The DA has, to a degree, been suffering torture by a thousand cuts. In the wake of its internal incoherence and infighting over the last two years. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - The South African Institute of Race Relations (IRR) conducted a February 2019 Election Poll, and revealed their findings in a recnmtly published report of how different race groups in South Africa feel about political parties ahead of the May 8 2019 elections.

The banner headline findings in the first set of results from the IRR's poll into the electoral landscape are that:
  • the ANC currently stands on 54.7% nationally, down 1.3 percentage points from December (56%); 
  • the DA currently stands on 21.8% nationally, up 3.1 percentage points from December (18%); 
  • and EFF currently stands on 12.2% nationally, up 1.2 percentage points from December (11%).
In Gauteng, the ANC is well below a majority, with EFF growth remaining high, while in the Western Cape, the DA majority is on a knife edge, with smaller parties showing some growth.

This is the IRR’s third poll on the electoral landscape - the first was conducted in September 2018, followed by a “snap poll” in December.

The latest poll was in the field between 12 and 26 February 2019. The sample was fully demographically representative and comprised only registered voters. A total of 1,611 respondents were questioned. 

The national margin of error is 3.3%. Supplementing this were two fully demographically representative sub-samples for Gauteng (sample size: 502 registered voters) and the Western Cape (sample size: 405 registered voters). 

The margin of error for the Gauteng sub-sample was 3.8%, and for the Western Cape sub-sample, 5.9%. The confidence level is 95%. 

The poll was conducted telephonically.

Below is a summary of national Voting Intention (that is, party political support), as well as Voting Intention in Gauteng and the Western Cape and various turnout scenarios nationally and provincially.

The report - see below - also contains the IRR’s full analysis of the findings, as well as a full explanation of the methodology.

The February 2019 Election Poll by the  IRR  is not a prediction, but it is a snapshot in time, in this case of the electoral market between 12 and 26 February 2019:

NATIONAL BALLOT: ANC rejuvenation slows and declines, EFF growth remains high
  • The ANC currently stands on 54.7% nationally, down 1.3 percentage points from December (56%). That is down 7.4 percentage points from the 62.1% it secured in 2014. On a 71% turnout scenario, support for the party increases to 55%.
  • The DA currently stands on 21.8% nationally, up 3.1 percentage points from December (18%). That is down 0.4 percentage points from the 22.2% it secured in 2014. On a 71% turnout scenario, support for the party increases to 24%.
  • The EFF currently stands on 12.2% nationally, up 1.2 percentage points from December (11%). That is up 5.9 percentage points from the 6.3% it secured in 2014. On a 71% turnout scenario, support for the party decreases to 11%.
GAUTENG PROVINCIAL BALLOT: ANC well below a majority, EFF growth remains high
  • The ANC currently stands on 41.6%, down 12 percentage points from the 53.6% it secured on the provincial ballot in 2014. On a 69.5% turnout scenario, support for the party increases to 47%.
  • The DA currently stands on 32.4%, up 1.6 percentage points from the 30.8% it secured on the provincial ballot in 2014. On a 69.5% turnout scenario, support for the party increases to 36%.
  • The EFF currently stands on 18.2%, up 7.9 percentage points from the 10.3% it secured on the provincial ballot in 2014. On a 69.5% turnout scenario, support for the party drops to 11%.
WESTERN CAPE PROVINCIAL BALLOT: DA majority on a knife edge; some growth for smaller parties
  • The DA currently stands on 50.1%, down 9.3 percentage points from the 59.4% it secured on the provincial ballot in 2014. On a 74.7% turnout scenario, support for the party increases to 54%.
  • The ANC currently stands at 33.9%, up 1 percentage point from the 32.9% it secured on the provincial ballot in 2014. On a 74.7% turnout scenario, support for the party drops to 30%.
  • Support for the ACDP currently stands at 3.5% and at 2.8% for the FF+, both up from the 1% and 0.6% they secured respectively on the provincial ballot in 2014. The results for both parties do fall within the margin of error and should be treated with caution.
PARTY SUPPORT BY RACE: The DA’s support base remains most racially diverse
  • A breakdown of the ANC’s support base (54.7%) by race, shows that it comprises: 96.2% black voters, 1.1% white voters, 2.2% Coloured voters and 0.5% Indian voters.
  • A breakdown of the DA’s support base (21.8%) by race, shows that it comprises: 27.3% black voters, 36.0% white voters, 28.0% Coloured voters and 8.6% Indian voters.
  • A breakdown of the EFF’s support base (12.2%) by race, shows that it comprises: 98.1% black voters, 0.4% white voters, 1.3% Coloured voters and 0.1% Indian voters.
  • 68% of all black voters indicated they would vote ANC, compared to 16% for the EFF and 8% for the DA.
  • 71% of all white voters indicated they would vote DA, compared to 5% for the ANC and 0% for the EFF.
  • 67% of all Coloured voters indicated they would vote DA, compared to 13% for the ANC and 2% for the EFF.
  • 72% of Indian voters indicated they would vote DA, compared to 10% for the ANC and 1% for the EFF.

The situation in the Western Cape is equally finely balanced. The DA has, to a degree, been suffering a torture by a thousand cuts. In the wake of its internal incoherence and infighting over the last two years, it appears the number of voters it has systematically consolidated under its banner from other smaller parties over the last two decades have returned to those parties. As a result, although within the margin of error, both the ACDP and FF+ have a good showing on the Western Cape provincial ballot. 

Likewise, the advent of the Good Movement, which, although only polling at 2.5% on the provincial ballot, could, together with parties like the ACDP and FF+, be the difference between the DA being able to retain its majority or not.

The IRR will undertake a full political survey every quarter. The next such full quarterly survey will be conducted in April 2019. The IRR’s intention is to publish the results in the week before the 8 May 2019 election.