President Jacob Zuma cost the ruling ANC millions of votes in the country’s local government elections in 2016. Core ANC voters stayed away, were repelled by the party — or simply gave up on it. This comes through clearly from private polling data gathered before, during and after the general election in 2014 and the local municipal election poll in 2016. Presidential candidates and party leaders are meant to "lift" the vote for their party, as Donald Trump did for the Republicans. But not in SA. What’s clear is that Zuma’s follies cost the ANC dearly throughout SA, but most particularly in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, supposedly Zuma’s staunchest support base. The ANC vote dropped everywhere else as well. Data based on a survey of more than 17,000 Gauteng voters, conducted for a private donor and published here for the first time, back up polling data indicating that a stately decline in electoral fortunes for the ANC, which had drifted downwards by a couple of percentage points in p...

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