South Africa is gearing up for a pivotal general election on 8 May 2019. Billed as the most important elections since the country transitioned into democracy, all eyes are on whether the African National Congress (ANC) will retain its majority.
While polls should be taken with a pinch of salt, they make
for interesting reading.
Research group Ipsos polled a demographically representative sample of South Africans between March and April 2019.
Over 3600 people took part in the survey and the results were published by the City Press on 28 April 2018.
What the latest voter polls show ahead of the 2019 Elections
The poll revealed that the ANC’s support has dropped from around 61% in its March poll to 56.9% in April. A fair way away from the 62.2% share of the vote the ruling party won in the 2014 elections.
The Democratic Alliance (DA), also took a knock. They’re down from 18% in March to 15% in April. During the 2014 elections, the DA won 22% of the vote.
The support for the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) is also slightly down, but by far the most stable. The latest poll puts the EFF’s support at 9.5%, compared to 10% in March. It’s still up significantly from the 6.4% they scored during the 2014 elections.
The poll also shows that the Inkatha Freedom Party is
projected to grow from 2.44% to 3%.
The relevance of pre-election polls
These survey are by no means a way to predict results.
Rather, it’s a general overview of the feeling of registered voters at any
point in time.
Notable, however, is that all pre-election polls for the 2019 elections have showed the same trend: ANC and DA lose ground while the EFF will surge in support.
Voter turnout critical
The City Press predicts that a poor voter turnout will benefit the ANC. Should voter turnout be low, forecasts expect the ANC’s support to rise back to 61%, the DA to 19% and the EFF to 11%.
Cyril Ramaphosa recently earned the “endorsement” of The Economist, much to Helen Zille’s ire. While Ramaphosa himself admits that the ANC is rotten, polls and pundits alike say that he is one of the big reasons why the ANC might just cling to power.