Party loyalty leads in voter survey

Published May 15, 2024


Respondents in a University of Johannesburg survey on voting behaviour were 58% more likely to choose the incumbent party – the ANC – than an opposition party if they selected party loyalty as their reason for party choice.

The research report, titled “Factors determining voter choice in South Africa’s 2024 national general elections”, is co-authored by Leila Patel, Yolanda Sadie and Jaclyn de Klerk, at the University of Johannesburg.

The sample for the analysis included 3 511 respondents, 51% women and 49% men. The majority of respondents live in urban areas (67%) compared with rural (33%). Most of the sample is made up of young people, with 51% aged 18–34 years, 41% aged 35–60 years, and 8% older than 60 years.

Asked who they would vote for in the upcoming national election in 2024, 33% said ANC, 19% said EFF, and 15% said the DA.

Twelve percent said they would vote for other opposition parties, and 21% said either they would not vote, refused to say, were not registered, or did not know who they would vote for.

“ANC support has fallen substantively from previous waves where it hovered at just over 50%. The EFF by contrast looks to be a far more popular choice than previously seen in the survey data. It has almost doubled since our 2020 survey. Support for the DA is consistent with what we saw in previous waves,” the report stated.

When asked why a respondent would choose a specific party in the 2024 election, they could offer up to five reasons. The most frequently cited reason was that the party will create jobs (55% of respondents), followed by the party promises to improve people’s lives (49%), the party will improve service delivery (48%) and it pays social grants (44%).

Party loyalty, to the party that brought freedom and democracy to the country, was also a persistent factor determining party choice, the study said.

“Trust in the presidency of Cyril Ramaphosa increased gradually over the different waves. In fact, trust in the president increased from 54% in 2019 to 60% in 2020 and to 77% in 2023.

“Grant recipients show marginally stronger support for the ANC (8%). This is up by 1% in 2020 (7%) and up from 5% in 2017.”

While calls for a basic income grant continue, Cry of the Xcluded’s Motsi Khokhoma said political parties will say anything to get a vote from the poor and marginalised, but while “austerity policies remain, it won’t be implemented”.

Cape Times