PARTY

ANC's support down to 53% among eligible voters - Ipsos

Mari Harris
11 January 2014

Survey finds that party's support has fallen ten percentage points since equivalent period before 2009 elections

Ipsos survey:  Political party support six months ahead of the election: The ruling party is currently less popular with eligible voters than in November 2008

Ipsos South Africa undertakes a Pulse of the PeopleTM study every six months and keeps close tabs on the opinions of voters.  A randomly selected sample of South Africans of voting age (18+) were asked which party they would support if there were an election the next day[1]

Respondents then filled in their own choices on a "ballot paper" - making this a secret vote. Looking at the results from the November 2008 poll (about six months before the 2009 election) and the results from the November 2013 poll (about six months before the 2014 election) it is clear that the overall support of the ANC fell with ten percentage points i.e. the party shed almost a fifth, 19%, of its overall support - from 63% in November 2008 to 53% in November 2013.

However, from the table overleaf it is clear that most of this loss occurred during the last year from November 2012 to November 2013. Political uncertainty, leadership issues, the aftermath of the Marikana shootings, the issues about Nkandla, service delivery protests, the forming of new political parties and a host of other reasons could have contributed to this important finding. 

Some of the new political parties (EFF and AGANG) benefited from the support moving away from the ANC, but the single largest group (7%) who did not choose a specific party in November 2013, indicated that they would not vote. A further 6% refused to answer and 5% did not know which party they will choose.

It is also important to keep in mind that this latest poll was undertaken before the death of ex-president Nelson Mandela and that the next poll planned for early 2014 will yield more contemporary results.

This poll cannot be seen as predictive of the election later this year as political opinions change.

Party support amongst ALL adults 18+

POLITICAL PARTY

SUPPORT NOV 2008

%

SUPPORT NOV 2012

%

SUPPORT NOV 2013

%

ANC

63

61

53

DA

13[2]

17

18

EFF

-

-

4

ACDP

1

1

1

AGANG

-

-

1

COPE

-

2

1

IFP

3

1

1

Other parties

7

1

2

Will not vote

2

-

7

Refuse to answer

3

-

6

Don't know

8

17

5

Not registered to vote

-

-

1

*Only parties with measured support of more than 0,5% in Nov 2013 are included in this table.

Interest in politics and elections

However, just looking at the views of ALL ADULTS (as above) might skew the picture. 

All of those who are eligible to vote are not going to turn out to vote later this year.  In fact, only two out of every ten adults (20%) are very interested in politics and elections, with a further 43% who indicated that they are somewhat interested[3].  But, more than a third (35%) of South African adults older than 18 said that they are not interested in politics and elections - the challenge (for all political parties) will be to turn this voter apathy around and get this group to register and to vote.

Currently around 77% (25,589 million) of South Africans eligible to vote indicated that they are registered to vote. (This registration figure compares well to the official IEC figure of registered voters - and we need to take into account that a further registration weekend is planned for February this year.  South Africans who are living overseas can also register as voters until 7 February.)

Turnout scenarios

It thus becomes imperative to look at the influence of possible voter turnout on party support.  At Ipsos we use questions on registration, likelihood to vote and desire to vote to develop an index of possible voter turnout.

Results are available for three possible voter turnout scenarios:

Low voter turnout

Moderate voter turnout

High voter turnout.

Please note that for this analysis only the figures from the November 2013 Pulse of the PeopleTM were taken into account:

Party support within different turnout scenarios

POLITICAL PARTY

LOW VOTER TURNOUT

%

MODERATE VOTER TURNOUT

%

HIGH VOTER TURNOUT 2013

%

ANC

65

64

56

DA

19

19

18

EFF

4

4

4

ACDP

1

1

1

AGANG

1

1

1

COPE

1

1

1

IFP

2

2

1

Other parties

1

2

3

Will not vote

-

-

7

Refuse to answer

4

4

5

Don't know

2

2

3

*Only parties with measured support of more than 0,5% in Nov 2013 are included in this table.

From this analysis it is clear that a lower voter turnout will be to the benefit of the ANC, but even in the low voter turnout scenario 4% did not want to give an answer to this question and 2% indicated that although they definitely will vote in 2014, they do not (yet) know which party they will support.

