Elections 2019: ANC support dips below 50%, according to latest IRR poll


The DA's majority in the Western Cape is under threat, the ANC is losing more support in Gauteng, and the EFF is on a growth path nationally. 

These are some of the key findings contained in the the Criterion Report, a quarterly market research survey conducted by the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) into voter preferences, attitudes and the South African political landscape.


It has found that, nationally, the ANC majority is in the balance at 49.5% (down from 54.7% in February), while the EFF continues to grow, from 12.2% in February to 14.9% in April. The DA has remained stable at 21.3%.

The report noted a small growth in black support for the DA. "As of April, the DA has demonstrated some small growth among black voters. It currently has the support of 7.4% of all black voters, up from the 6% it secured in 2014 (the ANC is on 61.6% of all black voters and the EFF, 18.7%)."


In Gauteng, the ANC is well below a majority, with support among voters standing at 42.8%. In that province, the DA has te support if 31.9% of polled voters, but that increases to 40% on a 67.7% turnout scenario. The EFF stands on 13%, which, combined with support for the DA, could see the province led by a DA-EFF alliance. 

The IRR poll is similar to the DA's internal polling which placed the ANC at 44% and the DA at 38%, according to News24.  

Western Cape

In the Western Cape, the DA currently stands on 44.6%, down 5.5 percentage points from February (50.1%). The ANC currently stands on 27.8% on the provincial ballot, down 6.1 percentage points from February (33.9%). 

The ACDP currently stands on 7.0% on the provincial ballot, up 3.5 percentage points from February (3.5%), while the EFF currently stands on 6.8% on the provincial ballot, up 5.8 percentage points from February (1.0%). These parties showed significant growth in the Western Cape. 

Who's voting for whom?

In terms of racial demographics, the IRR found the following voting patterns at national level:

  • 61.8% of all black voters indicated they would vote ANC, compared to 18.7% for the EFF and 7.4% for the DA;
  • 68.6% of all white voters indicated they would vote DA, compared to 4.3% for the ANC and 0.8% for the EFF;
  • 68.5% of all coloured voters indicated they would vote DA, compared to 10.9% for the ANC and 4.7% for the EFF; and
  • 60.4% of Indian voters indicated they would vote DA, compared to 12.6% for the ANC and 0% for the EFF.

Support base

As of April, a breakdown of the parties' national support base shows: 

  • ANC: 96% black voters, 1% white voters, 2% coloured voters and 1% Indian voters;
  • DA: 27% black voters, 37% white voters, 28% coloured voters and 8% Indian voters; and
  • EFF: 97% black voters, 1% white voters, 3% coloured voters and 0% Indian voters.

"In line with the IRR’s objective to become an authority on political market research, the institute has undertaken its fourth full survey of the electoral landscape, to supplement surveys carried out in September 2018, December 2018 and February 2019," the report stated. 

The report issued on Tuesday comprises a sample of 2 375 registered voters and researchers were in the field between April 18-25.

"Because the last few weeks of any election are fluid, as undecided voters make their final choice and the bigger parties typically 'squeeze' their opponents, we have decided to continue polling up until Sunday 5 May. The findings from this second and supplementary tranche – an additional sample of approximately 2 000 registered voters – will be presented to the public on Monday 6 May," the IRR said. 

'Not a prediction'

"It is important to appreciate this poll came out of the field with 14 days of the election period still to go. The last weeks of an election campaign are a critical period during which, historically, the bigger parties – particularly the ANC and DA - tend to consolidate their vote upwards, and the vote share of smaller parties declines, as their voters are pressured. This is still likely to happen. A second IRR April poll, to be published on May 6, will aim to determine the degree to which this trend plays itself out, over the final weeks.

"This poll is not a prediction," the IRR said. 

Read the full report here

Find everything you need to know about the 2019 National and Provincial Government Elections at our News24 Elections site, including the latest news and detailed, interactive maps for how South Africa has voted over the past 3 elections. Make sure your News24 app is updated to access all our elections coverage in one place. 

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