Picture: Phill Magakoe/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Cape Town - Polls show that the ANC is set to dominate the general elections later this year and even with former president Jacob Zuma out of the limelight, the ANC faithful has somewhat grown under President Cyril Ramaphosa’s new dawn, experts say.

Research giant Ipsos polled the ANC at 61% support. Between October 23 and December 4 last year, Ipsos conducted face-to-face interviews with 3 571 adults, with 61% of them saying they would cast their vote in favour of the governing party in May.

“These results are not a prediction of the outcome of the election, but merely a snapshot of voter opinion at the time of fieldwork. The results are representative of those South Africans who are older than 18 and who are registered to vote. Closer to the election, possible election turnout scenarios will be developed. Currently only 79% of those South Africans who are eligible to vote are also registered to vote, which we can expect to increase as the IEC embarks on some registration drives in the run-up to the election,” Ipsos said.

Currently six in every 10 registered voters (61%) will vote for the ANC in a national election. The ruling party is followed distantly by the DA (14%), EFF (9%) and IFP (2%). 

Thirteen percent of registered voters answered that they would not vote, would not vote for a current party, refused to answer or didn’t know which party they would vote for, Ipsos found. But political commentators said the ANC’s mismanagement seems to be forgotten. Independent political commentator Solly Moeng said the problems in the DA further added to the voters’ dismay.

“There has been several problems within the DA that is one of the only parties that can give the ANC a run. But we have seen the issues within the party and that they are focusing more internally. That has worked in the ANC’s favour. And the ANC is not too worried about the EFF. 

“They know that somehow the EFF will give them their votes.” 

Moeng also said that most South Africans cannot connect the dots in the political spectrum.

“We have people who say that they will be voting for Ramaphosa because of whatever reason. 

“But they are voting for the ANC which got the country into the mess its finds itself in. It’s as if they are using Ramaphosa as a front almost.” 

Political analyst and researcher at the UWC Ralph Mathekga said the current polls have been very strange.

“Surely people have not forgotten what the ANC had done to the country. We also see that the DA and other parties have worked in Parliament to hold the ANC government to account, yet they are not the ones being thanked here. The DA has been plagued by problems, but I don’t think it will unseat them really.” 

The poll found that at the end of the Zuma years, trust in the ANC was very low, but the party has recovered.  

“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,” the poll shows.

@JasonFelix

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Cape Argus