The latest election polling numbers are in and they are fascinating

Alex Weiss | Oct 17, 2021
FAN was lucky enough to sit in on an exclusive webinar showcasing the latest election polling results for the upcoming Local General Elections on November 1st. The results are fascinating.

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The latest election polling numbers are in and they are fascinating

Saying ‘Who will win the elections? is a “million-dollar question”’, is not a fantasy. Quite literally, millions are spent on political campaigns to win your vote and take the election cake. FAN was lucky enough to sit in on an exclusive client webinar hosted by the Centre for Risk Analysis (CRA) on recent polling, conducted in September, which they had commissioned on voter sentiment. Here are some fascinating insights that we want to share with you.

 

The 50% mark – A crucial factor to watch out for

Municipal elections are the best opportunity you get to effect change in your community, with the opportunity to vote for a political candidate to represent your interests and concerns at your local council. Local election results according to wards, metros, and other municipalities are the most important to watch in this case, rather than national results.

 

 

However, overall support does give an indication of what might happen in the next national election in 2024. For the upcoming local election on November 1st, the CRA’s poll puts support for the ANC at 50.3% and with a margin of error of ±4%, the ruling party could well drop under 50%. This would be a massive psychological blow for the party and likely signify the beginning of the end of its dominance.

 

Trends from previous elections

In the last local government elections in 2016, ward and PR votes obtained were:

  • ANC: 53.9%
  • DA: 26.9%
  • EFF: 8.2%

 

Source: CRA 2021 polling

Whilst the DA stumbled in 2019 – recording their first decline in a national election – they have been consistently growing in local elections since 2006 and tend to do better in local elections over national ones. The EFF on the other hand has shown consistent growth throughout (although the sample of elections that the EFF have participated in are significantly less than the DA).

Loyalty is important

The CRA also asked respondents; ‘Thinking of your own life, compared to 5 years ago, is your life today: better, the same or worse?’ A combined 80.5% of respondents thought their lives had stagnated or worsened. Only 19% said their lives had improved.

This is a devastating reflection of the state of affairs in Mzansi but not unexpected amidst the sabotage of South Africa’s economy and people’s livelihoods from two decades of destructive labour policies, rolling blackouts, decaying public infrastructure, as well as rampant corruption. On the back of this, you may be inclined to think that the ANC is sinking its own ship?

This might be true to a degree – as reflected in an expected decline in results. Although, the CRA also investigated the popularity of political leaders, which revealed for Cyril Ramaphosa that 60% of respondents have a favorable view of him and 65% still believe that his ‘New Dawn’ vision will help the country grow. Coupled with engrained party loyalty, this could mean that President Ramaphosa may be the one that saves the ANC from sliding towards complete collapse – for now at least.

Drum roll, please! The winner is…

Never shy to put their money where their mouth is, the CRA anticipates the following outcome at this election:

  • ANC dipping under a national majority with 49%;
  • DA dropping to 22%; and
  • EFF levelling up to 12%.

This leaves a chunky 17% of the vote to smaller parties, attributed to the inability of the big three to really grasp the confidence of their voters. For the DA this would see some ±4.5% points of their support split equally between the Freedom Front+, newcomers ActionSA, and GOOD. The ANC is likely to come in below 50% in urban centers, but across the board it could see its losses distributed to the EFF (4 points) and the IFP (1 point).

Source: CRA 2021 polling

As mentioned, overall outcome does not give you the full picture of who will govern where, but it is useful to get an insight into what the outcomes might be when the next national election comes around in 2024. Next week we will be identifying key local results that you should keep an eye out for (watch this space!).

Now it’s your turn to get involved

Unfortunately, voting is not popular amongst South Africans. Of the 38 million South Africans eligible to vote, only 26 million (68%) are registered to vote and of those, it is likely that only around half (± 13 million people) will actually turnout to vote, meaning around 25  million eligible citizens will not be participating in the election.

When all is said and done, your vote the best means to effect change, empowering you to play your part in building a new tomorrow. On November 1st, the FAN team will all be out putting crosses on ballot papers and getting our thumbs inked - we hope you and your community will do the same.

 

Cover image source available here.

 

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