Have you been gripped by ‘election fever’ yet? Granted, some of the candidates are tepid, and many of our political parties over-promise and under-deliver… but with just one week between us and voting day, this is the part where we can start to get excited – and the latest opinion polls are already showing us flames.

How will South Africa vote next week?

There is plenty to look out for in the way of jeopardy: The ANC and DA are both hopeful of taking metros back off each other, and the ruling party is facing an uphill battle to score 50% of the vote on a national scale.

The EFF is looking to make substantial gains, and our smaller parties have a sniff of playing ‘kingmaker’ in some regions. Here, we’ve gained data from three recent polls focused on the 2021 Local Elections in South Africa – and they each tell us something fascinating about the democratic duels set to take place on Monday 1 November:

National Election Polls

Data from IPSOS, released last month, shows that the ANC could reasonably expect to pull in less than 50% of the vote across the country – for the first time in our democratic history. Their poll shows that the ruling party is only on course to get 49.3% of the vote, and the DA is also allegedly in for a rough ride.

Their vote share is forecast to plummet to just 17.9%, down by 9% from 2016. The EFF, however, is predicted to earn 14.3% of the ballot – representing their best-ever return in any election. ActionSA, ACDP, Freedom Front Plus, and the IFP all polled between 1.2% to 1.5% in the IPSOS research.

Meanwhile, Afrobarometer has the ANC polling at around 33%, which would mark a catastrophic effort on their part. The DA vote also dips to 10.3%, and the EFF is forecast to overtake them as the second-most popular party in South Africa, by gaining 11.4% of all ballots cast. However, this survey does have a major flaw.

About 15% of people interviewed refused to say who they were voting for at the 2021 Elections, and a further 7.4% said they were still undecided. Once these people enter a voting booth on 1 November, those percentages are likely to increase substantially. However, the ANC would still seemingly FALL SHORT of 50%.

Regional Election Polls

A study commissioned by Victory Research looked at the four closest races coming up in our metros. It appears that coalition governments would be needed in each of the following locations.

eThekwini:

As it stands, a DA steal is on the cards here, barring some late movement in the opinion polls. The Blues are scoring at 33% in eThekwini, pulling ahead of the ANC of 31%. The opposition is convinced this would be enough to help them form a coalition government in the metro – but the support of numerous parties will be needed to get them to 50%.

Nelson Mandela Bay:

Right now, the two main parties are apparently ‘neck and neck’, polling at a near-equal amount just DAYS before the voting booths open. NMB, held together by a frail coalition since 2016, may face a similar fate this year.

Johannesburg:

The ANC is set to fall short of 50% of Joburg yet again – dropping from 45% of the vote, to 41% this year. The DA is also on a downer, and their previous support base of 38% will be trimmed to 25%, according to Victory Research.

Tshwane:

This looks likely to fall into ANC hands, five years after turning blue. The 109-year-old organisation is polling at 46% in Tshwane, opening up an almost insurmountable gap to the DA, who are set to receive just 26% of the vote – making it incredibly difficult for the party to launch any meaningful coalition bid.

  • Apart from Cape Town, which will remain a DA stronghold, the ANC is forecast to keep control of the other three metros up for grabs next week – Ekurhuleni, Buffalo City, and Manguang.

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