The ANC and the DA, the main players in the battle to control the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan, will both suffer a decline in support in the upcoming local government elections.
This is according to research specialists Ipsos and the forum for public dialogue chaired by Moeletsi Mbeki. The results of the survey show that the ANC will get 43.4% of the vote, while the DA will get 31.8%, with the United Democratic Movement (UDM) only getting 2.1%.
About 15.3% of the people surveyed said they did not know who they were going to vote for, while 7.4% said they will vote for a political party other than the ANC and the DA.
The Nelson Mandela Bay metro is one of those metros seen to be up for grabs.
In the 2011 local government elections, the ANC won by a small margin of 51.9% against the DA’s 40.1%.
This margin was further reduced in the 2014 national elections when the ANC only garnered 49.2%, while the DA did a slightly better 40.2%.
The research by Ipsos entitled “Emerging voting trends in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro” was conducted between September and October 2015, where 974 adults above the age of 18 were interviewed in the metro about who they would vote for in the upcoming elections.
Ricardo Braz, public affairs manager at Ipsos, presented the research findings during a press conference at Port Elizabeth’s Radisson Blue Hotel today.
Braz said it was a masterstroke for the ANC to bring in a person of Danny Jordaan’s calibre as mayor of the metro as lots of people had confidence in his leadership.
“The ANC had a strategic move in bringing in a well-known face and placing him in the mayoral seat, a person who was widely celebrated for bringing the 2010 Fifa World Cup to South Africa,” he said.
He added that 47% of the people surveyed said they would prefer Jordaan to be leader of the metro as opposed to Athol Trollip, the DA’s mayoral candidate who got 13.1%.
But again a large portion of those surveyed – 35.8% – did not know who they wanted which could present a swing vote for either of the political parties.
Only 1% preferred the UDM’s Mongameli Bobani while former mayor Benson Fihla was supported by just 1.7% of those surveyed.
What informed the research, Mbeki said, was that after the 2014 general elections they saw that a number of metros are deviating from the past and that ANC support in the big metros was declining.
“What the survey shows us is that definitely there is a decline in the proportion of the citizens of Nelson Mandela Bay who say they will vote for the ANC. The figure we have is 43%,” Mbeki said.
However, he said South Africa was a dynamic country where events moved so quickly that until voters actually voted it was very difficult to predict what they would do.
The survey, Mbeki said, was about looking at trends and not about predicting how people would vote.
“And the trend is that there are some big metros where the vote for the ANC is declining”.
He added that the Nelson Mandela Bay was proving to be a very contested terrain, even forcing the ANC to bring back Jordaan from political retirement.
“It’s going to be a big fight between the two main parties. From the survey the people in the Nelson Mandela Bay think that he [Danny Jordaan] would make a very good mayor. But of course there is an individual and a party. People vote for the party, not the individual mayor,” Mbeki said.