Popular Opinions about our 3 biggest parties

A number of South African voters are still deciding which party to vote for in the national and provincial elections and it is clear that opinions about the three biggest parties differ widely. For some perspective we can look the most popular opinions about each, expressed in the latest Ipsos Pulse of the People™. 

The author(s)

  • Mari Harris Public Affairs Director
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In the survey, respondents were presented with some statements and they had to indicate whether they “strongly agree’, “agree”, neither agree nor disagree”, “disagree” or “strongly disagree” with each of the statements. 

 

This press release will look at the opinions expressed by voters registered to vote on 8 May.  In each case the opinions of “All registered voters” will be compared to the opinions of the registered supporters of the three parties.

 

African National Congress (ANC)

 

Since the last national election in 2014, the ruling party has often been in the news for all the wrong reasons: Nkandla, the Gupta issue, allegations of corruption and state capture and many more.  Testimony at the Zondo Commission of enquiry is currently making headlines.

 

 

Registered voters

Agree

%

Registered voters

Disagree

%

ANC Supporters

Agree

%

ANC Supporters

Disagree

%

 

State capture is being addressed by the ANC

52

23

59

17

I have faith that the ANC will live up to their election promises

49

30

68

13

I believe corruption in South Africa will become less of an issue in the future

47

32

56

25

 

A small majority of registered voters believe that the party is addressing state capture, but it is less positive that less than half believe that corruption will become less of an issue in the future. 

 

The ruling party will have its work cut out after the election to address these issues, not only among all South Africans, but also amongst its own supporters, who are at best lukewarm in their opinions of the ANCs taking care of these issues.  For instance, only about two thirds of registered ANC supporters think that the party will make good on election promises.

 

Democratic Alliance (DA)

 

Like the ANC, the DA had a trying time over the last year and had to face several internal issues before they could devote all attention to the coming elections.

 

More than half of registered voters feel that this party is more about talk than action, a notion clearly not supported by DA supporters, although about a quarter of DA supporters feel that they are not getting enough support from the party. 

 

DA supporters are divided about the issue of leadership issues in the party – an opinion like this can hurt the party on Wednesday, but they overwhelmingly support the opinion that the party has managed the province and metro’s where they are in power well.  This opinion is supported by more than four in ten of registered voters.

 

 

Registered voters

Agree

%

Registered voters

Disagree

%

DA Supporters

Agree

%

DA Supporters

Disagree

%

The DA talks a lot, but does very little for people like me

55

24

26

57

The DA are having leadership issues

49

23

39

40

The DA has managed the Western Cape, Tshwane and Johannesburg well

43

29

75

10

 

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)

 

Over time many South Africans have indicated that they do find EFF policies too radical and the party was the focus of much critique after regularly disrupting the order in Parliament, especially during the State of the Nation addresses of ex-president Zuma or his other appearances in Parliament.

 

However, one can definitely argue that people with these opinions are not the focus of EFF leadership and EFF policies.  Looking at the results below, it is evident that about six in every ten registered EFF supporters do support the party’s actions in Parliament and its role in (violent) protests.

 

On the other hand, six in every ten registered voters have similarly strong opinions about the EFF’s more radical role and participation in the South African democracy.

 

 

Registered voters

Agree

%

Registered voters

Disagree

%

EFF Supporters

Agree

%

EFF Supporters

Disagree

%

The EFF is having a negative effect on Parliament

 

60

21

26

60

The EFF’s policies are too radical

 

59

19

33

48

The EFF is inclined to promote violence

 

57

22

24

60

 

 

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.

The author(s)

  • Mari Harris Public Affairs Director

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