The Race: Ramaphosa leads in Free State and NWest

File: File: Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, President Jacob Zuma and his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa during the national Women's Day celebrations at the Union Buildings on August 09, 2016 in Pretoria. Video: eNCA

JOHANNESBURG - The ANC will choose its next leader in just two weeks.

Party members in both the Free State and North West have nominated Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, but a new poll suggests voters have a very different perspective.

etv's latest poll reveals some fascinating complexities.

MarkData interviewed hundreds of ANC voters in the Free State and North West.

The survey was conducted in September and October.

In that poll, Cyril Ramaphosa claims the lead in both provinces.

READ: Ramaphosa is Limpopo's preferred presidential candidate

The deputy president gets the thumbs up from 40 percent of voters in North West. 

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma takes second spot, claiming less than 12 percent.

There's a similar picture in the Free State.

Ramaphosa scores just over 50 percent in that province.

Dlamini-Zuma's numbers pale in comparison - she gets just 20 percent.

On the face of it, Ramaphosa is the favourite, but the branch nominations tell a different story. 

ANC party members in both the Free State and North West are backing Dlamini-Zuma.

READ: KZN ANC goes for Dlamini-Zuma as preferred candidate

The numbers in the Free State are quite telling.

More than 200 branches are backing Dlamini-Zuma.

Less than 50 support Ramaphosa.

A court has ruled that 29 branches did not follow the rules when choosing candidates but that's unlikely to change the overall picture. 

Either way, the survey suggests there's a gap between voters and branches

While ANC-supporting voters may lean in one direction, ultimately it's branch-level members of the party who choose the ANC president. 

The country will hold a national election within 2 years.

Fast forward to 2019, and the voters will have the final say.


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