Third of voters feel no political party aligns with their views: Ipsos survey

27 May 2024 - 22:21
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President Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo.
President Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo.
Image: GCIS

More than a third (35%) of registered South African voters feel no political party fully aligns with their views and opinions, market research company Ipsos said on Monday. 

It said this sentiment posed a significant challenge for voters as they grappled with their party choices in the upcoming national and provincial elections.

Ipsos based its findings on the views of 2,545 registered voters. Interviews were conducted by trained Ipsos interviewers in the homes and home languages of respondents.

Interviews were conducted from March 9 to April 15. A scientific process of multi-stage stratified random selection distributed interviews in all areas of the county, including deep rural areas.

Ipsos said this methodology ensured the results were representative of the views of South Africans eligible to vote.

Ipsos said while firm supporters of the three major political parties expressed high levels of trust in their own chosen parties, the broader South African populace exhibited low levels of trust in these same political parties.

It found that 77% of ANC supporters, 82% of DA supporters and 81% of EFF supporters were likely to trust their own parties. Only 39% of South Africans registered to vote are likely to trust the ANC and only 25% each of voters were likely to trust the EFF and the DA. 

Ipsos found political leaders themselves garnered little confidence from the electorate.

“When registered voters were asked to rate how they are performing as political leaders on the national scene on a scale of 1 to 10, only President Cyril Ramaphosa managed to secure a score slightly above the midpoint of 5.”

Former president Jacob Zuma scored 3.7, DA leader John Steenhuisen 3.3, EFF leader Julius Malema Malema 3.5, ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba 3.2, IFP leader Velenkosini Hlabisa 3.1 and FF+ leader Pieter Groenewald 2.7. 

“However, a starkly contrasting picture emerges when considering the views of supporters aligned with each political leader's party. Among these partisan subgroups, evaluations of their respective leaders are markedly more favourable.” 

Supporters of the MK Party ranked Jacob Zuma 8, the same ranking that FF+ supporters gave its leader Groenewald, with ANC supporters ranking Ramaphosa 7.5, EFF supporters ranking Malema at 7.3, DA supporters ranking Steenhuisen at 6.7, IFP supporters giving Hlabisa 6.1 and ActionSA giving Mashaba 5.9. 

“As the nation approaches the upcoming elections, these findings underscore the complex dynamics at play, with a significant portion of the electorate feeling unrepresented and a clear divergence between the views of committed party supporters and the general public.

“The outcome of the elections will likely hinge on how effectively parties and leaders can bridge this gap and appeal to the broader South African populace,” Ipsos said. 


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