Top parties in trouble – poll

An election poll by the SA Institute for Race Relations (IRR) shows both the ANC and the DA in serious trouble
An election poll by the SA Institute for Race Relations (IRR) shows both the ANC and the DA in serious trouble
Image: Kevin Sutherland / EPA

With a week to go to the general election, the SA Institute for Race Relations (IRR) has published a new election poll that shows both the ANC and the DA in serious trouble.

On the national ballot, the ANC’s majority is down to 49.5%, 5.2 percentage points down from the IRR’s previous poll in February.

This is an unexpected break from the trend – in previous elections the ANC has strengthened steadily until voting day.

However, when modelled on a 71% turnout of voters on May 8, a scenario considered plausible as not everyone will vote, the ANC reaches 51%.

The ANC is also in trouble in Gauteng, standing on 42.8% on the provincial ballot.

Modelled on a 70.4% turnout, ANC support decreases to 39%.

In this scenario, the DA also scores 39% of the Gauteng vote, and in an even lower turnout scenario (67.7%), the DA comes in stronger than the ANC at 40%, compared with the ANC’s 39%.

The survey questions attempt to ascertain how likely participants are to vote.

When the turnout is not factored into the Gauteng survey, the DA stands on 31.9%.

In the Western Cape, the DA is in trouble, standing on 44.6% on the provincial ballot, down 5.5 percentage points from its February showing.

The ACDP appears to be the biggest reason for this decline, polling 7% on the provincial ballot, twice as much as much as in February. Together with Patricia de Lille’s Good party, which has 3% support, the DA has lost 10 percentage points to smaller parties in the province.

However, on a turnout scenario of 71.9%, the DA’s support rises to 50%.

The ANC has also lost ground in the Western Cape to the EFF, which has an impressive 5.8 percentage point increase since February when it polled only 1%.

IRR politics and governance head Gareth van Onselen said the results must be treated with caution because of “the squeeze” phenomenon.

“The two weeks before the election are the squeeze period in which bigger parties tend to go up and smaller parties go down as voters are put under pressure. That squeeze has not started properly yet,” he said.