The Race: Poll suggests diminished support for DA

The Western Cape, Northern Cape and Gauteng are the three main provinces in which the DA hopes to achieve election victory.

JOHANNEBSURG – In the heat of electioneering leading up to 8 May, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has denied claims of decreasing party support and remains adamant it will make gains in KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and the North West.

This comes at a time when previous polls suggest support for the DA among Africans has fallen from 10 to 6 percent and among the three minorities, from 71 to 61 percent since September 2018.

The Western Cape, Northern Cape and Gauteng are the three main provinces in which the DA hopes to achieve election victory.

Polls however suggest victory for the DA in Gauteng is far from obtainable and the party may face a possible power struggle with the African National Congress (ANC) over the Western Cape.

On the other hand, The Race’s survey indicates the DA may receive notable surges in support in the Northern Cape from 23,4 to 33,6 percent, in KwaZulu-Natal from 13,4 to 16 percent, in the Free State from 16,2 to 34,8 percent and in the Eastern Cape from 15,9 to 26,3 percent.

 

Maimane’s low approval rating

The DA calls for the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to investigate the ANC's alleged involvement in recent service-delivery protests.

The DA calls for the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to investigate the ANC's alleged involvement in recent service-delivery protests.

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DA leader Mmusi Maimane had once been South Africa’s most popular politician with an approval rating of 35 to 37 percent.

Such a rating however was not fully driven by Maimane’s own appeal as a political leader, but rather by the inversion of former President Jacob Zuma’s unpopularity which resulted in an approval rating of 22 percent during the last quarter of 2016 and the first half of 2017.

Once Cyril Ramaphosa replaced Zuma as leader of the country, Ramaphosa’s approval rating rose 60 percent and peaked at 68 percent, eclipsing Maimane whose ratings dropped to 29 percent; less than Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema’s rating of 30 percent.
 

Tactics and strategies

File: Good Party leader Patricia De Lille says its a case of what-goes-around-come-around for DA Leader Mmusi Maimane.

File: Good Party leader Patricia De Lille says its a case of what-goes-around-come-around for DA Leader Mmusi Maimane.

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The DA’s long and difficult battle with former Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille, Mmusi Maimane’s handling of the Cape Town water crisis and the quarrel with Western Cape Premier Helen Zille were all swiftly brought to the public’s attention and are some of the reasons why observers feel the party lost support.

Demotivated electorate

The Race’s survey asked voters about the level of confidence they have in the leaders of their respective parties and found 56,1 percent of voters have confidence in DA leader Mmusi Maimane; slightly less than the 56,4 percent of voters of whom have expressed confidence in EFF leader Julius Malema.

The confidence levels shown for the DA and EFF are however far weaker than the 72,2 percent of voters of whom expressed confidence in ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa.

The level of confidence voters have in the leaders of their respective parties.

The level of confidence voters have in the leaders of their respective parties.

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Subsequently, 8,9 percent of voters have expressed no confidence in DA leader Maimane; slightly higher than the 6,1 percent of voters of whom expressed no confidence in EFF leader Malema.

ANC leader Ramaphosa however has the highest level – 9,5 percent -- of no confidence against him.

The level of confidence voters do not have in the leaders of their respective parties.

The level of confidence voters do not have in the leaders of their respective parties.

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The Race’s survey went on to measure voters’ morale by asking them how they view the period ahead for themselves and their families.

DA voters were shown to have the lowest morale of any group in the electorate whereby only 22 percent of voters feel the period ahead will be better.

This places second to the 24 percent of EFF voters of whom feel the period ahead will be better.

ANC voters however have shown to have the highest morale with 42 percent of voters believing the period ahead is promising.

The level of political party morale is indicated by the amount of voters of whom believe the period ahead will be better.

The level of political party morale is indicated by the amount of voters of whom believe the period ahead will be better.

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Subsequently, 37 percent of DA voters believe the future ahead will be worse; slightly higher than the 28 percent of EFF voters of whom have expressed the same feeling.

Only 17 percent of ANC voters feel the period ahead will be worse.
 

The level of political party morale is indicated by the amount of voters of whom believe the period ahead will be worse.

The level of political party morale is indicated by the amount of voters of whom believe the period ahead will be worse.

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A new leader

Since this year’s election will be Mmusi Maimane’s first as the leader of the DA, The Race’s survey asked voters whether his advent as the party’s leader has made them more or less likely to vote for the DA.

White voters scored the highest result – 38,8 percent – agreeing with the statement that the advent of Maimane as DA leader has made them more likely to vote for the DA.

Black voters, on the other hand, scored the lowest result – 15,7 percent.
 

The amount of voters who agree with the statement that the advent of Maimane as DA leader has made them more likely to vote for the DA.

The amount of voters who agree with the statement that the advent of Maimane as DA leader has made them more likely to vote for the DA.

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Coloured voters scored the lowest result – 17,2 percent – agreeing with the statement that the advent of Maimane as DA leader has made them less likely to vote for the DA.

Black voters scored the highest result – 33,5 percent.
 

The amount of voters who feel the advent of Maimane as the leader of the DA has made them less likely to vote for the DA.

The amount of voters who feel the advent of Maimane as the leader of the DA has made them less likely to vote for the DA.

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Maimane has therefore had the most positive effect among the minority group voters already largely committed to the DA and the least positive effect among black voters.

Voter turnout

In the past, the DA has enjoyed a high voter turnout but The Race’s survey suggests the party will lose this advantage in the upcoming election.

Voters involved in the survey indicated how likely they are to vote whereby the results were broken down by party.

This data was set alongside the benchmark of the parties’ share of the vote.

61,4 percent of voters indicated they “will definitely vote” for the ANC, surpassing the party’s benchmark of 59 percent.

10,5 percent of voters indicated they “will definitely vote” for the EFF, falling behind the party’s benchmark of 12,1 percent.

Although the DA has fallen short of its 21,3 percent benchmark by 0,6 percent, the party still has a better showing than EFF’s benchmark comparison of which stands at a 1,6 percent deficit between voters of whom indicated they “will definitely vote”.

Contrary to this, 26.7 percent of voters indicated they “will definitely not vote” for the DA, dangerously exceeding the party’s benchmark by 5,4 percent.

Voters indicate how likely they are to vote whereby the results are broken down per party. The data is set alongside the benchmark of the parties' share of the vote.

Voters indicate how likely they are to vote whereby the results are broken down per party. The data is set alongside the benchmark of the parties' share of the vote.

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