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For a majority of SA’s electorate deciding which party to support in the 2019 elections should be a fairly straightforward matter. The most recent data available, from the nationally representative SA Citizens Survey which has a sample size of 3,900 respondents, found that 55% of eligible voters feel close to a political party. Party identification provides a useful shortcut to the world of politics and acts as a voting guide at the polls. Much like a deep-seated loyalty to a football club, one can be critical or even frustrated at times but enduring support matters and is likely to continue. However, the survey data also suggests that party loyalties are waning. The proportion of eligible voters who said they felt close to the ANC dropped from 39% in early 2018 to 35% currently.

Another combined measure of party affinity (those who like and prefer the ANC above all other parties) decreased from 51% in 2015 and now sits at 40% in late 2018. This is probably the most revealing...

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