Elections Poll Survey Results Are Out!

Elections posters mounted on street poles ahead of the May 29 elections. File Picture: Oupa Mokoena / Independent Newspapers

Elections posters mounted on street poles ahead of the May 29 elections. File Picture: Oupa Mokoena / Independent Newspapers

Published Apr 5, 2024


IOL and Independent Media announced recently that we had commissioned African Innovation Research SA (AIRSA), a subsidiary of African Innovation Solutions to conduct bi-weekly polls in the run up to this year's National and provincial elections.

The results of the first poll survey conducted by AIRSA have been made available to Independent Media and IOL and was conducted across three major metros in South Africa — Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town — a sample of 1,000 respondents provided valuable insights into their views on voter registration, upcoming elections, perceptions of the presidency, preferences for the next president, party predictions, and youth-related issues.

It is important to note that this particular poll was only conducted in the above three cities and therefore may not be reflective of the national sentiment. With this in mind, Independent Media and IOL have commissioned AIRSA to undertake a national poll in all 9 provinces of the country, the results of which will be made available towards the end of April.

These are some of the important takeaways from the first poll survey:

Voter Registration and Election Participation:

The majority of respondents, approximately 97.38%, are registered to vote, indicating a high level of civic engagement. However, a notable 2.62% are not registered. Out of the 1000 respondents, 75.1% plan to actually vote in the upcoming elections.

Perceptions of Cyril Ramaphosa's Presidency

Opinions on President Cyril Ramaphosa's performance vary. Ratings provided ranged from 0 to 10, with an average rating of approximately 4.345. While some respondents expressed approval or satisfaction with his presidency, just over half were critical, citing issues such as corruption, economic challenges, and lack of leadership.

Preferences for the Next President

When asked who they would prefer as the next president, respondents provided a diverse range of names, including political figures, activists, and individuals. The preferences for their choice for president, ordered from highest to lowest percentages, are as follows:

  • Julius Malema: 21.45%
  • Jacob Zuma: 21.45%
  • Cyril Ramaphosa: 15.56%
  • John Steenhuisen: 5.26%
  • Velenkosini Hlabisa: 4.52%
  • Chris Pappas: 4.10%
  • Herman Mashaba: 2.94%

Julius Malema and Jacob Zuma emerge as the most preferred candidates, each receiving approximately 21.45% of the total responses. Cyril Ramaphosa follows closely behind with 15.56%. Other candidates, such as John Steenhuisen, Velenkosini Fiki Hlabisa, Chris Pappas, and Herman Mashaba, also received varying levels of support.

Party Preference

The EFF emerged as the preferred party among respondents, with 20.6% indicating their preference to vote for the party. This is followed by the ANC with 19% of respondents and the newly formed MK party comes in at 16.1% with the DA on 10%. Additionally, 8% of respondents stated they won't vote. Other parties mentioned in the data include the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), Al Jama ah, Rise Mzansi, United Democratic Movement (UDM), African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), BOSA, ATM, Patriotic Alliance, and Cope.

Youth Issues

When it comes to championing youth issues, the EFF emerges as the clear favourite, with approximately 51.42% respondents indicating so. The ANC scored approximately 16.50%.

Independent Media Editor-In-Chief Adri Senekal de Wet said the poll helped to serve as a barometer for public opinion.

“It's our duty as a media organisation to delve deeper into these findings, ensuring our coverage is both insightful and reflective of the diverse voices within our society,” said Senekal de Wet.

Meanwhile IOL Editor Lance Witten said the poll provided South Africans with a unique opportunity to engage in meaningful discourse and reflection.

“These figures are not just statistics; they represent the collective voice of South Africans, each number echoing the hopes, concerns, and aspirations of individuals across our nation,” said Witten.

The detailed results of the poll will be covered in Independent Media publications and on IOL in the forthcoming weeks leading up to the elections on May 29.