South Africa election day 2024 – this is what the big polls say

 ·28 May 2024

South Africans are getting ready to vote in the country’s seventh democratic general elections, which some pundits predict will be one of the most fiercely contested in thirty years.

Numerous polls have consistently predicted quite the shake-up in the build-up to the May 29th polls, which elect representatives into the national and provincial assemblies.

On a national scale, there is a prevailing forecast that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) might witness a decline in its support, possibly dipping below the crucial 50% mark, necessitating a coalition government at the national level.

Furthermore, these polls indicate a widespread agreement that two key provinces, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, are poised for intense competition and the inevitable formation of coalition governments.

The ANC, already clinging to a slim majority in these provinces from the 2019 elections, is projected to face further erosion of its support in these voter-heavy provinces.


It is important to note that these polls and the subsequent analysis of them should be taken with a pinch of salt, as there are (particularly in provincial polling) huge discrepancies among predictions based on the polling agency.

Additionally, history has shown that polls can prove to be massively incorrect. For example, the 2016 US presidential elections and Brexit saga highlighted how far off polls can be.

That said, polling around the 2019 elections – including Ipsos’ findings – were not far off from the actual outcome.

Overall, the final outcome lies in the hands of voters.

The polls

BusinessTech has decided to look at some of the recent polling various research groups, including the Social Research Foundation, Ipsos, Mark Data (in collaboration with eNCA), The Economist, and the Brenthurst Foundation.

National polls

Political PartySRF (66%)*Ipsos (April)Mark Data** The Economist
African National Congress (ANC)42.4%40.2%43.4%43%
Democratic Alliance (DA)22.6%21.9%18.6%22%
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)9.8%11.5%11.4%12%
uMkhonto we Sizwe Party (MKP)13.2%8.4%14.4%12%
Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP)2.9%4.4%3.1%4%
Freedom Front Plus (FF+)1.8%
Note – these are poll predictions and do not reflect the actual results of the 2024 general elections. | *66% turnout | ** with eNCA


According to various polls, the ANC is projected to have support ranging from 40.2% to 43.4% nationally, meaning that if this were to materialise, they would need to form a coalition government to govern.

This suggests that the ANC is likely to retain its position as the leading party but could face a decrease in support compared to previous elections.


The DA is forecasted to have support ranging from 18.6% to 22%. While this suggests that the DA remains the official opposition, it also indicates potential challenges in significantly increasing its support base.


Polls suggest that the EFF is expected to maintain support ranging from 11.4% to 12%, continuing to play a prominent role in South African politics as a major opposition party.


The new MKP is projected to have support ranging from 8.4% to 14.4% for former President Jacob Zuma’s party of choice.


Polls suggest that the IFP’s support ranges from 3.1% to 4%, largely stemming from its support base in KwaZulu-Natal.

ActionSA and FF+

These parties have varying levels of support according to the polls, but specific data is not available for all polls. Regardless, polls place these parties at below the 5% mark.

Other Parties

The polls also account for support for other parties, which collectively make up a significant portion of the projected vote share. This underscores the multiparty nature of South Africa’s political landscape.

Provincial polls – the battlegrounds

As of 27 May 2024, the latest available polls see the following:


Political partySRF (66%)*Mark Data**Brenthurst
African National Congress (ANC)39%40.9%34%
Democratic Alliance (DA)27%18.5%32%
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)13%12%11%
uMkhonto we Sizwe Party (MKP)9%8.6%6%
Freedom Front Plus (FF+)2%1.7%(No data)
Patriotic Alliance (PA)(No data)2%(No data)
Rise Mzansi(No data)0.8%(No data)
Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP)(No data)0.7%(No data)
Build One South Africa (BOSA)(No data)(No data)5%
Note – these are poll predictions and do not reflect the actual results of the 2024 general elections. | *66% turnout | ** with eNCA


Polls indicate that the ANC’s support in Gauteng ranges from 34% to 40.9%. This suggests a potential decline compared to previous elections, putting their dominance in the province under pressure.


The DA is projected to have support ranging from 18.5% to 32%. These numbers suggest variability in its potential performance, but it remains a significant player in Gauteng politics.


Polls suggest that the EFF’s support in Gauteng ranges from 11% to 13%. While not as high as some other provinces, the EFF maintains a notable presence and could influence the provincial political landscape, particularly if the ANC is looking for coalition partners with a double-digit voter percentage pull.


The new kid on the block, MKP, is predicted to get between 6% and 9% in the province. Although not making it a dominant force in provincial politics, this voter pull could see them sport impressive representation in the Gauteng provincial legislature.

Other Parties

The presence of parties such as ActionSA, Freedom Front Plus (FF+), and Rise Mzansi, along with others, highlights the diversity of political options available to Gauteng voters and they are expected to sport an impressive voter pull. These parties could play a role in shaping coalition dynamics post-election.


Political partySRF (66%)Mark Data**Brenthurst
uMkhonto we Sizwe Party (MKP)31%46.4%25%
African National Congress (ANC)27%11.1%20%
Democratic Alliance (DA)17%12.2%19%
Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP)16%14.5%19%
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)5%6.7%14%
Note – these are poll predictions and do not reflect the actual results of the 2024 general elections. | *66% turnout | ** with eNCA


The polls for the MKP in this province have been the most erratic, with the new political party projected to have significant support ranging from 25% to 46.4%.

This suggests a potential challenge to the traditional dominance of other parties in the province, with Zuma’s new party emerging as a relatively dominant force in the country.


The ANC’s support in KwaZulu-Natal ranges from 11.1% to 27%. This variability suggests uncertainty about the ANC’s performance in the province, indicating potential shifts in voter sentiment.


Polls suggest that the IFP’s support in its stronghold ranges from 14.5% to 19%. As a historically significant party in KwaZulu-Natal, the IFP’s performance could be crucial in shaping the provincial political landscape.

Other Parties:

Similar to Gauteng, the presence of smaller parties and independents in KwaZulu-Natal highlights the diverse range of political options available to voters, with these parties likely to be crucial for parties looking for coalition partners to get over the 50% +1 line.

Overall, the provincial polls underscore the predicted competitiveness of politics nationally, particularly in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

However, it is essential to remember that these are predictions and not definitive outcomes, and factors such as voter turnout and campaign dynamics could influence the actual results on election day.

Read: South Africa after the 2024 elections: what comes next?

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