The Race: Ready, steady, vote

Photo_Web_ANC_Protest_190316

Less than 10 protesters were waving placards on the pavement adjacent to the hotel where the ANC NEC is taking place.

Less than 10 protesters were waving placards on the pavement adjacent to the hotel where the ANC NEC is taking place.

Photo_Web_ANC_Protest_190316

Less than 10 protesters were waving placards on the pavement adjacent to the hotel where the ANC NEC is taking place.

Less than 10 protesters were waving placards on the pavement adjacent to the hotel where the ANC NEC is taking place.

JOHANNESBURG - A new poll on ANC leadership suggests Cyril Ramaphosa will take the top job.

But that could change, with branches having the final say.

The true test will come at the party&39;s conference.

Either way, Ramaphosa is flexing some muscle in Gauteng.

MarkData conducted a survey commissioned by etv. Researchers interviewed ANC voters during September and October. 

Nearly 55 percent are backing Ramaphosa. Just under 17 percent support Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

In the national picture, Ramaphosa claims eight out of nine provinces in this particular survey.

The results are resounding -- he takes more than 35 percent in every survey, except KwaZulu-Natal.

Based on this poll, he&39;s the frontrunner, with Dlamini-Zuma lagging in second place.

But, here&39;s the catch -- this data reflects the views of ANC voters.

That&39;s important, but ultimately, it&39;s the party&39;s branches which choose the president.

That picture is rather different.

Ramaphosa has the most nominations in five provinces. But Dlamini-Zuma has a majority in four.

On the face of it, Ramaphosa has more than 1,800 nominations and Dlamini-Zuma just over 1,300. 

Remember, delegates are not obliged to vote in line with branches.

What&39;s more, 200 branches in Mpumalanga did not name a candidate.

If they back Dlamini-Zuma, that gap will get even smaller. 

Make no mistake, the race is far from over. In fact, in some ways, the real race has only just begun.

* Read more about how The Race polls were conducted here.