Sun. May 19th, 2024

With just a month remaining before the elections, significant changes are underway in South Africa’s political arena, as indicated by an Ipsos poll conducted through interviews spanning March and April.

The poll, which surveyed randomly selected nationals across all nine provinces, settlement types, and rural areas in South Africa, unveiled challenges for the African National Congress (ANC) in securing voter confidence, with support for the ruling party falling well below 50%.

Nationally, only 38% of respondents believe that the ANC will fulfill their election promises, with the party’s support base historically concentrated in rural areas.

In a press release, Ipsos, a multinational market research and consulting firm, highlighted voter discontent, with a mere 23% of registered voters expressing belief that the country is on the right path, while two-thirds (66%) perceive the current “direction of travel” as erroneous. Ipsos emphasized the imperative for political parties and candidates to address these concerns.

Analyzing registered voters separately, Ipsos projected their results using Electoral Commission (IEC) registration figures, which indicated 27,698,201 names on the voters’ roll.

The official establishment of the uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK Party) in December 2023 significantly impacted support distribution among leading political parties in recent months, according to Ipsos. This shift has curtailed the Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) advances, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), with some former EFF supporters migrating to the new party.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) maintains its position, attracting approximately one-fifth of the electorate. As the campaign enters its final weeks, uncertainty prevails in KZN, where nearly one-fifth of the electorate remains undecided.

Gauteng and KZN, with 23.6% and 20.7% of the electorate respectively, are identified as pivotal provinces to watch in the upcoming election. With women constituting 55.24% of registered voters, political parties are advised to prioritize women’s views and opinions during the concluding month of campaigning.

Ipsos cautioned that the party support figures discussed should not be construed as firm predictions of election outcomes, as volatility and changes are expected in the political environment over the next month. Additionally, voter turnout on election day will also influence final results.

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