South Africa’s populist opposition party, the Economic Freedom Fighters, has seen its support plunge by about half in the last eight months, a Social Research Foundation poll shows.
The survey, conducted before a national shutdown called by the EFF for March 20, showed the party would win 6% backing, assuming a 66% election turnout.
That compared with 12% in July, similar to what it won in the 2019 national elections.
The ruling African National Congress would garner 52% support, while the biggest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, would get 24%, the SRF said.
The poll canvassed the views of 1,517 registered voters across a range of age groups, races and regions.
The poll is the latest indication that the EFF, which was formed in 2013 on a platform of nationalizing everything from land to banks, may be losing steam just over a year before elections.
Its calls for a shutdown garnered limited support among the public, with most businesses staying open and protests attracting small crowds in all towns other than in the capital, Pretoria, where a few thousand people attended.
While support for the ANC and DA is stable “that for the EFF is down sharply,” the SRF said, cautioning though that the survey had a national margin of error of 4%.
If the impact of voter turnout were disregarded, the EFF would win 8.4% support, the ANC 45.9% and the DA 23.3%, the poll showed.
The EFF won 10.6% of the national vote in 2019, the ANC 57.5% and the DA 20.8%.
Some smaller parties look set to put in a stronger showing.
Support for the Inkatha Freedom Party, a Zulu nationalist party, doubled to 6% since July assuming a 66% turnout level, while backing for the Freedom Front Plus rose to 3% from 2%, the poll showed.
|Party||Support in March 2023||Support in July 2022|