Johannesburg – More than a third of South Africans registered to vote in May national elections feel that no political party really expresses their views, although about 61 percent will back the ruling ANC, a poll by global market and opinion research firm Ipsos released on Tuesday showed.
This would be slightly down from the 62.15 percent the African National Congress, in power since the end of white minority rule in 1994, garnered at the last general elections five years ago.
The Ipsos poll, based on fieldwork conducted from February 1 to March 4, gives the main opposition Democratic Alliance just 16 percent of votes, down significantly from just above 22 percent in 2014, while new kids on the block the Economic Freedom Fighters are up to nine percent from 6.35 percent.
"This analysis shows that the DA has improved their standing with the electorate since November last year," Ipsos said.
"The party has largely succeeded in countering the negative opinions that plagued it last year – mostly around the exit of Patricia de Lille from the party. However, DA support is still some percentage points behind their performance in the 2014 national election."
The findings regarding party choice were arrived at by handing respondents an electronic ballot paper to use to mark their choice of party (in imitation of a secret ballot). At the data processing stage, the results were filtered by those registered to vote.
Ipsos said the voters’ roll compiled by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) contained 26,774,102 names of South Africans registered to vote, meaning that more than 10 million citizens of voting age had chosen not to register and therefore not to vote in this year’s election.
"This can probably be attributed to the fact that of all South Africans eligible to vote, a quarter are not interested in politics / elections and almost four in every ten say that there is no political party that expresses their views," Ipsos said.
African News Agency/ANA