Voter Information, Government Evaluations and Party Images, 1994-2004

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Citizens vote for the political party they think is best able to govern in their interests. But how do South African voters arrive at these conclusions? And what type of information do they use? This paper reviews available survey data from the past decade about South Africans' levels of political information, evaluations of government performance, and partisan attitudes. It argues that while voters have been generally satisfied with the performance of the ANC government, there has been a sufficiently large minority of dissatisfied voters to have accounted for more electoral fluidity than we have thus far seen. It ends by providing evidence that shows that while these voters may be dissatisfied with the ANC, they have little information about alternative opposition parties, and what they do know is very negative. Thus, dissatisfied voters must either vote for the ANC as the lesser evil, or simply stay at home.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationElectoral Politics in South Africa
Subtitle of host publicationAssessing the First Democratic Decade
EditorsJessica Piombo, Lia Nijzink
Place of PublicationLondon
Pages40-63
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Keywords

  • South Africa
  • voting
  • democracy
  • electoral politics
  • voter information

Projects

SANES: South African National Election Study

Mattes, R. & Schulz-Herzenberg, C.

1/09/94 → …

Project: Research

CNEP: Comparative National Elections Project

Mattes, R., Gunther, R., Beck, P., Magalhaes, P. & Moreno, A.

1/01/88 → …

Project: Research

Cite this

Mattes, R. (2005). Voter Information, Government Evaluations and Party Images, 1994-2004. In J. Piombo, & L. Nijzink (Eds.), Electoral Politics in South Africa: Assessing the First Democratic Decade (pp. 40-63).