Exploring the Socio-Demographic Distribution of Independent Swing Voters in Ghana

Ghana has become a two-party state by default, with the National Democratic
Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) emerging as the only
political parties with sufficient national appeal to win elections and form
governments. Through the power of the ballot, each of them has had the
chance of being in government as well as serving as the official opposition.
Notwithstanding their dominance in Ghana’s democratic politics, neither
party has the support of more than forty percent of the country’s electoral
population. This leaves a significant proportion of the electorate unaligned
to any political party. Given that candidates in presidential elections in
Ghana can only win with more than 50% of valid votes cast, swing voters
undoubtedly hold the balance of power. Yet, scholarly attention to this
category of voters in emerging democracies has been marginal. Using a
Ghana national opinion poll survey conducted in 2019 in which 27%
of respondents self-identified as independent voters, this paper explores
the social and demographic characteristics of these voters. The result is
surprising and indicates that the regions and ethnic categories considered
as strongholds of the two major parties also hold the highest proportion of
independent swing voters.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections
Tags: elections, electorates, Ghana, political parties, realignment, swing voters
journal of african elections vol20 number 1 transparent democratic governance in africa