RELATIVELY few South African voters switched party allegiance between 2014 and 2016, according to a preliminary report from the University of Johannesburg’s Centre for Social Change.
ANC support in the 2016 local government elections was disproportionately older and female, while EFF support was male and particularly loyal, the centre said on Thursday.
The findings were not nationally representative, but broadly representative of the sites selected, South African Research Chair in Social Change Prof Peter Alexander said on Thursday. The data indicated that the ANC was likely to face difficulties in the future, due to the ageing nature of its support base, he said.
More than 4,300 voters at 21 sites selected in areas where large-scale protests had occurred were asked who they voted for, about their demographic and employment status, as well as participation in various forms of protest activities, among other things “Whereas roughly half of respondents under 25 years old voted for the ANC, more than 70% of respondents aged 55 and above did so. The EFF secured the greatest support among respondents aged between 25 and 39, while the DA did best among voters under the age of 25,” the report reads.
Nearly two-thirds of women voted for the ANC, compared to half of men. The EFF secured votes from just under one-third of men, but only 14% of women. The DA had roughly equal support across genders. Ninety-three percent of voters who voted EFF in 2014 voted for the party again in 2016, and 83% of ANC supporters again voted for the party — 8% voted for the EFF and 5% for the DA.
Results pointed to high levels of support for the ANC from those who had RDP housing or social grants, while the EFF received high levels of support from shack dwellers, the researchers found.
The centre conducted similar research during the 2014 national election, and is expected to work towards a nationally representative sample during the 2019 elections.