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ANC support surges in polls ahead of elections, potential majority within reach

Azra Hoosen |
22 May 2024 | 13:00 CAT
2 min read

As South Africa’s 2024 elections draw near, a recent poll conducted by the Social Research Foundation reveals a significant uptick in support for the African National Congress (ANC). The tracking poll, updated regularly, indicates that the ANC’s support has grown to 44.8% as of Friday, up from 37.7% just one month earlier.

Analysts suggest that the ANC may now only need a small coalition partner or could even secure a majority on its own. This unexpected surge comes amidst ongoing speculation that the ANC would struggle to reach the 50% mark for the first time in its 30-year reign.

Political analyst Joleen Steyn Kotze predicts that while a decline in support for the ANC is anticipated, the extent of this decline remains uncertain. She emphasises the potential for significant fluctuations in predictive polling due to a sizable proportion of undecided voters or individuals who may abstain from voting. These variables are expected to exert considerable influence on the outcome of the upcoming elections.

“One needs a party that will come in with a majority, even if it’s slight, to ensure consistency in governance. We are still volatile from a political maturity perspective to really form a collaborative partnership for governance as opposed to using these mechanisms and coalitions for political expediency,” she said.

According to Kotze, the principle of proportionality may either benefit or disadvantage the ANC in the upcoming elections. However, the allocation of seats will be heavily influenced by the size and population of the larger provinces.

The emergence of former president Jacob Zuma’s uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) party initially impacted support for the ANC and other parties but has since slowed, allowing the ANC to regain some of its lost support.

“It is difficult to say what the current polls are. In the final week, there could be quite a lot of things going through the mind of the voter. What could feature are questions about stability and continuity,” she said.

Kotze emphasised that decreased voter turnout impacts all political parties, not solely the ANC.

“Voter turnout is the proverbial underdog in this race, and it can potentially have a huge impact. One lesson we learnt from the 2021 local government elections was your bigger political parties, inclusive of the DA, EFF and some newer parties, could not effectively convince people to go to the polls, which is why we had a voter turnout of below 50% for the local government elections,” she said.

Since April 15, the poll has been adding 200 new respondents daily, which will be increased to 300 from Monday until May 28, the day before the election.

LISTEN to the full interview with Ml Sulaimaan Ravat and Political analyst Joleen Steyn Kotze, here. 


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