DA poll a setback to coalition ambitions
Polling this month by the DA shows that if elections were held now, the party would fail to win enough votes to force the ruling ANC below a 50% majority.
A poll conducted last week among 1,500 people across the country showed 55% support for the ANC, about the same as it won in the 2016 local elections but down on the 62% it won in the last national elections in 2014.
The DA has set its sights on swinging voter sentiment in the May 8 elections so that it would be in a position to form a coalition government with other opposition parties.
The DA poll showed support for Mmusi Maimane's party now at 24%-25%, less than the 26.2% it won nationally in 2016 but more than the 22% it won five years ago.
Sources said the poll showed that in the hotly contested province of Gauteng, the DA has support of 30%-31%, the ANC has 48%-49% and the EFF 15%-16%. If the DA and the EFF gained 47% between them in May, they would still need the support of other opposition parties to form a government in the province.
DA national spokesperson Solly Malatsi said the party was focused on bringing the ANC below 50% in both Gauteng and the Northern Cape.
"The DA's campaign is going incredibly well, with a strong foundation for the campaign set by the delivery of our offer of change across the country," he said, predicting "significant growth" in support in the voting in May.
"We will be intensifying our efforts in the next few weeks as our candidates step up their activity."
Malatsi said that though he could not comment on the polling done by the party, the results for Gauteng were similar to those from a poll conducted this month by the Institute for Race Relations (IRR) that gave the DA 32.4% in the province.
"The recent IRR poll points in the right direction, [it] puts us above 30%, which is similar to the research we have conducted. We do remain confident, though, that we are well on track to retain the Western Cape and bring the ANC below 50% in both Gauteng and the Northern Cape," said Malatsi.
The DA poll showed the party's support in KwaZulu-Natal was at 17%, two points ahead of the IFP. The ANC is polling at 52% in the province, and the EFF at 10%.
The Sunday Times understands that the DA views KwaZulu-Natal one of the three most important provinces for its efforts to boost national support.
In the Western Cape, which it controls, the DA is polling at 54%.