Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Sowetan Poll: Not all good news for Zuma
The Sowetan Poll conducted on Monday is no great victory for Jacob Zuma, despite it finding that 57% of respondents would like Zuma to succeed Mbeki as president of the republic. This is for two reasons.

Firstly, the respondent base. The Sowetan's readership is split largely between the Black middle class and urbanised blue collar Black workers. The lines of battle were distinctly drawn here, with the majority of internet voters - middle class respondents - not wanting Zuma as president, whilst telephone voters overwhelmingly backed him. This readership is not quite a mirror for the electorate, and a wider respondent base may well erode this figure.

Secondly, we have to remember that Zuma has had an absolute stranglehold on media publicity about his presidential 'bid' we have heard nothing from other potential candidates. Towards the beginning of next year, when the potential candidates will start doing the ANC dance of never outright saying they'll be offering their services, but preening in any attempt to convey themselves as presidential, we may see an erosion of those Zuma support figures. This may be the best it gets for Zuma, and 57% of the Sowetan's vote does not a president make. I do concede here though, that these other candidate entries could both be a boon and a threat for Zuma, as a number of other candidates may split the middle class votes whilst the populist vote remains resolute with Zuma.

The problem though, is that general electoral voters don't vote for the ANC president - who becomes the ANC candidate for president of the republic - the ANC does. 2008 will be a very interesting year in politics...