Ipsos survey points to 49.3% support for ANC in local government elections

Just fewer than half of voters (49.3%) are likely to cast their ballot for the governing ANC in local government elections due late next month, according to market-research company Ipsos. The same survey found that support for the main opposition Democratic Alliance stands at 17.9%, with the Economic Freedom Fighters garnering 14.5%.

Ipsos was, however, quick to stress that the estimates, drawn from a computer-assisted telephonic interview study undertaken from 16 to 20 August, are “not a prediction of the election”.

“Although a large proportion of voters have made up their minds, 7.4% of those who indicated that they will vote in the local government elections are not allocated to a political party,” it said.

“Predictions, for what they are worth, should only be made much closer to election day.”

In the survey, Ipsos interviewed 1 501 randomly selected adults in the country.

The local government elections are going ahead between 27 October and 1 November after the Constitutional Court last Friday dismissed an application by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) to postpone them to early next year, citing hindrances relating to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ipsos noted that the IEC could still approach parliament and seek a postponement by amending the constitution, but this would require a two-thirds majority and it was uncertain if there would be enough support to delay the polls.

The research company also noted that there had been little campaigning for the elections because of the pandemic.

But voters had expressed their discontent with politics and political parties in various ways over the past few years, Ipsos added, and it remained to be seen whether this sentiment, as well as the pandemic, would have an influence on voter turnout.

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Chris Gilili
Chris Gilili is a climate and environmental journalist at the Mail & Guardian’s environmental unit, covering socioeconomic issues and general news. Previously, he was a fellow at amaBhungane, the centre for investigative journalism.

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