28/05/2018 10:15 SAST | Updated 28/05/2018 10:15 SAST

DA Support Down To 20 Percent Because Of De Lille, Policy And Leadership Issues, Research Shows

President Cyril Ramaphosa has led the ANC's fightback and has helped grow the governing party's support base, market analysts Ipsos say.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane looks on at the results centre in Pretoria on August 4, 2016.
Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters
DA leader Mmusi Maimane looks on at the results centre in Pretoria on August 4, 2016.

Policy uncertainty, questions about leadership and the handling of the Patricia de Lille matter have all contributed to a decline in the DA's fortunes among the voting public, according to global market research firm Ipsos.

The DA, the country's biggest opposition party, is now polling at 20 percent support — two percentage points lower than what the party managed to garner in the 2014 general election when it received 22,23 percent of popular support.

City Press reported on Sunday that the low polling numbers are adding to the woes of the party, with President Cyril Ramaphosa's ANC becoming a more attractive option for voters.

Mari Harris, director of public affairs at Ipsos South Africa, says these numbers aren't final and that those statistics, which are part of a larger study, will be released in July. "But yes, the DA's support is down to 20 percent. Of course, there is roughly a year left before the election and many things can still happen. But what we are picking up is that voters are adopting a wait-and-see attitude towards the DA. The loss in support therefore doesn't necessarily mean that those voters will move elsewhere."

President Cyril Ramaphosa seems to be the ANC's strongest weapon at the moment. Under former president Jacob Zuma the party's guaranteed support stood at 47 percent — this has now risen to 52 percent, Harris says. The ANC won the 2014 election with a majority of 62.15 percent of support.

Julius Malema's EFF however seems to be treading water. According to Ipsos' research the party has not lost ground, but hasn't really gained much either. In 2014 the EFF polled 6.35 percent of popular support.

"For the DA their immediate problem seems to be that voters don't exactly know what their policies entail. They will seriously have to think about clarity on policy when they launch their election campaign. We're also hearing that people are uncertain about the party's leadership and are waiting to see how things unfold," Harris told HuffPost.