Zuma versus Ramaphosa: Factors Influencing Party Choice of South Africans in the Run-up to the 2019 Elections

The outcome of the 2016 local government elections in which the ANC
lost substantial support, fuelled early speculation on not only the outcome
of the 2019 general elections, but also on the factors which were likely to
determine party support. Added to this was the deteriorating political and
socio-economic situation in South Africa. Against this background, two
national surveys were undertaken in October/November 2017 and October/
November 2018 to establish the factors at these particular times that were
likely to influence the vote choice of South Africans. From both surveys it was
found that South African voters increasingly base their choice of a party on
rational considerations. Trust in the president was a particularly important
predictor of voter choice. In the first survey, loss of trust in the president
(Zuma) resulted in a loss of faith in the ANC and in support of the party;
while in the second survey, the converse was true: an increase in trust in
the president (Ramaphosa) reflected an increased trust in and support for
the party. Other predictors of vote choice in both surveys include a desire
for socio-economic well-being and hope for a better future; the fear of losing
a social grant; age; and racialised party images.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections
journal of african elections vol19 number 1 transparent democratic governance in africa