In the high voter turnout scenario some of the 7% who said that they will not vote volunteered reasons for their choice. The following was mentioned:

  • Poor service delivery
  • Political parties don't meet the country's  needs
  • Political parties don't bring change
  • "We are suffering".

The provincial scenarios

Up to now, we have looked at the results for a possible national election - but the table overleaf analyses the results given to the question regarding the provincial ballot, again taking the three possible turnout scenarios into account.

It reflects the overall results, thus not by individual province.

This analysis indicates that voters intend, to a much greater degree than in previous elections, to split their votes - i.e. vote for different parties on the national and provincial ballots. It is also clear that a number of the smaller parties stand to fare much better (overall) on the provincial ballot than on the national ballot, supporting the view that a number of parties are more regional, rather than national in nature.

Overall Provincial party support within different scenarios

POLITICAL PARTY

LOW VOTER TURNOUT

%

MEDIUM VOTER TURNOUT

%

HIGH VOTER TURNOUT 2013

%

ANC

56

55

48

DA

18

18

17

EFF

5

5

5

ACDP

1

1

1

AGANG

2

2

2

COPE

2

2

2

IFP

2

3

2

FF+

1

1

1

Other parties

3

3

3

Will not vote

2

2

9

Refuse to answer

5

5

6

Don't know

3

3

4

*Only parties with measured support of more than 0,5% in Nov 2013 are included in this table.

Technical detail:

A total of 3564 personal face-to-face interviews were conducted with randomly selected adult South Africans. The interviews were done in the homes and home languages of respondents.  Trained quantitative fieldworkers from all population groups were responsible for the interviewing, which took place from 22 October to 21 November 2013.  This methodology ensured that the results are representative of the views of the universe and that findings can be weighted and projected to the universe - i.e. South Africans 18 years and older.

Interviews were done using CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing) and all results were collated and analysed in an aggregate format to protect the identity and confidentiality of respondents.

All sample surveys are subject to a margin of error, determined by sample size, sampling methodology and response rate. The sample error for the sample as a whole at a 95% confidence level is a maximum of 1,67%.  When analysing the results for smaller parties in particular on an individual party basis the margin of error will be higher.

Footnotes:


[1] The question wording is: "If there were national elections tomorrow, which political party or organisation would you vote for? Please indicate your choice of party on a national level as well as on a provincial level."

[2] This is made up of 11% support for the DA and 2% support for the Independent Democrats.

[3] 2% said they "Don't Know"

About Ipsos: The Home of Researchers

Ipsos is an innovative, entrepreneurial, client-focused organisation, providing research services to clients on a global basis. We set ourselves high standards and aim to work collaboratively in partnership with our teams in order to service our clients most effectively.

Ipsos is proud to be the only global market research company that is still controlled and operated by researchers. We aim to remain the natural home for intellectually curious and passionate researchers.

Our goal is simple: to be our clients' preferred research partners in our areas of specialisation, methodologies and processes. We want our clients to be proud and pleased to work with us - and we want each one of us to be proud and pleased to offer our clients high quality standards, efficiency and intelligence.  

Statement issued by Mari Harris, Director Ipsos Public Affairs, January 10 2014

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Comments

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 responses to this article

Not disinterested

Released to make headlines coinciding with the ANC January 8th statement.

Then they say: "This poll cannot be seen as predictive of the election later this year as political opinions change."


by Domza on January 11 2014, 14:38
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let us hope this come true
The ANC must die a horrible death. The old Madiba ANC is over and gone with him. This new hell must die quick and fast. They are arrogant and think they are gods.


by tokolosh on January 11 2014, 14:39
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Previous Ipsos surveys
So what was the margin of error on previous Ipsos polls versus actual election results?

by . on January 11 2014, 19:00
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polio
and the masses spoke today in their thousands.

by john on January 11 2014, 21:28
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Bullshit baffles brains

You'se blokes left out two important columns, namely:

* CCAF (Couldn't Care A F***)

AND

* Eeeiiiisssshhhh, I am a product of Motshega's education system, so although I got 5 distinctions in Matric, I cannot read or . .more

by Steve Biko on January 12 2014, 00:03
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WE ARE NOT ALL FOOLS IPSOS-MARKINOR!!!
Ms Mari you are so sick and dreaming about flying over the deep sea of Pacific Ocean!!! When did you go to my place to get these statistics? Hold your horses and wait for the 2014 General Elections before this nonsense!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yesterday, it was . .more

by Themba Douglas NTSHANGASE on January 12 2014, 01:11
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These People Never Learn
It's the same every election , polls deceive the DA until the people decide. This movie will end up the same way again this year and Ipsos will disappear to surface again in 2015 during local elections. They make money though.

by Black and Proud on January 12 2014, 18:20
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Farewell to all the pigs at the trough

The ANC dies with Madiba.

