In a recent survey conducted by consumer insights company Pondering Panda, it was found that more than 1 in 4 young South Africans claimed they would vote for a party led by Julius Malema in an election. 3585 respondents, between the ages of 18 and 34, were interviewed across South Africa, and asked their opinion of the possible creation of a new political party by Malema. The survey found that, in the hypothetical case of a snap election, 35% of respondents said they would vote for the ANC, 26% claimed they would vote for Malema’s party, and 15% said they would vote for the DA. 14% said they would stay away from the polls, 6% said their vote would go to another party, and 4% were unsure of how they would cast their ballot.Young men were more likely than women to vote for Malema. 35% of male respondents said he would get their vote, compared to 18% of female respondents. The majority of support for Malema came from young black South Africans, with 30% of blacks saying they would give him their vote. In terms of regional support, Malema had the strongest support in the North West, where almost half of respondents (48%) claimed they would support him. He also had significant support in Limpopo (45%), and the Free State (36%). There was no significant difference of opinion among age groups.
In a separate survey, 3778 respondents, also between the ages of 18 and 34, were asked whether they thought it was a good idea for Malema to start a new political party. 2 in 5 (40%) said a party led by Malema was a good idea. These respondents were then asked why they supported the idea of Malema’s own political party. The survey found that respondents who thought Malema’s party was a good idea were most likely to support it because they believed he would do more to help poor people than other political parties. 37% gave this reason, while 22% supported him because they felt he would be the best choice in a variety of areas, including service delivery, housing provision and education. 15% supported him in the hope that he would be best at creating more jobs. There was no significant difference of opinion across demographic groups.
Those who thought Malema’s party was a good idea were also found to be dissatisfied with the ANC, with more than 2 in 3 (68%) feeling that the ANC had not kept the promises they made in the last election. In addition, 56% of those who felt that a party led by Malema was a good idea believed it would be more fair to the people of South Africa than the ANC.
Shirley Wakefield, spokesperson for Pondering Panda said, “It’s clear that a significant number of young people are dissatisfied with the ANC and would turn to Julius Malema, as an alternative, if he created a new political party.” Wakefield went on to add, “It is striking that those who support Malema feel that he would be more fair than the ANC towards the people of South Africa. These figures show that even under ANC rule, many young people feel their lives have not improved as they expected. They believe that the ruling party is not doing enough to lift people out of poverty, and that Malema would do more for South Africa’s poor, if elected.”
Interviews for the first survey were carried out on cellphones between the 13th and 17th of June, across South Africa. Interviews for the second survey were carried out using the same methodology between the 19th and 24th of June. All responses were weighted to be nationally representative in terms of age, gender and race.