The governing African National Congress (ANC) seems set to lead the polls in this year’s general elections as voters estranged from the party during former president Jacob Zuma’s tenure are expected to return to supporting it.
This is according to an opinion poll by research company Ipsos which was released on Sunday, Bloomberg reports.
Between October 23 and December 4 last year, Ipsos conducted face-to-face interviews with 3,571 adults, with 61% of them saying they would cast their vote in favour of the governing party in May.
Fourteen percent of those interviewed said they would vote for the main opposition in parliament, the Democratic Alliance (DA), while 9% said they would vote for the country’s third largest political party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), and 2% said they would vote for the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP).
Of those interviewed, 6% said they would not vote in the elections or that they were not yet decided on who they would vote for in May, while 5% of the respondents did not answer.
Since Jacob Zuma became ANC president, it has lost ground in every election, dropping to 54% in the 2016 local poll.
Political analyst Steven Friedman said many of the ANC voters who stayed away in 2016 because they were angered by Zuma and his faction would probably return.
Ipsos said trust in the governing party was very low by the end of the Zuma years, “but the party has recovered quite significantly in the last year”.
Zuma was succeeded by Cyril Ramaphosa after the former president was ousted from the presidency by the ANC.
The research company also said that trust indices for the DA and EFF are in negative terrain.