Zuma tops pre-election poll

African National Congress (ANC) president Jacob Zuma emerged as the favourite politician followed by Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille among people questioned in a new pre-election survey.

Their ratings out of 10 given by the people likely to vote were 6,5 and 4,3 respectively, followed by Congress of the People (Cope) chairperson Mosiuoa Lekota at 4,1 and Patricia de Lille at 3,9 out of 10.

The results of the poll by Ipsos Markinor were released on Wednesday.

The researchers said: “A question was posed to the respondents whereby they were asked to rate the leaders of the various political parties on a scale from 10 to 0, where 10 meant totally in favour and 0 meant totally against.”

In the pre-election Socio-Political Trends survey, Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi scored 3,4, Bantu Holomisa of the United Democratic Movement 3,3, Kenneth Meshoe of the African Christian Democratic Party 3, and Pieter Mulder of the Freedom Front Plus 2,7.

Because each party has a unique supporter profile, it was necessary to view the ratings from the perspective of the different population groups in South Africa, said the researchers.

“In contrast to likely black voters who favour Jacob Zuma [7,7 out of 10], the other population groups are more varied in terms of the political party leaders that they favour,” they explained.

“Likely white voters mostly favour Helen Zille [7,8 out of 10] and least favour Jacob Zuma [1,9 out of 10]. This same trend is apparent among likely coloured voters, whereby Helen Zille is perceived as most favourable [6,7 out of 10], although slightly less than white likely voters, and Jacob Zuma is least favourable [3 out of 10], but also less than likely white voters.”

Helen Zille also receives the highest average favourability among Indian voters [6,6 out of 10] and Pieter Mulder is least favoured with a rating of 2,8 out of 10.

The researchers also dipped into how supporters of certain parties rated the leaders of other parties.

They found that while the IFP supporters interviewed gave Buthelezi 8,4 out of 10, they also rated Zuma at 6,4.
De Lille was given a 7,9 by her supporters, and they gave Zille a 6,6. ANC supporters gave Zuma and 8,1, Zille a 3,1, and its own former chairperson, Mosiuoa Lekota, 3,4.

Zille’s supporters gave her an 8,2, and only mustered a 1,6 for Zuma.

Cope supporters gave Lekota a 7,6 and Zuma 3,1, below the 3,5 they gave to Buthelezi.

Turning to job performance, they found that 59% of likely voters believe the national government is doing a good or fair job in comparison to 35% who believe that it is doing “not very well” or “not at all well”.

Just over half, 54%, of likely voters believe President Kgalema Motlanthe is doing his job “very well” or “fairly well”.

Twenty-four percent of likely voters said they don’t know.

Forty percent said they could not yet say about Deputy President Baleka Mbete, with 34% saying she is doing a “very good” or “fair job”.

The researchers attributed the uncertainty level for them to their short term in office.

The KwaZulu-Natal government was pleased that 73% of those surveyed thought its premier Sbu Ndebele was doing his job very well or fairly well and that he scored the highest.

Ndebele’s spokesperson Logan Maistry sent a response from Ndebele which read: “Since 1994, when I was first appointed MEC [provincial minister] for transport in KwaZulu-Natal, I realised that it is important to listen to people and to try to put forward their interests.”

Free State Premier Beatrice Marshoff received 56% for the same category, the Northern Cape’s Dipuo Peters 51%, the Western Cape’s Lynne Brown 50%, Mpumalanga’s Thabang Makwetla 47%, Gauteng’s Paul Mashatile 38%, the North West’s Edna Molewa 30% and the Eastern Cape’s Mbulelo Sogoni 28%.

There was no rating for Limpopo’s Sello Moloto as he resigned at the beginning of March and the interviews were conducted between February 24 2009 and March 10.—Sapa

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