Opposition parties and the voters In South Africa’s 1999 election

R. Mattes, J. Piombo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Variance in partisan choice among South African voters can be predicted on the basis of what is known about the way voters see economic trends, evaluate government performance, perceive political parties, and rate party leaders. However, in this analysis it is demonstrated that factors related to racial divisions shape and filter how voters perceive political performance, and to some extent lead different voters to emphasize different performance criteria. But race does not affect the way voters make decisions. Thus, South Africa's opposition parties are weak not because black voters, the overwhelming majority of the electorate, operate with a decision-making apparatus that emphasizes unity over performance or is hostile to pluralism and opposition. Rather, support for the African National Congress can be accounted for first, by positive ratings of its performance in government and second, by the fact that those black voters dissatisfied with the performance of the African National Congress (ANC) do not see a legitimate alternative among the existing opposition parties.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-128
Number of pages28
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • African National Congress
  • South African voters
  • partisan choices


Dive into the research topics of 'Opposition parties and the voters In South Africa’s 1999 election'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this