Ramaphosa more likely to lead ANC to victory in 2019 - poll

10 December 2017 - 00:00 By OLEBOGENG MOLATLHWA

Most ANC voters are more likely to support the party in 2019 if Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is in charge.
This is according to a poll by research company Ratepop, which showed that 58% of ANC supporters would vote for the party if Ramaphosa was its leader. The survey was conducted among 2,100 people who voted for the ANC in last year's local government elections.
The results showed that 1205 of those in the sample polled in June and July "indicated an inclination" to vote for the ANC in the next general elections were Ramaphosa to emerge victorious next week.But 261 people said they were "less likely" to give the ANC the nod with Ramaphosa at the helm.
Only 605 people would vote ANC with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in charge, while 284 said they were not sure how they would vote if she was party leader.
While Dlamini-Zuma trails Ramaphosa in branch nominations, her campaign is confident she will clinch the contest by winning votes from the two largest delegations, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, and receiving overwhelming backing from Free State and North West delegates.
Howard Sackstein, a telecoms entrepreneur with previous experience as an executive director at the Independent Electoral Commission from 1994 to 2000, said 6,800 respondents agreed to participate in the survey after he randomly sent out three million text messages.
"We had no idea who the numbers belonged to. We simply asked people whether they were willing to take part in the survey and 6,800 people said 'yes' and from that number, we were able to extract a little more than 2,000 people who indicated that they had voted for the ANC in last year's elections," said Sackstein.
More than 900 people, or 46%, said they were less likely to vote for the ANC if President Jacob Zuma remained in his position until the 2019 elections while 485 said they were likely to vote for the party. Some 286 indicated they would vote "the same" while 290 said they were not sure.The survey was conducted in two parts, with the first sample of 2,100 people polled in June and July and another 700 people surveyed in November.
Political analyst Ralph Mathekga said the electorate was extremely complex in how it arrived at the decisions it took during elections, adding that not enough work was being done to understand this group.
"South Africa's voters are complicated and sometimes we don't do the deep work to understand them.
"We make the mistake of taking voters simply at face value. For instance, observations are often made that the opposition is gaining traction at the expense of the ANC but actually, the ANC is not always losing votes directly to the opposition. Voters just stay away," said Mathekga.
Mathekga said that while Dlamini-Zuma may have a credibility problem, largely as a result of pockets of her support base, this was not a permanent crisis.
"What if she says she will provide free education? What then? Is she likely to be viewed differently? If Dlamini-Zuma wins, she, like Cyril Ramaphosa, will have to make another case [to the broader electorate].
"I do not think that she will give the same message to voters in 2019 that she would give to ANC delegates to an elective conference."

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