Ramaphosa's ANC regaining voter trust after low scores in Zuma years - Ipsos

06 January 2019 - 00:03
By TimesLIVE
President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Image: GCIS President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Ahead of the next national election planned for May this year, currently six in every 10 registered voters (61%), say they will vote for the ANC.

This is according to a "pulse of the people" survey by market research firm Ipsos.

The ruling party is followed distantly by the DA (14%), the EFF (9%) and the IFP (2%).

Ipsos said fieldwork for this leg of the survey was conducted from October 23 to December 4 2018. A total of 3,571 South Africans were interviewed face-to-face in their homes and home languages. Interviews were conducted all over the country, from metropolitan areas to deep rural areas. 

South Africans were asked which party they would vote for in a national election if it were to happen the next day.

People were also asked to indicate their trust levels in political parties. The ANC improved from a score of 11 in the November 2017 index, to 34 a year later. 

"At the end of the Zuma years, trust in the ANC was very low, but the party has recovered quite significantly in the last year," Ipsos noted. Former president Jacob Zuma resigned in February last year, handing the reins of the country and party to Cyril Ramaphosa, who had been voted in as ANC president in December 2017.

In contrast to the ANC's upward swing, Ipsos said: "The trust indices for both the DA and the EFF are still in negative terrain, and both parties underperformed in building trust among the electorate in 2018."

Image: Ipsos

The researchers cautioned that its survey results were not a prediction of the outcome of the upcoming election, but merely a snapshot of voter opinion at the time of fieldwork. Closer to the election, it said, possible election turnout scenarios will be developed.

"... Voters are making up their minds about which party to support. However, uncertainty is rife — many people are not sure which party to vote for, giving political parties the opportunity to try and influence voters before the election comes around."

In this latest "pulse of the people" survey, Ipsos said 13% of registered voters answered that they would not vote, would not vote for a current party, refused to answer or did not know which party they would vote for.

Currently, only 79% of South Africans who are eligible to vote are registered to do so, which could improve as the electoral commission embarks on registration drives in the run-up to the election.