The emerging party system in the new South Africa

Robert B. Mattes, Amanda Gouws, Hennie J. Kotze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This report presents evidence from a recent national post-election study concerning South Africa's prospects for developing into either a truly competitive multi-party system or the one-party-dominant system characteristic of so many other emerging democracies. Focusing on long-term party identification. The evidence indicates that the African National Congress (ANC) no only commands an overwhelming, but also intense, share of partisan loyalty. The potential sources of fluidity and electoral uncertainty - independent voters and those with weak party loyalties - are not large enough to threaten the ANC's re-election prospects. Surprisingly, the source of the AND's (and the National Party's) support base is not an explicitly racial or ethnic one. Nevertheless, the prospect of a one-party-dominant system are high.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-393
Number of pages15
JournalParty Politics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 1995


  • party identification
  • party systems
  • South Africa
  • voting behavior


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