Around 13 million of the country's registered voters, according to the Electoral Commission of South Africa’s (IEC) stats as of Thursday – may be voting for a party they have not previously voted for in next week’s elections.
First-time voters may be more inclined to vote for the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).
This is according to a new survey by Media24.
The survey conducted by Forum24 – Media24 News’ in-house research panel – revealed that of the 53% of those born after 1994, 24% of these first-time voters from the survey sample of more than 2000 individuals indicated that they would be voting for the red berets on May 8.
The ANC is set to get 20% of the new registered votes and 12% said they would vote for the DA.
Although the DA has, according to the survey, the least number of new registered voters indicating that they will place their trust in the party, the research revealed that the party led by Mmusi Maimane demonstrated the most retaining power when it came to repeat voters.
About 88% of those who indicated that they would vote for the DA were individuals who had previously voted for the party, and 82% of those who indicated that they would vote for the ANC had always voted for the ruling party.
The survey also revealed that, overall, 61% of the sample had stayed loyal to their party while also indicating that 60% of the EFF’s voters had switched allegiances in favour of Julius Malema’s red brigade.
Per province, the research revealed that voters in Gauteng and the Free State were the most likely to jump ship and vote for another party they had not previously voted for. This was not surprising given the amount of allegations of corruption against government officials in the two provinces.
The most loyal provinces according the survey were KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape, Limpopo, the North West and Mpumalanga.
With regards to race, the mock polls revealed that coloureds and Indians were the most likely to switch allegiances. Black voters were touted as the most loyal, followed by white voters.
Another telling revelation from the survey was that ANC loyalists felt strongly that their vote would make a difference. About 77% of the sampled individuals who indicated that they would vote for the ruling party thought that their vote in the looming polls would make a difference.
Two-thirds – 68% – of those who indicated that they would vote for the DA thought their vote would make a difference and 66% of those who expressed loyalty to the EFF held the view that their vote was their voice.
The statistics also revealed that DA supporters were the least likely to be persuaded by family. ANC supporters were flagged as being the most susceptible to influence from family.
Contrary to popular belief, the EFF supporters (78%) and ANC (77%) as well as City Press readers (75%) were polled as being the most likely to read party manifestos. White DA supporters (52%) were polled as the least likely to ready party manifestos.
The survey’s margin of error was estimated to be between 5% to 15% because it was skewed towards those who read Media24 news products including the local papers, members who have internet (or mobile internet) access as well as an in-use email address as per the survey’s selection criteria.
This survey is one among many polls that have been released in the lead up to next week’s elections.
More recently, there have been five polls that have been released: Ipsos, MarkData and the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) as well as ANC and DA internal polls – with the former at the higher end of the range for the ANC and the IRR at the lower end.
Ipsos and MarkData believe the ANC could end up with between 59% and 61% of the votes, but the IRR was a full 10 percentage points lower, putting the ruling party on 49.5% support nationally, and support increasing to 51% on a 72% voter turnout and 50% on a 69% voter turnout.