A new South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) poll shows the governing ANC's support has increased ahead of the 2019 general elections, while the country's two biggest opposition parties, the DA and EFF, have lost ground.
According to the poll results:
the ANC's support in December comes in at 56%, up from 52% in September;
the DA's support has declined to 18% from 23% in September; and
the EFF is on 11%, down from 13% in September.
Gareth van Onselen, head of politics and governance at the SAIRR, has emphasised that the poll is not a prediction but "a snapshot in time" of the electorate between November 26 and December 4, 2018.
The poll was conducted among 1 017 registered voters and according to the SAIRR, was "fully demographically representative".
Low voter turnout
A significant finding is the impact of lower voter turnout at the polls. According to the SAIRR, a lower turnout compared to 2014 is expected because of South Africa's maturing democracy and high levels of voter discontent which in turn, drives up apathy.
In 2014, the voter turnout was 73.5% and the expectation is that it will be lower next year.
In the case of a lower turnout, the ANC and the DA will benefit while the EFF will remain largely stable compared to current levels of support.
According to a scenario with a voter turnout of 69%:
the ANC comes in at 59% (down from 62% in 2014);
the DA will receive 22% of votes (stable compared to 22% in 2014); and
the EFF will improve to 10% from 6% in 2014.
This is a developing story.