Poll landslide predicted for ANC

THE question in the South African elections of 27 April will not be whether Nelson Mandela's African National Congress wins, but by how much. The result of a comprehensive national poll published yesterday by the Johannesburg Sunday Times also leaves no doubt that F W de Klerk's National Party will come second, a safe distance ahead of the Inkatha Freedom Party, the combined white right and the liberal Democratic Party.

The ANC and the NP between them will take 80 per cent of the national vote, according to the poll, which largely confirms the findings of another poll published only five days ago by the US-funded Institute for Multi-Party Democracy.

The Sunday Times poll gives the ANC a landslide 65 per cent of the national vote, a whisker short of the two-thirds majority legally required to rewrite South Africa's constitution. The NP gets 16 per cent; Inkatha 5 per cent; the white right 4 per cent and the DP just under 3 per cent. Under the new federal system of government, the ANC will take comfortable control of seven of the nine provincial legislatures and win the other two by a narrow majority.

The poll, conducted by Markinor, took responses from 2,655 South Africans of all races, including representative numbers from the migrant workers' hostels and the more remote rural areas.

The political implications are significant, not least for the Zulu chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi's Inkatha. The poll showed that in the Natal/KwaZulu area, where the Zulu population is in the vast majority, the ANC could expect to win 46 per cent of the vote to Inkatha's 19 per cent. Elsewhere in the country Inkatha barely figured, their second best result coming in the greater Johannesburg area where their support stands at 5 per cent.

The clear message to Chief Buthelezi is that his obstructionist tactics of recent months - a candid Inkatha official said last year his party was engaged in 'constructive filibustering' - have significantly reduced Inkatha's popular appeal. Polls conducted six months ago put his support at closer to 10 per cent. The question whether to participate in the elections, already hotly debated in Inkatha circles, is certain to acquire new urgency.

Inkatha's allies in the so-called Freedom Alliance, the far-right separatists of the Afrikaner Volksfront, will also be forced to reappraise their position. The Volksfront's claim to represent Afrikaners is severely questioned by the results of the poll, which shows that in the Boer heartlands of the Northern and Eastern Transvaal they lag some way behind the NP. Nationally, the far right can lay claim to only a fifth of the white vote. Trends suggest that more whites will flock to the NP for fear of wasting their vote.

As to the radical Pan-Africanist Congress, which yesterday suspended its 'armed struggle', its support stands at less than 2 per cent. Claims during the past year by the PAC's armed wing, the Azanian People's Liberation Army (Apla), to have carried out a number of terrorist attacks against whites appear not to have made a favourable impression on the black population.

The one area in the country where, as yesterday's poll confirmed, the electoral battle will have something of an edge is the Cape Town area, the Western Cape. Here the ANC has 43 per cent support to the NP's 33 per cent, the relatively narrow margin being accounted for by the fact that here it is mixed-race Coloureds - as the apartheid definition has it - that are in the majority. Support among Coloureds for Mr de Klerk is almost as high as it is among the white community.

One theory of South Africa to which the apartheid diehards of the Volksfront still cling has been well and truly put to rest by the poll. Blacks will not vote with their tribal feet. The Sothos, the Tswanas and the Xhosas will vote for the ANC with equal enthusiasm. And as for the long-cherished right-wing notion that the Zulus will vote as a block for Inkatha, the poll results speak for themselves.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
peopleMathematician John Nash inspired the film Beautiful Mind
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine