ANC support ride seesaw days before election


The ANC’s support is riding a seesaw as the election approaches.

The ruling party has recently made political analysts sit up after the ANC’s support has risen by almost nine percentage points since April 15, according to an authoritative poll. However, the party seems to have lost steam again in the past week.

Political experts now say that the ANC’s time has simply run out to climb above 50% support.

A report by the political think-tank Social Research Foundation (SRF) – which provides a daily update on the political state of affairs in South Africa in the run-up to the election on 29 May – shows that the ANC’s support between 15 April and 15 May rose by 8.8%, before reaching 45% last Friday.

However, the ruling party could not once within this month manage to climb above 50% and achieve a majority. Its support has also fallen since then and the most recent update of the report places the ANC’s support at around 42% nationally.

If the poll is to be believed, the ANC does have a big problem in KwaZulu-Natal, where less than 30% of voters indicated by Friday that they intend to vote for the ANC. The uMkhonto weSizwe party’s (MKP) support has also surpassed that of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal and currently stands at 32%.

SRF warns that this trend will continue until election day.

This is how recording works

Last month, the SRF conducted a survey among 1,835 demographically and geographically representative registered voters and this survey forms the so-called baseline of its report.

However, a total of 300 new participants are surveyed every day while the 300 oldest participants are removed from the survey. Doing so creates a daily moving average of 1,800 voters, which is refreshed every six days.

The data was modeled for a 66% voter turnout, with a margin of error of just over 2%.

Data will be updated until May 28 – a day before the election. However, the data is not a prediction of the election result, but rather a survey of political parties’ daily current position in the run-up to election day.

This shows recording

According to the SRF’s last entry (23 May), the ANC’s support stands at 42.2% nationally – about 5% more compared to 15 April when the SRF made its first entry.

The poll puts the DA’s support at 24.4%, followed by the MKP at 13.2%.

The ruling party thus enjoys the last entry (23 May) but 29% support in KwaZulu-Natal. The MKP is currently leading in this province with 32% of the support.

Prof. Ntsikelelo Breakfast, a political analyst attached to the Nelson Mandela University in the Eastern Cape, says it is very difficult for him at this stage “to see which way the wind is blowing”.

However, he admits that the recent election campaigns involving members of the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) and veterans, including ex-pres. Thabo Mbeki, floated, gave the ruling party some momentum shortly before the election.

“They brought in great personalities.”

Dr. Theuns Eloff, independent political commentator, agrees.

Eloff says it also seems to him that the ANC has had more election posters put up. “They have had great visibility lately.

“One must of course also accept that the signing of the controversial bill on the National Health Insurance (NHI) and the infighting within the MKP bought the ANC a few votes.”

However, Eloff draws attention to the fact that long and protracted election campaigns are not always beneficial, as citizens at some point reach a so-called irritation level with political parties.

“I cannot see that the ANC is going to cross 46% of support. There is simply no more time left.”

The SRF says that at this stage there is an unprecedented degree of uncertainty among voters about which party they should support. The think tank says a small part of the voters still move back and forth between the ANC, EFF, MK and also the DA.

“It is unlikely that this volatility will decrease before the election.”