Do South Africans think the elections are free and fair?

When asked whether elections in South Africa are free and fair, a majority (61%) of registered voters agreed, while 20% disagreed. (A further 19% neither agreed nor disagreed or indicated that they did not know.)

Do South Africans think the elections are free and fair?

 

When asked whether elections in South Africa are free and fair, a majority (61%) of registered voters agreed, while 20% disagreed. (A further 19% neither agreed nor disagreed or indicated that they did not know.)

 

This opinion should be seen against the background of the wave of service delivery protests happening in the run-up to the national election on 8th May.  It is not a new phenomenon that voters try to bring their plight to the attention of political leaders, but it is evident that different forms of protest, and sometimes even violent protest, are gaining traction as legitimate ways of political participation amongst South Africans, at least 11 million of whom have not registered to vote in the upcoming elections.

 

Looking at the opinions of registered voters in each of the provinces, it is very interesting that the highest level of trust in the integrity of elections is expressed by registered voters in the Western Cape, the only province currently under the control of an opposition party.

 

The argument that rural voters are less concerned about the fairness of an election than those in metro areas also do not hold sway:  two-thirds of voters in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo (both mainly rural provinces) agree with voters in Gauteng and the Western Cape that elections in South Africa are free and fair.

 

Province

“Elections in South Africa are free and fair”

% agree

 

Western Cape

66

Gauteng

65

Limpopo

65

Eastern Cape

65

Mpumalanga

58

Free State

56

North West

56

KwaZulu-Natal

54

Northern Cape

41

 

 

TECHNICAL DETAIL

 

    • Fieldwork: 22 March – 17 April 2019
    • 3600 in-home F2F interviews. Conducted in home languages of randomly selected respondents.
    • Countrywide representation
    • Filtered results by 18 and older AND registered to vote.
    • Results weighted and projected to official published IEC registration figures
    • Margin of error for this subsample (0.9% - 2%) –

based on sample size, response rate and sampling methodology.

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