Who young South Africans are likely to vote for in May

 ·25 Jan 2019

South Africa’s young voters are overwhelmingly in support of the ANC in the lead up to the 2019 elections – and more are throwing their weight behind the EFF than the DA.

These are some of the findings in the latest Ipsos election poll, which gauged the views of South African adults (aged 15+) and young voters (aged 18 – 24) in particular.

The study was conducted from 23rd October 2018 to the 4th December 2018, drawing a response from a total of 3,571 South Africans, 15 years and older, who were interviewed face-to-face in their homes and home languages.

Interviews were conducted all over the country, from metropolitan areas to deep rural areas to ensure representative results, Ipsos said.

According to Ipsos, only 61% of young people are registered to vote. The IEC has been on a big push to get this specific age group to take part in elections, which will be the first opportunity for many to have a direct impact on the administration of the country and their very future.

Young voters only make up 17% of all registered voters in the country, despite making up a much larger proportion of the total population.

“The low registration is concerning,” Ipsos said.

In its latest poll, 2% of the respondents said they would not vote in the upcoming elections. Encouragingly, this is far below the 8% who indicated the same in 2016.

Who young voters believe in

Over a third (35%) of young voters said that there wasn’t a single political party that represented their views (versus 39% of total voters), but many did indicate which party they would vote for if elections were held right now, Ipsos said.

The ANC had the most support among those polled, getting 62% of the vote.

This was followed by the EFF with 14%, and the DA with 11%. The IFP got 3% and all other partied combined got 1%, Ipsos said.

In a similar poll ahead of the 2016 elections, the ANC scored 47% of the vote, with the EFF and DA following at 12% and 11%, respectively.

Party Young voters 2016 Young voters 2019 Change
ANC 47% 62% +15
EFF 12% 14% +2
DA 11% 11% 0
IFP 1% 3% +2
AZAPO 1% -1
Other parties 3% 1% -2
Will not vote 8% 2% -4
Refuse to answer 7% 4% -3
Undecided 4% 3% -1
Not registered 6% 3% -3
Total 100% 100%

The latest results show a surge in support for the ANC, which has campaigned on turning the party around from state capture and the decline it suffered under the administration of Jacob Zuma.

While the difference in support between the EFF and DA was small a few years back, the latest poll shows the EFF now pulling further away from the DA, which has stayed dormant.

The DA won 22.2% of the vote in 2014 and 27% in the 2016 municipal ballot, but has been plagued by infighting and made several public-relations blunders over recent months that may have cost it support.

Most recently, the party drew the ire of South Africans by using the names of the victims of the Life Esidimeni and Marikana tragedies to sucker-punch the ANC, and the party’s head of policy resigned from the position through a blistering letter that declared that the party didn’t care about policy.

Further polling by Ipsos showed that trust in opposition parties was very low – with the DA coming in with a net trust score of -34%.

This was lower than the EFF (-24%), with the ANC still enjoying the trust of the electorate (+40%).

The trust scores were calculated as a net of the positive trust comments and the negative trust comments.

Read: New poll shows ANC dominating 2019 elections

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