Ipsos Poll: ANC at 61%

With the next national election planned for May this year, voters are making up their minds about which party to support. However, uncertainty is rife - many people are not sure which party to vote for, giving political parties the opportunity to try and influence voters before the election comes around.

Ipsos Poll: ANC at 61%

With the next national election planned for May this year, voters are making up their minds about which party to support.  However, uncertainty is rife -  many people are not sure which party to vote for, giving political parties the opportunity to try and influence voters before the election comes around. 

Currently six in every ten registered voters (61%) will put their mark next to the name of the ANC in a national election. The ruling party is followed distantly by the DA (14%), EFF (9%) and IFP (2%). 13% of registered voters answered that they would not vote, would not vote for a current party, refused to answer or didn’t know which party they would vote for.

These are some of the findings of the latest Ipsos 6-monthly “Pulse of the People™” study, conducted at the end of 2018.  Ipsos asks a randomly selected sample of registered voters which party they would vote for in a national election if the election were to happen the next day. Respondents are given the opportunity to fill in their own choices on an electronic voting paper, imitating a secret vote.

The table below summarises the results from a similar poll in May 2018 and the results from the latest poll.

Party

Choice on the National Ballot May 2018

%[1]

Choice on the National Ballot Nov 2018

%[2]

ANC

60

61

DA

13

14

EFF

7

9

IFP

1

2

FF+

-

1

Another party*

1

1

Would not vote

5

3

None of the current parties**

1

1

Refused to answer

7

5

Not registered to vote

2

-

Don’t know

3

3

 

*This includes the other political parties chosen or mentioned by respondents.

**Some respondents made it clear that none of the current political parties appealed to them.

These results are not a prediction of the outcome of the election, but merely a snapshot of voter opinion at the time of fieldwork.  The results are representative of those South Africans who are older than 18 and who are registered to vote.  Closer to the election, possible election turnout scenario’s will be developed.  Currently only 79% of those South Africans who are eligible to vote are also registered to vote, which we can expect to increase as the IEC embarks on some registration drives in the run-up to the election.

The table overleaf indicates that almost one in every ten (8%) of registered voters either refused to share their party choice or have indicated that they do not know who to vote for.  When and if the registered voters in these two groups of people actually vote, they can make a difference to the performance of any of the parties.  An analysis of these undecideds follows below.

 

 

Profile of Registered voters

%

Demographic profile of those who refuse to share their choice of party

%

Demographic profile of those who do not (yet) know which party to support

%

Gender:

 

 

 

Male

48

50

44

Female

52

50

56

Age:

 

 

 

18-24

17

13

13

25-34

28

26

21

35-49

30

34

31

50+

25

27

35

Population group:

 

 

 

Black

78

47

67

White

11

21

16

Coloured

9

26

12

Indian

2

6

5

Province:

 

 

 

Gauteng

28

12

22

Western Cape

11

38

12

KwaZulu-Natal

19

37

35

Mpumalanga

7

*

2

Free State

5

1

1

North West

7

*

1

Limpopo

9

2

2

Eastern Cape

11

10

25

Northern Cape

3

*

*

 

Some broad observations are evident from looking at the undecided population which political parties could find useful in the lead up to elections:

  • Although women form the largest part of the electorate in the country, women are also not as sure as men when it comes to the choice of political party
  • It is a challenge for all political parties to inspire young people to vote, but according to these results, older people are more unsure about party choice at this stage
  • The largest insecurity (proportional) is among the minority population groups
  • In terms of provinces the biggest challenge to bring certainty to voters will be in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.

The feeling that political choice might not be cut and dry is also borne out by the results of another question that was included in the survey.  The statement “There is no political party that represents your views” was put to respondents and they had to react to this using an agreement scale.  Almost 4 in every 10 (39%) agreed with this statement. 

 

There is no political party that represents your views

%

Strongly agree

13

Agree

26

Neither agree nor disagree

24

Disagree

22

Strongly disagree

12

Don’t know

3

 

Trust in political parties

The opinions above are closely associated with trust in different political parties.  South Africans are asked to indicate whether they are “Extremely likely to trust” or “Very likely to trust” a party, versus an opinion that they are inclined “neither to trust nor distrust” the party, “Not very likely to trust” or “Not at all to trust” the party.  By subtracting the proportion of negative answers from the total of positive answers, we can establish the “trust index” for each party.  Trust is fundamental to all human relations, also to the relationship a person has with his/her chosen political party.

 

ANC Trust index

DA Trust index

EFF Trust index

Nov.2017

11

-19

-47

June 2018

36

-16

-23

Nov. 2018

34

-28

-30

 

At the end of the Zuma years, trust in the ANC was very low, but the party has recovered quite significantly in the last year.  The trust indices for both the DA and the EFF are still in negative terrain, and both parties underperformed in building trust among the electorate in 2018.

The picture differs when looking at the levels of trust supporters of the different parties have in their own party of choice, but the trouble experienced in 2018 by some political parties are also reflected in these results.

 

 

ANC Trust index from own supporters

DA Trust index from own supporters

EFF Trust index from own supporters

Nov.2017

72

87

81

June 2018

78

85

89

Nov. 2018

80

79

82

 

Technical Detail

 

Fieldwork for this study was conducted from 23rd October 2018 to the 4th December 2018.  A total of 3,571 South Africans, 15 years and older, were interviewed. They were randomly selected and interviewed face-to-face in their homes and home languages. Interviews were conducted all over the country, from metropolitan areas to deep rural areas. This methodology ensured that the results are representative of the views of the universe and that findings can be weighted and projected to the universe – i.e. South Africans 15 years and older.

 

Trained quantitative fieldworkers from all population groups were responsible for the interviewing and CAPI (Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing) was used. All results were collated and analysed in an aggregate format to protect the identity and confidentiality of respondents.

 

To arrive at the results discussed in this press release, the data was filtered by those 18 years and older (eligible voters) and by those registered with the IEC to vote. This resulted in a total sample size of 2,744.  In fieldwork documentation of the respondents are checked.  Using a ballot paper like that used in an election, respondents had to “vote for” their choice of political party. The question specified that they need to consider their choice as if the election were happening the next day. 

 

All sample surveys are subject to a margin of error, determined by sample size, sampling methodology and response rate. The sample error for this sample at a 95% confidence level is a maximum of 1.8%.

 

In conclusion, Ipsos welcomes any discussion about its record as a political pollster in South Africa, and any other jurisdiction where we do polls. Our record in South Africa as an accurate predictor of political outcomes and as a source of strategically important information based on our polling is very strong. 

 

[1] These results are for all South Africans of voting age, i.e. 18 years and older.

[2] These results are for all South Africans 18 years and older, who are registered to vote.

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