EFF could shave 10% off ANC support base - poll

23 September 2018 - 11:55 By Nico Gous
The IRR's Gareth van Onselen says the ANC’s decision to pander to and adopt the EFF's policies has backfired.
The IRR's Gareth van Onselen says the ANC’s decision to pander to and adopt the EFF's policies has backfired.
Image: Eff via Twitter

The EFF could double its support in next year’s general elections by shaving 10% off the support base of the ANC.

This is the finding of a survey released by the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) on Sunday.

“The ANC’s strategic decision to nullify the EFF by attempting to pander to and adopt its policies has backfired dramatically and around 10% of alienated black ANC voters are now being won over by the EFF on the back of its ability to dominate the ANC‚” wrote IRR head of politics and governance Gareth van Onselen.

This means the ANC looks set to get just over half the vote (52%)‚ the DA 23% and the EFF 13% next year. In the 2014 general elections‚ the ruling party received 62% of the vote‚ the DA 22% and the EFF 6%.

“The EFF has used the lack of any compelling vision on any of the biggest issues on the part of the ANC – decline‚ economic regression and ubiquitous corruption – to dominate the national debate. The EFF’s ability to use land reform in this way – both to drive national debate and to dominate the ANC – has seen its share of the vote spike‚” Van Onselen wrote.

Victory Research conducted a poll for the IRR between August 22 and September 4. Using random telephone numbers‚ 978 people were questioned.

The issues that mattered the most to participants were jobs and unemployment (47%)‚ drugs and drug abuse (23%)‚ and crime and insecurity (20%). Land reform was the least of their concerns with 6%. These concerns differed little between rural and urban survey participants.

Van Onselen said there was a “public debate vacuum” on the issues that mattered the most to voters.

“Thus‚ land reform – a problem that ranks lowest among voters as a priority – has been allowed to overwhelm national debate and‚ driven by the EFF‚ be used to frame the ANC as subservient to the EFF’s direction and programme of action.”

Meanwhile‚ it seems there will be no majority party in Gauteng next year as the poll found 46% support for the ANC‚ 28% for the DA and 17% for the EFF in the province.

“The base of the EFF’s support comes from Gauteng. The province is South Africa’s most populous and the 17% the EFF has secured in Gauteng will have gone some considerable way towards driving up its national percentage of the vote.”