New South African Poll Indicates Strong Showing by Zuma’s Party

(Bloomberg) -- A new South African opinion poll shows former President Jacob Zuma’s new party is set to become the third largest after May 29 elections and the ruling African National Congress will fall well short of reclaiming its national majority.

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The ANC is expected to win 43.4% of the national vote, the main opposition Democratic Alliance 18.6%, and Zuma’s uMkhonto weSizwe Party, or MKP, 14.1%, according to the poll conducted by survey company MarkData and commissioned by broadcaster eNCA. It canvassed the views of more than 3,000 people from “representative households” face-to-face, though it wasn’t clear whether those interviewed were all registered voters.

Support for the ANC rose marginally from another survey MarkData and eNCA released in February.

Analysts have questioned the methodology of a number of opinion polls, almost all of which show the ANC losing the parliamentary majority it has held since apartheid ended 30 years ago — a backlash over rampant poverty and unemployment and slipshod government services.

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The new poll showed Zuma’s party winning 46.4% support in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal, which would make it by far the biggest in the region, while support for the ANC stands at just 11.1%. It also indicates that the DA will lose outright control of the Western Cape province, and that the ANC will lose its majority in Gauteng, the Northern Cape and the Free State.

The findings were released before the nation’s top court ruled Monday that Zuma was ineligible to stand for parliament in the elections. The party’s other candidates can still run and the judgment isn’t expected to have a major bearing on the election outcome.

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