidate has been steadily rising since 2012, which suggests the incumbent Member of Parliament is widely disliked. The incremental surge in votes for the Presidential candidate signifies the party’s appeal and dynamism inside the constituency, while also shedding light on the unpopularity of the constituency’s member of parliament. Consequently, the likelihood of losing the parliamentary election looms larger if the incumbent MP is retained, necessitating a strategic reconsideration of the candidate selection to enhance the party’s prospects in 2024.
An analytical assessment of the Berekum West Constituency parliamentary elections reveals a substantial decrease in the NPP candidate’s percentage share of votes since 2012, signalling a potential vulnerability in the upcoming 2024 election if the incumbent MP, Hon. Kwaku Agyenim-Boateng, is presented. Utilizing the percentage decrease formula, which considers the initial value in 2012 (57.19%) and the final value in 2020 (46.98%), the calculation yields a decrease of approximately 17.85%.
This significant reduction in the percentage share of votes over the specified period underscores a diminishing electoral support base for the incumbent MP. Consequently, the empirical evidence suggests that the NPP’s likelihood of losing the Berekum West parliamentary election in 2024 is heightened, necessitating strategic considerations in candidate selection to address this decline and enhance the party’s electoral prospects.
An analytical evaluation of the Berekum West Constituency parliamentary elections from 2012 to 2020 reveals a notable contrast in the vote gains of the NPP and the NDC. Employing the formulas for calculating vote gain in real numbers and percentage, the NPP experienced a modest vote gain of 839 votes, equivalent to an 8.07% increase in percentage terms. In stark contrast, the NDC witnessed a substantial vote gain of 3,016 votes, reflecting a remarkable 41.47% surge in percentage terms.
This data underscores a significant shift in electoral support towards the NDC over the analysed period. The NPP’s comparatively marginal vote gain suggests a challenge in expanding its base, while the NDC’s substantial gain indicates a notable increase in popularity.
Against this backdrop, the prospect of the NPP losing the Berekum West parliamentary election in 2024 is heightened, particularly if the incumbent MP, Hon. Kwaku Agyenim-Boateng, is presented. Strategic considerations in candidate selection become imperative for the NPP to address this widening gap and fortify its electoral position in the constituency.
Considering the compelling data and trends observed in the Berekum West Constituency, it is evident that the NPP faces a formidable challenge in maintaining its electoral stronghold if the incumbent MP, Hon. Kwaku Agyenim-Boateng, is presented in the 2024 parliamentary election. The diminishing margins of victory, the significant decrease in percentage share of votes, and the notable contrast in vote gains between the NPP and the NDC all point towards a pressing need for strategic considerations in candidate selection.
To secure a resounding victory and contribute to the overall success of the party, the NPP must seriously evaluate the candidacy of Hon. Kwaku Agyenim-Boateng and explore alternative candidates who can effectively resonate with the electorate, navigate complex issues, and reverse the declining trend in electoral support. The forthcoming election is not just about winning a seat but is intricately linked to the broader success and stability of the NPP in Parliament, making the imperative for a change in candidate selection more crucial.

The author is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Bradford, UK

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