It is now just in the final stages of rot.

by Mobina on January 13 2014, 07:41
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Provincial breakdown needed
It would have been interesting to see a provincial breakdown of support as this gives another perspective on voter views and where party support lies.

by Obs on January 13 2014, 08:01
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Denialism
Amazing how most of the commentary, lead by Domza/Dominic, is simple denialism.

Given the enormous significance of provincial outcomes, especially in KZN, the W Cape, Guateng and somewhat the E Cape and N Cape it is a pity that Ipsos did not . .more

by Loudly South African on January 13 2014, 09:08
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30%
I thought the DA were getting 30% of the vote. Whatever happened to that?

Anyway the EFF at 4% is far too low. They'll get more than 10% me feels.

by Shange on January 13 2014, 09:19
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figures
Bring it on! SA seeks healthy change. The present regime has lost its bearings.

by mudlark on January 13 2014, 10:38
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Not so clear cut...
Predicting the 2014 General Election Results is like playing cricket with a bar of soap - very difficult, however:

1. The anc is no longer in the driving seat because they have lost all credibility.
2. They clearly do not care for South . .more

by Paul C on January 13 2014, 11:22
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Careful, please

Last time around the media did not follow the ANC campaign so they were surprised when we won so handsomely.

Ideas based on what you read in these mass media can become very convincing to the addicts. It develops into a self-reinforcing, . .more

by Domza on January 13 2014, 11:44
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"Don't believe your own propaganda."
Does that apply to lecturers at the so-called "Communist University"?

by @ Domza on January 13 2014, 13:51
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votes
Dream on - either you are playing to the gallery or believe your own propaganda. You also say the survey is not predictive of the election!

Why don't you stick your neck out and give prediction You predict grocery sales accurately Your survey is . .more

by greg on January 13 2014, 14:35
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Communist University is not inbred

Ours is not the kind of self-exciting inbred manic shriek-in that you lot go in for, as I described above. Ours is always rooted.

It's what I am trying to tell you.

Don't lose sight of the empirical facts, but don't fail to be . .more

by Domza on January 13 2014, 15:07
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The anc is not relevent to young South |Africans and so...
“If it does not pay attention to the importance of being relevant to the people of South Africa then it will run the risk of losing power,” Kgalema Motlanthe

by Paul C on January 13 2014, 15:36
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The anc is not relevent to young South Africans and so...
“It’s definitely not going to be an easy election . . . people assess a party not on the basis of its glorious history but on the basis of what they experience.” Kgalema Motlanthe




by Paul C on January 13 2014, 15:38
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The anc is not relevent to young South Africans and so...
Asked how much time the ANC has to turn itself round, Kgalema Motlanthe said: “The crisis must reach its apex first."

“I think it will be self-delusion to believe it’s something that can self-correct. It has to get worse first,” he . .more

by Paul C on January 13 2014, 15:42
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Good for him.
I am glad that Kgalema Motlanthe is still an honourable man.

by Paul C on January 13 2014, 15:44
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So are they all, all honorable men

Not ambitious.

by Domza on January 13 2014, 16:03
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Only in Africa
Hey Domza, Only in Africa will a standing government survive in a climate of such wholesale corruption, mismanagement, incompetence and thievery. To think that this bunch of incompetents are the best that the ANC can produce after 100 years makes one . .more

by Herman Schroder on January 15 2014, 15:20
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what's the difference
I am not a political animal, but it was interesting to read that Hellen Zille in a short time turned around Cape Town's debt considerably, as well as the crime rate and the jobless situation decreased with something like 3%. Is there any other city in the . .more

by Ben on February 09 2014, 23:39
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Why should we believe these stats now
No one will ever believe these stats by Ipsos as they have always gpt it wrong before. Really are they projecting the reality or they express their own interest and try to entrench their political ideologies to the people of SA. I am saying this because . .more

by Themba Hlongwane on April 30 2014, 14:10
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