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Study: Both low and high voter turnout will be to ANC's advantage

Fifty percent of voters surveyed said they want to vote, 35% said they will definitely vote, while 13% said they don't want to vote and 2% said they don't know.

FILE: Inside the Durban City Hall voting station, as the special voting day commences on 6 May 2019. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Whether eligible voters come in their numbers or not on voting day will be to the advantage of only one contesting political party - the African National Congress (ANC).

This is according to latest Ipsos South Africa Pulse of the People study which has been republished on the eve of the general elections on 8 May.

The study looked at, among other things, different possible scenarios related to voter turnout.

"If previous elections are anything to go by, it is unrealistic to expect that all registered voters will turn out to vote on election day. This is a major factor as the actual voter turnout can have a profound influence on the number of votes for each political party," Ipsos said.

Fifty percent of voters surveyed said they want to vote, 35% said they will definitely vote, while 13% said they don't want to vote and 2% said they don't know.

To work out the possibilities of voter turnout, Ipsos first had to use an algorithm to determine what percentage of eligible voters who may cast their voters qualify as low, medium and high voter turnout.

"A low voter turnout scenario will result if about 60% of registered voters turn out to vote; medium voter turnout scenarios will result if about 71% or about 75% of registered voters turning out to vote and a high voter turnout scenario will result in turnout of about 80% of registered voters."

The study found that in a low voter turnout scenario, ANC voters seem to be more committed to voting, and therefore the party support increases notably. In a high voter turnout scenario, the party succeeds in convincing voters who would otherwise not have voted to come out and participate.

Thus, both a low turnout and high turnout will be to the singular advantage of the ANC.

In all three voter turnout scenarios, the ANC is predicted to receive over 60% of the support. But if all voters were to turnout (providing a 100% voter turnout scenario - which is not possible) the party would receive 56.9% support.

The Democratic Alliance would receive between 17% and 19% in all the turnout scenarios, while the Economic Freedom Fighters would receive 11% in all scenarios.

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