Ipsos Poll: ANC support at 60%

Despite all the political turmoil, posturing, faction fights and uncertainty that was a feature of the South African political scene over the last year, the ANC is currently comfortably ahead in the race to next year’s general election.

Ipsos Poll: ANC support at 60%

These are some of the findings from the Ipsos 6-monthly “Pulse of the People™” study, with fieldwork undertaken from 20 April to 7 June 2018. A randomly selected representative sample of 3, 738 adult South Africans were interviewed in their homes and chosen languages. (For more, see technical detail.)

 

Choice of political party

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.  Six in every ten South African adults of voting age (18+) chose the ANC.  Other opposition parties did not perform as well, with the DA, especially, performing well below the share of vote they received in the national election of 2014 and the local government election of 2016. Every respondent was asked to indicate which party they would vote for on the national ballot paper and on the provincial ballot paper (as some voters split their votes between two parties). It is important to point out that these figures are not a prediction for the national election in 2019, as it is still a considerable time before the election and many events that will sway voting behaviour are bound to happen.  Also, these figures include a projection of the choices of all South Africans of voting age.  In an election, only registered voters participate and then not all of them go to the polls on election day.  Thus, different scenarios have to be considered when predicting election results.

 

Party

Choice on the National Ballot

%

Choice on the Provincial Ballot %

 

ANC

60

58

DA

13

13

EFF

7

7

IFP

1

1

FF+

*

1

Another party*

1

2

Would not vote

5

5

None of the current parties**

1

1

Refused to answer

7

7

Not registered to vote

2

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.

 

Looking at these results, one might be tempted to think that the election next year will be plain sailing for the ANC.  However, this is not necessarily the case.  Reactions to the following statement “The future of the ANC is uncertain because of the leadership issues within the party”, showed that more than half of South African voters (54%) “strongly agreed” or “agreed” with the statement.  Although it is understandable that supporters of opposition parties will be more doubtful of the ability of the leadership of the ANC to keep things together – about six in every ten DA and EFF supporters 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.

 

The future of the ANC is uncertain because of the leadership issues within the party

 

Total SA Voters %

ANC Supporters %

 

DA supporters %

EFF supporters %

Strongly agree / agree

54

52

59

60

Neither agree nor disagree

23

24

20

22

Disagree / Strongly disagree

20

22

16

17

Don’t know

3

2

5

1

 

 

 

Trust in political parties

These opinions 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 political parties. Comparing the trust indices of November 2017 and June 2018, it is clear that all three the biggest political parties in South Africa now perform better than they did at the end of November last year.

 

 

ANC Trust index

DA Trust index

EFF Trust index

 

Nov.2017

11

-19

-47

June 2018

36

-16

-23

 

At the end of the Zuma years, trust in the ANC was very low, but the party has recovered quite significantly in the last seven months.  The trust indices for both the DA and the EFF are in negative terrain, but the EFF made more progress in terms of building trust than the DA.  These are the views of the whole of the South African electorate, but it is also important to look to which degree the supporters of a party express their trust in the party.

 

 

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

 

 

 

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.

 

Provincial results

There are still several uncertainties in terms of leadership, policy, focus and performance of the new ANC leadership.  The DA and the EFF do not escape the general political uncertainty in the country and the DA has, especially in the Western Cape their own internal differences causing many questions about the future of the party. This is clear from the results when respondents were asked to choose a party to vote for in the provincial ballot:

 

 

GP

%

WC

%

KZN

%

MP

%

FS

%

NW

%

LP

%

EC

%

NC

%

 

ANC

58

26

62

82

69

68

70

54

45

 

DA

15

28

7

4

13

14

5

16

15

 

EFF

10

3

3

9

1

9

12

10

3

 

IFP

*

*

3

1

*

1

*

*

*

 

FF+

*

*

*

1

1

*

1

2

*

 

COPE

*

*

*

*

1

*

*

*

*

 

Will not vote

6

9

2

2

1

4

3

8

8

 

None of the current parties

1

5

1

*

3

*

*

*

1

 

Refused

3

17

16

1

5

3

3

5

4

 

Not registered

2

5

2

*

*

1

2

1

*

 

Don’t know

3

5

3

1

6

1

2

3

24

*Support of less than 0.5%

 

According to these results, it looks as if the leadership in the Western Cape might be up for grabs, however almost a fifth (17%) of voters have refused to answer the question. 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. This situation will have to be watched closely, as it is currently the only DA provincial administration in the country. 

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 might form a new political party in opposition to the ANC.

 

Currently, the ANC do receive the majority of votes in the Northern Cape, but a quarter of voters (24%) in this province have not yet made up their minds about voting in 2019.  With results such as these, it is important to remember that an election is not a “sprint” in athletic terms, but rather an endurance race!

 

Technical Detail

 

Fieldwork for this study was conducted from 20 April to 7 June 2018.  A total of 3,738 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.

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 1.60%.

 

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 based on our polling is very strong. 

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