The Race: The final countdown has begun


Royal Garden Hotel, London, Britain - September 25, 2017 Cyril Ramaphosa, Deputy President of South Africa during the press conference

JOHANNESBURG - The race for the ANC&39;s top job is reaching a climax.

The party will choose a new leader at its elective conference this weekend.

Delegates will make the final decision.

MAP: Track the ANC provincial nominations for party president

But ANC voters countrywide have very clear ideas on who they want to lead the party.

Research company MarkData interviewed just over 2,700 ANC voters in September and October.

Nearly half support Cyril Ramaphosa, while just over 20 percent back Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Lindiwe Sisulu takes third spot, claiming less than 5 percent.

The deputy president seems to appeal to a wide range of people.

48 percent of employed ANC voters say he should lead the party.

That&39;s almost double the support for Dlamini-Zuma.

Ramaphosa has been a successful businessman, but he also makes a big impression among ANC voters who don&39;t have jobs.

52 percent think he should be president. 

21 percent support his closest rival.

WATCH: ANC nomination process explained

Researchers also gauged sentiment across racial lines, interviewing South Africans who voted for various parties.

Once again, Ramaphosa is the favourite, securing the top spot among every group.

Dlamini-Zuma gets strong support among black South Africans, but it seems other groups are more sceptical.

She gets single-digit figures among coloured, white, and Asian South Africans.

This poll suggests Ramaphosa is the people&39;s favourite, but it&39;s the party which chooses the president - and delegates from around the country will be casting their votes this weekend.

Read more about how The Race polls were conducted here.