A poll undertaken by global market research and consulting firm Ipsos revealed that the African National Congress (ANC) could enjoy a comfortable margin in next year’s national election as it has a possible support base of 60%, compared with other parties.
Ipsos randomly polled 3 738 adult South Africans between April 20 and June 7, as part of its ‘Pulse of the People’ study.
Support for the Democratic Alliance (DA) came in at 13%, while the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) garnered 7% of support on the poll.
Ipsos stressed that the poll was not a prediction for the 2019 election.
“It is still a considerable time before the election and many events that will sway voting behaviour are bound to happen,” said the firm in a statement.
While the Ipsos results showed significant support for the ANC from voting-age South Africans, the poll showed that voters were concerned about the leadership issues in the ruling party.
Fifty-four percent of all South African voters agreed that the future of the party was uncertain because of the party’s internal issues.
Fifty-two percent of ANC supporters agreed, while about 59% of DA supporters and 60% of EFF supporters also agreed with the statement.
“It is interesting that just over half of ANC supporters also agree. In fact, the opinions expressed by supporters of different political parties are very similar. It is thus safe to conclude that the turmoil of the last few years made the ANC’s position vulnerable,” said Ipsos.
South Africans were polled on their trust in political parties, with Ipsos comparing results from November 2017.
All three political parties improved, with the ANC scoring 36 on the trust index in 2018, up from 11 in 2017.
The DA scored -16, up from -19 in 2017 and the EFF scored -23, up from -47 in November 2017.
The ANC trust index from its own support base went up six points from 2017 to 78.
The trust index from DA supporters went down two points since November 2017 to 85 and the EFF trust index went up eight points to 89.
“It is clear that supporters of both the DA and the EFF are devoted to their parties and although the trust from supporters of the ANC in the party has grown over the last 7 months, it is still trailing the other two parties. Increased trust in the ruling party can probably precede increased support, therefore this is an area for party leadership to focus on,” said Ipsos.
The ANC scored well in the provincial ballot, with 58% of votes in Gauteng, 62% of KwaZulu-Natal votes, 82% of Mpumalanga votes and 70% of Limpopo votes. The ANC scored only 26 votes in the Western Cape.
The DA scored 28% of the votes in the Western Cape and only garnered 15% in Gauteng. It grabbed 16% in the Eastern Cape, 14% in the North West and 15% in the Northern Cape. The DA managed 7% in KwaZulu-Natal.
The EFF’s highest polled provincial vote was in Limpopo with 12%. Gauteng and the Eastern Cape had votes of 10% each, while the EFF only managed to garner 3% in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal each.
While it looks like a close contest for the Western Cape, 17% of respondents refused to answer, a further 5% have indicated that they do not know who to vote for and almost one in every ten (9%) said that they will not vote.
“There is also a relatively large proportion (16%) of voters in KwaZulu-Natal who refused to commit at this stage – this might be linked to speculation in the media that the former president [Jacob Zuma] might form a new political party in opposition to the ANC,” speculated Ipsos.